I Love My Trade - Kris Albro: Welder, Fabricator, and Blacksmith
In honor of #NationalSkilledTradesDay May 6, 2020, we're launching a series called I Love My Trade. We connected with Kris Albro on social media, a welder, fabricator, and blacksmith in Charleston, South Carolina. Here's Kris's story.
My name is Kris Albro owner of Meltdown Metal Art in Charleston, South Carolina. I have been a welder/fabricator/blacksmith for a little over a year.
Being a welder, fabricator blacksmith I get asked a lot about how it feels to be one of the few females that do it. For me, it’s normalcy. My last career was a crew chief on the F16 in the United States Air Force. I did maintenance and was essentially in charge of a jet. I made sure the jet was flight-ready, doing basic maintenance and inspections, and following up with specialty repairs. That’s where I learned how to carry myself in a male-dominated field. Down the line, that experience also gave me the confidence to pursue my trade.
Growing up I’ve always been a creative person. I was always drawing and painting. However, I found myself losing interest in my late 20's. I did not have the same passion I once did. I still had my creative drive and wanted to find another way to express it. That’s when I bought my first welder and began teaching myself. At 28, I found myself in a place where I could completely recreate my life. So I bet on myself and enrolled in welding school. Once I graduated I found a small lighting/ furniture company that took a chance on me. They hired me and taught me everything from forging to metal spinning to building elaborate furniture. My full-time job allows me the opportunity to use all my different metalworking skills every week. I am then able to take what I learn and apply it to my artwork.
Being a welder, fabricator, and a blacksmith all rolled into one has ignited my creative passion once again. I love being able to take raw steel and turn it into something beautiful that someone will cherish. The flowers I create with Meltdown Metal Art have brought me so much satisfaction. I love how happy they have made my clients when they are delivered.
A big part of my Instagram account that I am proud of is the number of young people that reach out to me asking about my trade. The biggest thing that I tell them is you need to find what you’re passionate about. There are a lot of trades out there, finding the right one is important. The one that appeals most to you. I love mine because of how I can use it with my artwork. It gives me a huge sense of satisfaction being able to make something from start to finish.
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