Today we’d like to introduce you to Virginia T Coleman.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Virginia. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am a native to Colorado and an active artist in the Denver art scene. I have been a member of Next Gallery for six years.
I come from an art background. I studied architecture and received my Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) in Figurative Painting. Steel and welding was not on my mind when I was younger. In fact, I had never welded a single thing until I was 28 years old. It was my MFA Director who told me he thought my forte was going to be in sculpture, particularly in metal sculpture.
That was a tipping point in my life. He was correct. The moment I started working with metal, I fell in love. After my MFA, I moved to Tulsa to attend welding school and started working with different welding companies. I worked on giant wind turbines to welding airplanes parts for Lockheed Martin. I pushed myself to learn all there was to learn related to metal fabrication.
I have now worked as a professional welder for ten years. I blend my passion in art, architecture, sculpture and metal fabrication into every piece I create. Three years ago, I started my own company, Virginia T Coleman Custom Designs, LLC, because people would ask me to fabricate things for them, but I was tied to a 9-5 job. I wanted to be free to weld what I wanted and make custom pieces for people.
Nowadays, I do a myriad of things with metal from custom architectural railing, range hoods, steel glass walls, furniture and of course my first love art. My artwork ranges from abstract sculptures, painting, and large-scale murals.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I believe that people never stop learning and I know that has been true for me. I have learned a lot from the different welding companies I have worked for, but starting your own company and sending out quotes for projects has come with new challenges and struggles along the way. I jumped into creating and running my own business without ever attending one business class in school, and some learning curves have been thrown at me, for sure. I like to push my creativity and my welding ability, which has allowed me to design and build things I have never done before. Although creating something new for the first time is exciting, it can also mean hours of design work and often hours of rework. With every project, I learn something new. Everyday is different. In the morning, I can be designing a custom railing and by the afternoon I am painting a large-scale mural.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Virginia T Coleman Custom Designs, LLC story. Tell us more about the business.
My business specializes in custom metal work. I have built a name for myself in the spectrum of custom steel railings and wood handrails, but I do not define myself as just the female welder who makes steel railings in the Denver area. Basically, if you can dream it, I can fabricate it in metal. I have also made steel kitchen tables, steel bookcases, a metal rocking chair, metal plant holders, and the list goes on. I also combine painting with metal and have painted on metal and mirrors for abstract metal art. Another product I make that is unique to me is three-dimensional skylines. They are an amalgamation of all the facets of my personality and truly one of kind art pieces. They are a mixture of metal and paint and can be hung on walls.
I take great pride in the actual act of welding. You need eye-hand coordination – a steady hand and patience. I find great beauty in the art of it and want every weld to reflect that beauty. I notice each weld and a series of beads and to me, that is true craftsmanship.
I believe that is what sets me apart – the attention to detail and pride in the craft of welding. Each project I do is a work of art.
When I tell people I am a female welder, most people think it is a job for just ‘men’. Being a woman in the industry is certainly something different. There are not many women welders and therefore I stand apart from the ‘men’. When I tell people the path I took to become a professional welder, people are surprised, because they assume that I just have a welding degree and not an additional Bachelor in Architectural Design and a Masters in Fine Arts. Fusing my degrees and experience together is unique. My art is unique. Many people tell me that they can tell a Virginia T Coleman original, and that brings a smile to my face.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck. I am lucky. Lucky to have had so many people along the way guide me and assist in my progress. Most of my business has come from people I have met along the way and referrals. Which speaks to the quality and love I put into my work. Life is about taking chances and reaching past what you thought was possible to leave your mark on the world. I am lucky that my job is my passion and my passion is in welding.
- Address: Virginia T Coleman Custom Deisgns, LLC
1375 High Street 504
Denver, CO 80218
- Website: www.virginiatcoleman.com
- Phone: 3039184325
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @virginiatcoleman
- Facebook: @virginiatcolemancustomdesignsllc