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June 13, 2024 4 min read

In Episode 19 of the "Ol' Boy Podcast," Chad Ward welcomes Jen Phillips, a remarkably talented metal sculptor and welder, whose story is as inspiring as her intricate art pieces. Jen Phillips, the powerhouse behind Metal Monkey Design Co., shares her fascinating journey from mastering welding techniques to creating monumental art pieces, all while balancing a full family life. This blog post delves into Jen's journey, the nuances of her trade, and the vital lessons she has learned along the way. 

From The First Spark: Discovering Welding at a Young Age 

Jen Phillips’ passion for welding ignited at the young age of 15. As she shared with Chad, she found an immediate spark in the art and focus that welding offered. Her early start laid a solid foundation, propelling her towards obtaining her Red Seal certification at merely 21 – the highest trade certification in Canada. This prestigious qualification underscores her technical prowess and opened numerous doors in her career. Initially working in the pipeline industry, a male-dominated field, Jen faced and conquered the challenges of gaining respect and recognition from her seasoned counterparts through sheer competence and dedication. 

Evolving as an Artist: From Structural Welding to Sculptures 

Jen's skillful transition from welding to creating artistic pieces is a narrative of passion meeting perseverance. After starting her family in 2019, she sought a balance between her passion for welding and her desire to be present at home. Turning her creative vision into reality, she started crafting art pieces in her garage. This evolution saw her move from structural welding to creating one-of-a-kind sculptures, including recent commissions capturing global attention, such as her work associated with the "Planet of the Apes" movie series. Her unique pieces also feature prominently in charitable fundraisers, blending her love for art and the outdoors. 

Masters of the Craft: The Importance of Tools 

A crucial aspect of Jen’s work is her expertise with tools. Starting with basic equipment – a welder, hammer, and angle grinder – she honed her skills to master nuanced metalwork. Over time, she incorporated advanced tools like the English wheel from Bailey Industrial. Despite these advancements, Jen emphasizes the significance of mastering basic tools, maintaining that foundational skills are essential even when new technologies emerge. Her understanding of these tools not only showcases her technical finesse but also reflects her commitment to continuous learning and evolution. 

Conquering Creative Challenges 

One of the standout moments in the podcast was Jen recounting her Texas trip and the subsequent challenge of completing a commission by working an astounding 120 hours in five and a half days. Her unyielding dedication echoes throughout her story, with her work ethic leading to breakthrough opportunities. The project for 20th Century Studios is a testament to her ability to deliver under pressure, creating art pieces for high-profile events with stringent deadlines. 

A Balancing Act: Career, Family, and Art 

Jen’s journey has been a balancing act between her professional aspirations and family responsibilities. As Chad Ward reflected during the podcast, finding this balance is an ongoing challenge for many. Jen’s story is particularly inspiring as she pivoted her welding career to fit her evolving lifestyle post-motherhood, epitomizing adaptability. Her graceful navigation through these dual realms showcases how passion and priorities can coexist harmoniously. 

The Social Media Equation: Promotion and Protection 

Like many modern artists, Jen has harnessed the power of social media to promote her work. Despite initial slow growth and challenges posed by algorithms, Jen's headdress video amassed over 7 million views, highlighting the viral potential of compelling content. However, social media is a double-edged sword, with positives such as enhanced reach often marred by issues like design imitation and negative comments. Jen’s approach to this digital dilemma involves keeping certain trade secrets private while still engaging her audience meaningfully. 


Jen Phillips’ journey, as discussed in this episode of the "Ol' Boy Podcast," is a testament to the blend of technical skill, artistic vision, and personal grit. From her early days in welding to creating intricate sculptures and balancing family life, her story underscores the power of following one's passion. Whether through her trailblazing in a male-dominated trade or her astoundingly detailed art pieces, Jen Phillips stands as a beacon of excellence and inspiration, demonstrating that with passion and perseverance, one can indeed create masterpieces.  

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"I was 18 years old when I got my first outcome job. And, I mean, it was intimidating as hell, to say the least."— Jen Phillips 

3 Fun Facts About Jen Phillips  

  1. Jen Phillips created a fish replica for her friend's wedding using taxidermy techniques and different metals, showcasing her versatile skills.
  2. Jen delivered a custom-made alien artwork to Joe Rogan, highlighting her connection with the famous podcaster.
  3. Jen worked 120 hours in five and a half days to complete a project for a movie premiere, demonstrating her dedication and work ethic.

Where to Follow Jen Phillips