We spend the day with Elisa Coakley-Koch, a self-employed blacksmith in upstate New York. In her profession, Elisa understands exactly what it means to grind it out (she literally grinds metal all day). Her story starts in Minneapolis where she developed a love of putting metal to the hammer and flame and quickly grew into a job that’s allowed her to carry out the legacy of one of the oldest professions in the world. Between the obvious dangers of the job and the hours and concentration that it takes to get the work done, Elisa’s day might be difficult and tiring but it’s what she loves to do.
"I have been in this profession for almost 20 years. Still, I'm fascinated by it."
Elisa starts every morning with a cup of coffee. She usually drinks it out of mason jar because the top fully closes while she's in the metal shop.
"You don't have to be a good at this from the start," she says about metal work, "you just have to have the right tools."
"I love how you can look at a piece of metal and turn it into anything," Elisa says about her work.
Elisa admitted that she was always obsessed with fire since she was younger. Now, she's found a way to put that love into her work.
Blacksmithing and metal work is one of the oldest trade in the world. Elisa's collection of masks, both new and old, illustrate the rich history of the job.
For more on Elisa, check out what she listens to in the shop: