Matt Thomas, 31, will be among exhibitors at this year's
Mountain State Art and Craft Fair. Last year he won an award
for best demonstrator for his hands-on blacksmithing demonstration.

Photo by Bob Wojcieszak

By Charlotte Ferrell Smith

SHOCK - Nestled in the peaceful countryside of Gilmer County here is a business that combines woodworking and blacksmithing to form unusual pieces.

Shelves, tables, coat trees, hooks, mug holders and plant stands are handmade by Matt Thomas, who prefers to be called a craftsman rather than an artist. The scent of fresh wood greets those who enter the workshop situated next to the home he built himself.

"The main drive behind Thomas/work is my family," said Thomas, 31. "I am self-employed and my wife stays home with our children. We firmly believe that our children should be raised by their own mother, not a babysitter. To make this possible I typically work 60 to 70 hours a week."

Matt and Terri Thomas, 28, are the parents of Lauren, 4, Owen, 2, and Madelyn, 15 months.

Matt, the son of a carpenter and woodworker, grew up learning these skills. A graduate of Gilmer County High School, he studied carpentry and electrical work in the construction program at Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center.

He was only 16 when his woodwork was juried into Tamarack, where it was recognized by artist/blacksmith Jeff Fetty of Leaning Oak Forge in Spencer ...

Read the rest Gilmer County blacksmith stays busy with his craft

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