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Conversations with Matt Maher

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matt Maher.

Hi Matt, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I have always been handy and creative, which came from my dad’s side of the family. I was fascinated by watching him work on miscellaneous projects in the garage that seemed to appear out of thin air. By the time I graduated high school, I began working in the trades as a carpenter for a small home builder in Orlando, Fl. That job took me all over the state. It taught me a lot of technical skills and real-world working practices that I still use today. While maintaining a part-time position in construction and a few other odd jobs, I enrolled at Seminole State College, where I received a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design.

During that time, I interned with a local design/build company that specialized in furniture making and sculptural metalwork. My internship quickly turned to an apprenticeship and for the next three years, we worked on a plethora of projects that blended a variety of unique skills and materials. I was hooked. Once I began putting all the pieces of my past work history together, I spent the next year growing my very own fine art collection out of my rented garage space. That transition turned into what you see today. Mojo Metalworks is a brand I started out of that garage as a way to express my creative ability and provide a service to a diverse client base over a wide variety of projects in scope and scale.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Nothing worth doing is ever easy. Being self-employed was a decision that I made, knowing that their would be sacrifices and hard decisions that you have to make. It’s everything people warned me about but you don’t really know how it feels until you take that jump.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I work with metal. It can be an expensive material that requires a wide range of tooling and equipment to change its form. I originally gravitated towards metal because of it’s strength, colors/textures, longevity, and overall cool factor. I am very proud of the fish sculptures that I created early on in my career. I used salvaged metal mixed with new high polished stock to give my sculptures a contrast between colors and textures. Fish really lended themselves to the way I worked and viewed metal. My welders are my primary weapon of choice in the shop. They are the backbone of what I do. The ability to join things with electricity in a quick, strong, and precise way always fascinated me.

Do you any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
I didn’t know it’d be my favorite at the time but it’s definitely the most memorable experience of my childhood. We went on a family vacation to Minnesota (mainly because my mom had a conference there). Anyways, we went to an amusement park where they had all these wooden roller coasters and go-kart tracks, it was awesome. Well, one of these go-kart tracks was a giant trojan horse that you drove up through and around. I could resist myself. I had to do it; however, I was too short by maybe two, I didn’t hit the “must be this tall to ride” line. So my dad stuffed my boots with tissue paper and towels… He got me on the ride. Luckily it was a double cart so my sister went along with. I was in the driver’s seat though. Terrified. Frozen at the starting line. Went 20′ and started crying. Couldn’t do it. My sister switched with me and proceeded down the track while I was balling my eyes out. I couldn’t see anything, it was over in a blur but the trauma still remains.

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