Fairless Works began as a steel plant outside Philadelphia on the banks of the Delaware river. Designed and built by my great grandfather Benjamin Fairless for US Steel, the furnaces were lit in 1952.

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My grandfather named 4 of the 9 furnaces in the Fairless factory after the women in the family: his wife Hazel and their granddaughters Caroline, Pat, and my mother Nancy.  The furnaces have since been cooled and parts of the factory have been repurposed,  but I still have one of the commemorative lighters they used in the ceremony when those furnaces were first lit.

I never did get to meet the legendary figure known in my family as Grand Pappy, but I did get to visit the plant and library before it was dismantled in 1991. What remains of the plant is now a US Steel finishing facility, and the surrounding town that once housed the steel workers still bears the family name: Fairless Hills.

Our industrial age has shifted in this country but Fairless Works lives on in Austin Texas, at a small backyard studio of Ben Fairless' great granddaughter, making handmade heritage.

I ventured into this work because I found myself wishing for some small, utilitarian items for my home that had more of a homemade feel, more of a unique design. So I started by taking a metal smithing class at Austin Community College, loving it, I dove into the Art Metals program,  learning first metal smithing and then later welding.

School lead to work at a design build architect firm where I learned more aspects of building, structural steel, and cabinetry. As time went on, I decided to take the welding and building knowledge that I have gained and go back to what initially inspired me to learn this work. I put it towards creating and making more unique pieces for the home and garden and working with clients to make their aesthetic desires a reality.

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