Blacksmith / Maker of the 8ft Project's 19th Century Metal Cello
Michael Merillo is an American who has lived in the UK for the past decade. Initially, Michael studied for a Masters in Arts & Festival Management in Edinburgh, where he subsequently worked the festival circuit for a few years before landing a job at Scottish Book Trust, Scotland’s leading agency for reading and writing. It was there that he had his first encounter with blacksmithing. In the gardens was a three-meter tall copper cockerel statue forged by Ratho Byres Forge that needed some repairs. While investigating this, Michael noted that Ratho Byres Forge offered weekend courses in blacksmithing. He casually mentioned this to his wife. Anything to do with making has always interested Michael, who regularly took woodworking and illustrating classes. In 2014, as a birthday gift, Michael received one of those weekend courses, and since then his interest and passive for blacksmithing and metalworking has only grown. He completed his City & Guilds Forgeworks course at Scotland’s Rural College (Oatridge Campus) in early 2015, then moved to Hereford to attend the two-year Extended Diploma in Blacksmithing and Metalwoking at the National School of Blacksmithing. Since moving to Hereford Michael has competed in blacksmithing competitions at the Three Counties Show, was a flag-bearer for the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths during the Lord Mayor’s Parade, and won the 2015 Student of the Year Award.