Dec 4, 2017
Guest Intro paragraph
This week I’ve got Evan Wilson from Austin, Texas who is the
program director for the blacksmith shop at this nonprofit
community organization called Mobile Loaves and Fishes. The
Community Forge & Woodshop empowers their community of homeless
members to engage in the creation of timeless crafts while also
earning a dignified income. Through blacksmithing, woodworking and
a range of other projects, the men and women in this Community
Works program become part of a restorative journey toward social
contribution, financial stability and a mastery of handcrafting
Their craftsmen and artists receive 100% of the profit from the
sale of their products, enabling them to become more settled and
experience greater stability in Community First! Village. They also
encounter a greater sense of purpose, healing, and friendships —
foundational components of life that every person needs and
What We Talked About
- Evan talks about his experience being a striker for Claudio
Bottero at the Florida Artist Blacksmith Association in October
2017, “like drinking from a fire hose”.
- Mobile Loaves and Fishes is a nonprofit organization in Austin
that started 19 years ago, they help feed and cloth the homeless
- The organization decided to build their own RV park to house
the homeless and start a community centered program on 27 acres
with 250 housing units.
- Within the community they have programs for the members to
attend and learn form such as: animal husbandry, ceramics, glass
blowing, leatherwork, painting, woodworking and blacksmithing.
- These programs provide a way to learn how to earn a dignified
income, alternative economy. The community has a market and gift
shop where they sell the wares of the members.
- Evan talks about his nonprofit background and how he worked for
one in Afghanistan teaching English and helping with a Maternal and
Infant Mortality program.
- He mentions his “Metal Mother” Dawn Raines (the Welding and
Blacksmith director at Austin Community College) who taught him a
lot in the beginning of his blacksmithing venture. Haley Woodward
is another mentor he mentions who took him under his wing and
helped a tremendous amount in building the community blacksmith
program at Mobile Loaves and Fishes.
- Evan has now taken the reins of organizing the Austin Forging
Competition that started in 2010. It used to be held at the Austin
Forging Authority (Haley Woodward and Colby Brinkman’s Shop) and in
2015 Evan mentioned they should hold it at the community Works
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