Meet Kendra Plumley

Meet Kendra Plumley, Apprentice

Interview by Jenny Sparks, Client Relations Manager

Name, and could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Kendra Plumley, I’ve been living in Providence for 12-15 years, mostly bartending, making art here and there. 

What’s been your favorite thing about this program? 

I’ve really enjoyed learning all the techniques and tools and how to actually work in a shop but also learning how to collaborate with different artists on different projects. I like the hands-on experience and navigating the new material (steel) that I’m working on. It’s been really great learning from actual creative types who are using these things, and not just learning how to weld. 

What is your favorite project that you’ve worked on? 

Well, I’ve been working on the trailer for the Providence river project, so that’s been really cool because it’s a combination of blacksmithing and welding, and also working off of an idea or design, and translating it into the material (steel). And John and Elsa have been super great to work with, communicate, and collaborate with! 

What’s something new that you learned? 

Well, pretty much anything involving metal is new. So yeah, having lots of practice with welding and measuring, designing, and the tools. It’s all been very new and very exciting! 

What are your hopes for your future? 

Shovel in front of the small business! (Hah) But no, I hope to continue to pick up new practices, keep growing. I am fortunate to have had the time off right now to invest in myself personally. I’m really excited about fabricating and working on more projects hopefully with The Steel Yard and independently. 

Any advice to people who may be interested in this program?

I would say, if they have the ability to take the opportunity that they should. I think there are a lot of different aspects that the field lends itself to, and it was really nice to be at The Steel Yard, which is a creative endeavor. There are a lot of different options and opportunities for people in the field, and it gives a nice balance of what direction you want to take the skill that you learn. 

Some fun, rapid fire questions: 

Favorite Food

Oh man! Too many! I love Korean food. So primarily, anything fermented and spicy. 

Favorite Book

Too many. I have a lot of books that I haven’t finished, but I’d have to say this book on Mexican modernism- seemingly pretty relevant the last 4 years. 

Favorite Movie

Depends on the mood. Groundhog day currently, relative to this year. 

Favorite Artist/Maker/Inspiration at the moment

Nick Cave. They’ve been doing these really intense sound suits.  I also really enjoy all their work

Favorite tool

Well, the angle grinder!

Anything else you’d like to share with our newsletter readers?

um, no. I’ll give them space instead. I do appreciate the opportunity I had at the Steel Yard. It seems like a really great adaptation to the program, and I hope it will continue to be offered to folks.

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