In 2016, just before his freshman year of high school, Ben Lockwood-Johnston took his first Crucible class—Youth Blacksmithing Immersion. Over the next couple of years, he explored techniques in jewelry, glass blowing, welding, and beyond, but nothing captured his attention like swinging a hammer in the Smithy.
Ben has been exposed to art-making since day one. His mother, Mandy Lockwood, is a muralist and mixed-media artist. “We always had art in the house growing up,” he shared. “I helped my mom do a mural at my elementary school. We used to play with clay a lot, glitter on everything—I’ve eaten, slept, and breathed art since I was born.” And while Ben came to The Crucible with plenty of art-making experience under his belt, blacksmithing offered him something completely new.
“When I was 14, I really liked hitting things with hammers,” shared Ben. “I was going through a tough time and I needed to get out my frustration. Blacksmithing allowed me to do that creatively. Art is therapy and blacksmithing especially so. You get the ‘I just made this’ endorphins and the exercise endorphins in one.”