POINT TOWNSHIP, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)– One Catawissa teen is using her full-time passion as a part-time job in an all-but-forgotten art.
“It’s definitely forgotten about but the quality of the products are so much better than manufactured stuff, nowadays,” said Taylor Keller, the proud owner of TK Blacksmith.
Her shop at the Point Barn located along Route 11 in Point Township has been up and running for three months. That’s just half as long as this 16-year-old has been metalworking.
“I started over in school, I take metal shop over at Southern Columbia [Area High School],” she said. “My teacher, Mr. Meyer, taught me. It was really cool so I’ve decided to take it to the next step and do it as a summer job.”
There’s no lack of drive and determination as Taylor is the daughter of two Marines. She has improvised, adapted and overcome some early obstacles of her new found love of working around the forge. Chief among them, finding resources.
“I use a lot of steel and a lot of coal. I have coal at my house, so that’s not a big problem,” Taylor added. “The steel is the most expensive and the thing that I need the most.”
She is early in her blacksmithing career. Some of that expensive steel doesn’t cooperate over the homemade forge. That’s never an issue for too long.
“Well the stuff that goes wrong, I mainly turn into something else. I can just twist it and turn it into a wind chime, corkscrew or bottle opener,” said Taylor. “Pretty much anything, any little pieces that are scrap, I can always just turn it into something else.”
TK’s big-ticket item is a glass and bottle opener. They sell for roughly $25 and can be made in about 20 minutes–more importantly, they can be customized and have a personal touch.
While Taylor’s off from school for the summer, her schedule doesn’t let up.
“The work is pretty good. I’m mainly just here on weekends,” she said. “I haven’t been here during the week, but I’d like to.”
That’s because Taylor also works at the Coal Dock Drive-In back in her native Catawissa. Taylor’s family knows the owner.
“I think we went there to go get ice cream, one time. He said ‘would you be interested in making me a sign?’ I said ‘yeah, definitely.’ Then he said ‘would you also like a job?’ I was like, ‘yeah!'”
Young Keller is excited to keep growing the business and says her parents have been there to support her. When it comes to that business, she enjoys being the big boss lady.
“I like being my own boss because I can do what I want, when I want to. It’s the freedom, pretty much.”
TK Blacksmith is open on the weekends in the old ‘milk shop’ right off the Point Barn. You can also place orders online and check out her website.