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Sophie Glenn (@arcburn_furniture)

Welcome to this week's #benchmarkspotlight (formerly the #weldershowcase) - we had the opportunity to sit down with Sophie from @arcburn_furniture and talk a little shop.
If you would like to be featured in our weekly spotlight (100% FREE) and have a chance at winning one of our Grinder Hoods please send us an email to to get you scheduled in an upcoming week. These spotlights are intended to highlight your skill, your business, and your tips and tricks.  Most of all it's to have a little fun!
Enjoy and Grind On!


Name:  Sophie Glenn
Location: Reading, PA
Socials: IG: @arcburn_furniture 
Specialties:  TIG welding, sheet metal fabrication, and furniture making
Tell us about yourself - what inspired you to get into your trade? And how long?
I’ve been making steel furniture for about 12 years, and originally started making furniture through woodworking.  At the time, I found woodworking to be very difficult, and I didn’t feel a strong connection to the material.  It wasn’t until I took a metal fabrication class with Vivian Beer that I really fell in love with welding and steel as a material.  About 5 years later, I started a body of work called ‘Rust Never Sleeps’ which is a series of classic furniture designs that I recreate completely out of steel.  This enabled me to harmoniously combine my love for metal fabrication with my educational background in furniture design.
  What keeps you motivated throughout the day?
I always have music playing while I’m working, so that certainly helps me to stay motivated.
What is your favorite shop tool and why?
My angle grinder.  It’s one of the most versatile tools in my arsenal, and up until fairly recently it was one of only two tools that I owned (the other being my TIG welder).
  What's your favorite piece that you've worked on?
One of my favorites was “Black Sheep”; a chair that has a seat woven out of steel wool.  Using steel as a textile material was a fun challenge, and for me it provided a new way to think about metal fabrication as a craft.
If you could have any job as it relates to question 1 what would it be and what would you do with that?
I love the steel furniture that I make now, so I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
What BA product is your favorite and why?
I really love the ceramic resin fiber discs for my angle grinder.  They last a long time, and they work quickly.
What BA product surprised you in terms of quality - what about it set it apart from the competition?
The cut-off discs were a surprise favorite, because they last a really long time, especially compared to those bought at big-box stores. 
What tips and tricks do you have for us that might be different or eye opening for others to try with BA product?
I don’t know that this is necessarily a tip or trick, but I almost never use grinding wheels because I find that they don’t work nearly as well as ceramic resin fiber discs at grinding down welds.  I use 36 grit fiber discs to grind, then I finish with 60 grit flap discs and then 80 grit PSA sanding discs on an orbital sander.  This gets rid of big scratches and leaves a smooth surface for various finishes.
If there was one person you could collaborate with - who would it be and why?
I would love to collaborate with woodworker Yuri Kobayashi.  Her work is so beautifully executed and she is so technically skilled, and I would love to see what she and I could come up with for a collaboration.  
Do you have any advice for the next generation that you wish you had when you first started?
Be patient. The right opportunity may not be available right when one wants it.  
What are your future plans for your shop?
I recently received a grant called the Mineck Fellowship that has allowed me to make some improvements to my studio, including purchasing new tools and equipment such as a bead roller and an English wheel.  These tools, among others, are going to expand my practice and allow for a wider range of forms that I can fabricate.
Thanks for sitting with us and sharing your story with the community - is there anything you'd like to add?  
Thanks for allowing me to share my insights!


A Note From Leo
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Sophie! I love the way you make your furniture look and I couldn't help but spit my coffee when I saw the Gorgeous George! LOL
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