Headwaters Inspired Profile: Tom Paulovits

GRAND VALLEY

BLACKSMITH, CRAFTSMAN & OWNER, WINGNUT FORGEWORKS
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“Like I was building everything for my mother”

Today at Wingnut ForgeWorks, Tom Paulovits practices the art of a blacksmith. While hand forging is almost a lost art form, it gives Tom the opportunity to design and build one-of-a-kind products that emphasize the passion for his work. His training as a goldsmith is readily apparent in the detail and precision of his finished pieces.

“I learned goldsmithing from my father. Even as I moved on to tool and die making, and then blacksmithing, my dad’s inspiration is always there,” said Tom. “For me, quality in my materials, finishes and construction are critical. I like to think of it as old-world techniques with modern joinery.”

Making both architectural and sculptural metalwork

Wingnut ForgeWorks got a real boost when Tom built a stainless-steel fireplace that was featured on the popular HGTV show House of Bryan. That caught the attention of architects and interior designers and drove word-of-mouth which lead to a big demand for architectural work.

“I enjoy the architectural work and continue to do it, but right now I’m focusing on building up the artistic side of the business,” said Tom. “I’m developing an e-commerce website to sell some of my work. I’ve also been developing a line of jewelry in stainless steel. My goal is to have my own product lines.”

Custom furniture is also on the horizon

As if Tom wasn’t busy enough, he’s also collaborating with a local woodworker to create custom furniture that combines both wood and steel. It’s another outlet for Tom’s wide-ranging creative talents.

Never sacrifice quality for speed or quantity

But whatever he’s designing and building, Tom’s priorities are clear. “I work closely with my clients to understand their vision and make it a reality. Quality lasts,” he said. “Years from now, my work will stand the test of time.”