by Lisa Tome
By day, Chuck Jamack works as a supervisor for a welding fabrication plant in Baltimore.
At night, Jamack is an artist, using his welding skills to create unique designs which now adorn the homes of customers looking for functional and fun art for their homes and yards.
Jamack, who lives in Conowingo, has worked to turn his career into a second job which lends itself for his need to be creative. "Twenty years ago I made lighthouses for family members and friends," said Jamack. Jamack is a U.S. Army veteran. He attended Airco Technical Institute in Baltimore in the 1980s, learning the welding trade.
He's also following in his father's footsteps.
Jamack's father was a welder who died in Vietnam in 1967 when Jamack was four years old. Jamack's father was reportedly welding on military equipment when he was killed.
His current list of creations includes lighthouses and waterfalls, lighthouse lamps, and custom gates. But his creations go where his and his customer's imaginations take him. "I've always done art stuff. I won second place in an art contest in high school. I've always been artistic. It comes from my mother," he said. "I like making stuff."
He recently found success and a new customer base while showing his work at a Harford County art show.
Jamack's wife, Beth, is one of his best customers and biggest fans. He created a flowing waterfall for her. She owns a hair salon and the customers enjoyed it so much that they started requesting their own. "She told me I should sell it. She encourages me to do this," he said.
As his work has gained popularity, Jamack has gained confidence in his abilities. He initially made his creations for his own enjoyment. Now he's planning it as a retirement career. He works out of a small trailer now, but plans to build a garage workshop. "I work long hours sometimes but I still fit the art in," he said.
His creations are made mostly from steel. The water features use luminized steel. He does his creations at night and on weekends. He's currently working on a custom design and octagonal fountain, for a home.
Since his art has him welding metal, Jamack has sustained a number of burns. "It's worth it when the work is complete. If I need to do something, I'll sustain a burn to get the job done," he said. And although his pieces are large, the lighthouses are nearly eight feet tall, the work is intricate with small welded pieces carefully fit together. They are also heavy and require a dolly to move them.
He's made other things, a custom bicycle rack for his truck, a truck hoist, and a customized motorcycle tag light. He is also creating custom made rocket grills. The demand for those grills has been large. Some of his art goes beyond welding. By trial and error he has learned about pumps and electrical work to power his creations. "It's mostly common sense. But not a lot of people have it," laughed Jamack.
His next goal is to work with a landscaper and build custom features for yards. "I like to make anything that people enjoy," he said.
Jamack can be reached at his business, C. Jamack's Unique Designs at 443-608-0487.