I began working in architectural metal shops in 2009. In 2011, I took over management of Red Mountain Ironworks in Birmingham, AL, where I was shop foreman/ lead designer until leaving to start Jackson Forge in 2017.
I started Jackson Forge to focus on designing and crafting unique objects that are beautiful, functional, and original. Every piece is hand made by my self, with utmost attention paid to every surface, joint, and finish.
The Design Process
Every project should start with good design, whether it be a utilitarian wall hook or a three story spiraling staircase. For the wall hook the design might be nothing more involved than a chalk sketch on the work table, but for the staircase it could involve AutoCad drawings and full sized samples or studies.
Most projects begin with some input from the client. Sometimes people come in with binders full of pictures, clippings, and sketches, and sometimes with nothing but an idea in their head. Whatever their level of involvement, I strive to work with clients to understand their needs and expectations.
For most architectural projects, a site meeting can be a great way to discuss the details and requirements of the job. Clients are always encouraged to come visit the shop to see samples and materials, as well as to learn about our process. Clients coming in for a visit should bring some rough dimensions of your project, along with any relevant photos or other inspirations.
Often, as we discuss the project I will make a few quick concept sketches to hash out details. After I get a feel a clients needs, I will take all of the information and produce a proposal, which will include a detailed drawing as well as pricing for the whole project. At this stage, a sample piece of the project might also be made. Any changes or comments from the client, architect, builder or designer are then take into account to produce a final design. This design will be submitted to the client for final approval, along with a final price and a request for a 50% deposit to begin the project.