Joel Tarr: Blacksmith
In May 2016, we produced a number of side projects to test the capabilities of the Sony PXW-FS7, which is our current camera of choice. A few years ago, before I joined No Magnolia, I made a video for my friend Joel Tarr, a self-taught blacksmith from Kent. Since then, he’s come on leaps and bounds in his trade and I thought this would be a great opportunity to make a new version in his current workshop.
Joel’s story is an interesting one. We met at university way back in 2004 and worked together on a few projects there. He seemed to have a very promising future in film and television production ahead of him, but had to put it all on hold when he fell ill towards the end of the course. Sadly, Joel had developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as a result of food poisoning.
Due to the nature of his condition, Joel had to leave that world behind and create opportunities for himself. With an interest in metal work, he began to teach himself how to forge iron. Using a forge made from a car break drum, a hairdryer as an air blower, and a scrap bit of RSJ as an anvil, Joel began his journey from amateur blacksmith to profiteering metal artist.
In 2013, Joel was scouted to take part in ‘Monty Don’s Real Craft’, a TV series which aired in 2014, which gave him access to some expert mentoring from leading professionals in the industry. Since then, he has built up his career and now works from a large workshop on the Godinton House estate in Ashford where he takes commissions, sells unique items and offers lessons to anyone interested in blacksmithing.