Jordan Pippin of Steel N Glory doesn’t just make cute accents for home décor — he makes bona fide art that will stand the test of time
Sparks flying, machines whirring, rock music blaring — welcome to Steel N Glory in Berlin, where proprietor Jordan Pippin comes up with custom-crafted steel creations that are built to stand the test of time. And that’s the point.
“I feel like we live in a Walmart era, and it’s just to fill the landfill,” said Pippin, 34. “To make something that can truly outlive myself, I appreciate that a lot. It’s 10-gauge steel. It’s an eighth-inch thick. Twenty years from now, it’ll still
Pippin has shown a strong work ethic from a young age. When he was 10, he started as a beach stand helper on weekends. Sometimes, his father, who had a local barbershop, connected him with other odd jobs to make extra cash. Jordan lost his father at age 19. “Before he passed away, he told me, if I don’t get into college, get into the trades,” he said. After a stint at community college, he started his own plumbing business at age 22.
But along the way, his spark of interest in welding grew brighter, starting with a 1968 Triumph motorcycle. He was fascinated with it, and started taking apart the bike to customize it. That led to his buying his first welder, which he used for hobby projects and side jobs over the years.
Jordan eventually realized he didn’t want to be a plumber forever, and welding took hold of his imagination. About four years ago, he went to school for welding in Wilmington. He started doing some research on buying his own CNC (computer numerical control) plasma cutter.
By the end of 2017, Pippin officially shut down his plumbing business to launch Steel N Glory. He’s focusing his fabrication business on commercial work, including signs, construction projects, and trophies. The work is mostly computer-based; he can easily transfer a customer’s design into a digital image that he’ll seamlessly send to his plasma cutter.
“To take a sheet of raw steel, and create a custom sign, or even metal art, is very rewarding,” he said. “It’s fun working with people when you have the ability to do things completely custom. You can learn more about their business, or more about the individual getting the gift, it makes it more enjoyable.”
Today, in the lobby of his workshop (where you’ll also find that ’68 Triumph) amazing steel silhouettes line the walls: rustic cowboys on horseback, a trio of pelicans in flight, a serene ocean sunset. And yet, incredibly, Pippin doesn’t consider himself an artist.
“If someone wants to call me one, I won’t be offended,” he said. “I consider myself more of a craftsman than an artist. There are so many incredible artists throughout [Berlin], I have a hard time considering myself that. I have no artistic talent with a pen and paper.”
Interior designer Tiffanie Adkins disagrees. Jordan fabricated interior and exterior handrails for her new home, where construction was recently completed in West Ocean City.
After working with Steel N Glory, Adkins added that she expects home clients in this area will seek out Steel N Glory for their new construction, so that the end result isn’t a standard builder-grade home, but instead offers a more customized look.
“He is an artist. I gave him pictures of my design and he made them all come to life,” Adkins said. “He was wonderful to work with. Always up to the challenge, always approached everything with a great attitude, always had a smile on his face when he came to deliver. His talents are just beginning, as far as the scope of things he can do.”
STEEL N GLORY
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