While working this summer Joe has been learning a lot about diversification. He has been helping with dam operations, which has been an interesting learning experience. Every morning he goes to the dam to clean it up and check its running good. Neither of us have ever been that close to a working hydro electric dam, and it is really cool. Which leads us back to the lesson, do a little bit of everything. Vinny runs a Kenpo dojo, a hydro electric dam, a plow truck in the winter, a knife shop, and his blacksmithing shop. And with the blacksmithing shop he offers classes 2 nights a week to locals who want to learn the art. Joe has a true passion for blacksmithing, and I can honestly see him doing this for the rest of his life. We are learning though that the more work you have the better. Blacksmithing, especially the architectural work that Joe is so passionate about is a very niche art. There are only so many of those types of projects, and only so many people who can afford that amount of custom work. So over the next 3-4 years we will probably be looking into what else we have to offer, and soaking up all the various skills we can out of the internships. Joe has helped with the classes a couple of times, and even gave a private lesson to a nine year old. Through helping with the classes Joe is learning that he enjoys teaching the art he has become so passionate about, and so that will probably be added to our diversification list moving forward. Joe is also pretty good at knifes and hooks, and while that isn't where he wants to focus his work, it may be a side aspect of the business, because smaller items tend to sell easier. Hopefully within the next year we will be able to open a small shop on this page and start selling some of the awesome projects he is working on, so get ready for that!
The summers are going to be a time of practical learning for us. The school has a lot to teach about architecture, drawing, and actually metal crafting skills, but having the opportunity to see how all of this translates in the real world is an invaluable part of the summer internships.
And what is it Joe actually does for the dam you may ask.... he uses a really long rake to clean the grates... Great work to have an apprentice around for! (Joe: hey, I turn knobs sometimes!)