What do you do?
Jay Abbott

Where do you work and what is your title?
       I am the owner/operator and sole employee of Iron Impressions Welding.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
       I fabricate custom iron/ steel railings, fences, gates and window dressings, and also do special projects as requested. It is quite amazing, all the work that goes into a single piece of custom iron product. It usually takes from three to four weeks for an average-size job depending on how busy it is at the time, and a larger fence job could take up to three months or more. As the only employee in the company, I stay busy with all the responsibilities of running a business, except for the accounting and a lot of paperwork that my wife Frozie helps with.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
       I have been in this line of work for 15 years now, doing jobs around the city and often on the Westside.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
       Quitting time… what's that? I enjoy what I do so much, quitting time is like a long break until I can get back to it again. What I enjoy most is replicating the antique ironwork that is all around us here, especially in the Westside and downtown.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
       If anything I would like to have more space to work in. The shop is very small and crowded with all the equipment it takes to do this type of work. A lot of very big projects have had to be squeezed out of our little shop, and as you might imagine I'm being squeezed at the same time!
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
       Pricing jobs can also be a challenge, I do OK probably 85 percent of the time, but sometimes I find out what some of the other companies are bidding to do the same job and it seems like I'm giving the stuff away.
What makes working on the Westside special?
       Working on the Westside is special because the people are special. There seems to be more of a sense of community, and concern for preserving value and historic presence in the neighborhoods.

“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.