Son of Odin Iron Works
Michel was born in Havana, Cuba in 1971. He lived with his mother and sister, and they struggled to get by on $25 a month. At the young age of 11, with no other place to live, Michel began working as a volunteer firefighter to earn room and board. He went on to join the Cuban Military’s Special Forces unit, protecting their government, and after four years of services, returned home with aspirations to move to the United States someday.
He was introduced to a local ornamental welder and worked with him to learn the trade. Carlos started by making window boxes and gates and selling them on the black market. In Cuba, it was illegal for him to work outside of government approval or to own his own welding business, but he was willing to take the risk to pursue his craft. He worked from the roof of his apartment, transporting materials to the top of the three story building with a rope and pulley. Without any modern equipment, he formed his pieces by hand. He sold his ornamental ironwork for pennies just to make ends meet and dreamed of a life in the USA where he could pursue his passion for art and business without having to hide it.
In August of 2012, Michel had the opportunity to move to Pittsburgh. He fell in love with the city of steel and it’s beauty, and worked hard to adapt to so many new things in this country, particularly the modern welding equipment that wasn’t available in Cuba. He also learned English by watching YouTube videos and practicing with friends. Feeling hopeless at times and working minimum wage jobs to make ends meet, Michel was still struggling to find the American way. Fortunately, he met a friend, another artist who helped him to believe in himself. They fell in love and she encouraged him to follow his dreams and to pursue his artistic talents through ornamental ironwork. Together they created Son of Odin Iron Works, LLC a business that enables Michel to construct artistic iron work without limitations, for homes and businesses across the Pittsburgh region and beyond.