"TO JOEL IT [BLACKSMITHING] IS EVERYTHING, IT'S ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING"
- Monty Don, Monty Don's Real Crafts 2014
I love my job but the route I came to it wasn't ideal. In 2005 whilst studying media production at university my life turned upside down when I got food poisoning. It led to me developing chronic fatigue syndrome and perpetual nausea, all my life plans went out the window.
I trod water for years in a boring retail job waiting to get better as I went from doctor to doctor looking for a cure. With only slight improvements I realized I had to create opportunities for myself...so In 2012 taught myself how to forge iron.
Luckily my natural talent was spotted in 2013 and I was scouted to take part in the Monty Don's Real Crafts TV series. The sink or swim experience proved to me I can tackle jobs of all shapes and sizes and to have confidence in my abilities.
For me blacksmithing isn't just bending metal, it's my holistic cure, a source of pride and some direction to my life.
A SHORT FILM OF ME AT WORK. PRESS PLAY TO WATCH.