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Where there's an iron will, there's a way

Don Shedlock of Manlius, his wife Colleen Dowd and their children Jamie and Lauren Dowd-Shedlock moved to Jupiter, Fla. in 1992 in search of a warmer climate, and it was there that Shedlock's passion for a hobby he picked up in Centeral New York blossomed.

He recently received an award for his skills as a blacksmith from the National Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metals Association. Shedlock was recognized at the international competition with a gold award for outstanding crafstmanship in forging exterior railings and fences.

Shedlock and his family participated in the Manlius community in many ways when they lived here from 1972 through 1992. Shedlock was a Manlius volunteer firefighter and served as president from 1985 to 87. A certified welder, he has belonged to the Ironworkers Local 60 in Syracuse since 1981 and worked on bridges and buildings across New York State.

Once in Florida, Dowd urged Shedlock to pursue his commitment to iron working and he began producing his own creations in their attached garage. With Dowd's help on the promotional end, Shedlock's handiwork was soon in demand for interior design, wrought iron furtniture and accessories. Business was so good that Shedlock and Dowd formed Steely Dan's, Inc.

Since then, Shedlock has crafted iron work for such stars as Venus Williams, tennis star, Alan Greenspan, former chairmen of the Federal Reserve, Art Modell, former owner of the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns.

Now, Shedlock participates in the Floida Artists Blacksmith Association and is a certified instructor for the Boy Scouts blacksmith merit badge.

Shedlock gives credit for his success to his first mentor, 90-year-old Robert Ossont of Sheds, N.Y.

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