Prior to his death in April 2021, Jay Glazer had just begun experimenting with the production and sale of artistic metal products as part of a welding business he founded in Whitehall more than 40 years ago.
When his son Jason Glazer took over, he decided to continue expanding that creative aspect of the business.He did it not only because it respected the legacy of his late father who died suddenly Because the heart event at 62, but its artistic sensibility was rooted in him as well.
“I really enjoy the creative approach. When my dad died, it really opened up my passion for it,” Glasser said.
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During the year, Jay’s Metal Crafting artistic products (roasters by whimsical fireflies, ornate plant hangars, bottle trees) were hit at art festivals and online sales. And the up-and-coming success of that segment of the business was enough for Glasser and his team to win this year’s Columbus Art Festival booth as part of their “Emerging Artist” program.
As Jay’s Metal Crafting is intertwined with Whitehall, the growing interest in artistry is optimistic for Whitehall leaders, as the city aims to infuse the culture of the community with a creative spirit. May be filled with.
“Whitehall has always invited us so much,” Glazer said. “Whiteholes have undoubtedly played a major role in getting to where we are.”
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“We are not just welders, but artists in nature.”
When Jay Glazer started his eponymous business about 40 years ago, he focused primarily on commercial welding and repair services, including the work of fences and railings.
However, Glazer said his father often makes artistic metal objects for his family and friends. This is the creative aspect he wanted to integrate into his business.
Two years before his death, Jay Glazer and his son began regularly attending regional art exhibitions with their metal crafts.
“It has expanded to the point where more people see the item,” Glazer said.
After his father’s death, Glazer hired two childhood friends to work full-time in an inherited business. Kyla Wagner and Eric Velazquez are both 24 years old, grew up with Glasser in Gahana, and the trio (all living in Clintonville) continue to be close friends.
Velazquez and Wagner jumped at the chance to participate in Jay’s Metal Crafting. Velazquez came as his fellow welder to support the growing demand for Glasser’s work. Meanwhile, Wagner has agreed to become the marketing manager for the business, increasing its presence on social media, processing online orders from around the world, and booking art shows.
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Welding is unfolded in the unit’s obscure brick building at 4025 E. Main St., which itself hides behind two other buildings well away from the arterial road. The workshop is littered with a variety of metals and tools that surround the large table and space where Glasser and Velázquez work.
Glazer was an apprentice in welding under his father, but neither Glazer nor Velázquez have formal training from a vocational school, and both believe to be artistic and self-taught.
In addition to commercial welding work, the pair regularly makes metal wall hangings (the industry’s most artistic seller) and uses “retired barrels” from the Columbus Brewery to grill and seafood. Convert to a boiling pot.
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However, Glazer’s personal favorite is his distinctive abstract work of art, made from stainless steel and twisted wrought iron. This is the metal equivalent of a painting.
Work of art sales make up about half of business sales, but Glasser wants it to continue to grow until it becomes his main focus.
“We are essentially artists, not just welders and workers,” Glazer said. “I’m not as happy as when I’m making my artwork … I’m just alive at that moment and I absolutely love it.”
Velázquez tends to agree.
“We are two companions hanging out in the store where we make what we want to make,” Velázquez said.
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Within the past year, Glasser and his team have begun regularly attending art shows in about two regions a month under the “Jay’s Metal Studio” brand. According to Wagner, online sales have tripled in the past year, but art show revenues make up the bulk of business sales.
“Participating in art shows is part of a small community,” Wagner said. “You will be an art family community.”
The Jay’s Metal Crafting team was included in the event’s Emerging Artist program because they had never attended the Columbus Art Festival. As one of the 12 participants this year, the team was able to attend a boot camp on how to make their work publicly available. We will also be exhibiting a booth at the festival, which will return on June 10-12 along the Sai Auto River two days later. -A year break for a pandemic.
“We wanted to help artists in central Ohio explore what to do (at art shows) and develop the skills to learn,” said Greater Columbus Arts, which hosts the festival. Jami Goldstein, a spokeswoman for the Council, said. “We feel it’s important, and they can really feel what it’s like to attend an art festival.”
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For Glazer and his team, they say it will be the most prestigious arts festival they have ever done.
“Since I started making artwork, I’ve wanted to attend the Columbus Arts Festival,” Glazer said.
Whitehall City spokeswoman Megan Meyer said Jay’s recent advantage in metal crafting is in the midst of a major redevelopment project across Whitehall, attracting old and new homeowners. Encourages its leaders to find ways to embrace city artists.
The South Yearling Road mural was recently built as the first major public art piece in Whitehall, “becoming an ongoing initiative for the city to embrace local artists and show community diversity through public art. The beginning of what you want to do. “
As part of that effort, Whitehall Mayor Kim Magard has long sought to establish a community art program. According to Meyer, leaders are working with developers to incorporate public art into redevelopment projects as they become possible.
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The push encourages Glasser and his team who were interested in seeing the art scene bloom in Whitehall. Glazer said he might consider opening the first storefront of the business elsewhere in Greater Columbus within a few months, but as Jay’s Metal Crafting grows, one Things will always stay the same.
Glazer and Velázquez continue to weld in the unpretentious Whitehall building on Main Street, which his father opened many years ago.
“In his lifetime he liked to make artistic things,” Glazer said. “The direction we are taking is exactly the direction he wanted.”
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Eric Lagatta is a reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, covering public safety, the latest news and social justice issues. Contact him at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @EricLagatta