NEW YORK — It all starts with a spark — artist blacksmith Marsha Trattner heats up a forge to 2,300 degrees to work on one of her creations at her Red Hook Studio. I visited her while she was forming a steel plate into pie pans, which she can typically sell at craft shows and online.

Trattner has run her business, She-Weld, for more than two decades. When the coronavirus pandemic hit the five boroughs, classes at her studio, plus the ones she teaches at the School of Visual Arts, came to a halt. Craft shows where she sells her wares were all canceled. After rebounding from her studio being destroyed by flooding after Super Storm Sandy, she feared that the business she worked so hard to build was coming to an end.

What You Need To Know

  • Marsha Trattner started her business, She-Weld, more than two decades ago

  • For months, she wasn't able to teach classes at her Red Hook Studio or at the School of Visual Arts

  • Sales of her metal creations were hurt by the cancellation of craft shows

  • Trattner resumed teaching small group classes in November and is building an inventory for when craft shows eventually come back

"It was sort of like I just had to figure out, am I going to shut down? Am I going to move? Am I going to just try and make it through it?” said Trattner, who said she felt the path of least resistance was just to stay and figure it out as long as she could. 

Things have been looking up for Trattner, who resumed teaching small group classes in November on weekends. Plus, after months of not steadily working on her creative expressions using metal, she's back building up an inventory for when craft shows resume and also for online sales.

"It felt so awesome to be able to come in, and this is where I belong,” said Trattner.

For more information on She-Weld, visit Marsha's website.


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