Young Artist in the Durango Community

2/12/2021

Ben Rodgers, a local community member of Durango has been utilizing the Maker lab to create art and positivity. He uses recycled items and community space to create knives and other pieces of functioning art.

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I'm Ben Rogers.

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I'm 19 years old.

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I'm living in Durango, Colorado right now.

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And I'm a blacksmith and metalworkers.

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The main thing that I'm doing right now.

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We are sitting in the maker lab right now,

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which is where I do all of my work out of.

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It's a really awesome

space, member driven.

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Allows a pretty sweet opportunity

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for anybody who doesn't have access

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to a shop like this of their

own to come use this space.

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So we're sitting in the

metal shop right now,

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which is where I spend most of my time.

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My main bread and butter,

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I guess I could say, is

the forge and the anvil.

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These are like my

definitely favorite tools

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to use in this whole space.

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And that's how I move

the bulk of the metal.

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And then a lot of the

refining work I do with files,

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some of the grinders.

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The only teacher I've had is the internet

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and trial and error.

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I've pretty much learned it all on my own,

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which has been a super,

super fun and rewarding.

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I like using reclaimed

materials for a lot of reasons.

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I love the features that

some pieces will have,

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I love the sustainability aspect of it

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and the price is very, very nice.

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You can get pretty

infinite amount of metal

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out of things like leaf

springs from a car or coils.

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And most of the time you

can get that for free.

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Exotic woods can be pretty

unsustainable to like harvest,

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but if I can get little chunks of it

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from projects that other

people have done secondhand,

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what most people would see as trash,

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it's pretty cool to be able to turn those

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into accent pieces on a knife

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or on any other project I'm working on.

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My main goal is just

dialing in my like craft.

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Cause as much as I want to get

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a ton of pieces into people's

hands as fast as possible,

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I'm really trying to focus on

the basis of this is the craft

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and is all the details

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and hand work that goes into all of it.

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So the goal is just to keep

learning piece by piece

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and keep enjoying it because I do.

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This is such a playful space for me.

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Just keep learning and loving the process.

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