“I want to get paid to be me,” Presley Sundberg said about pursuing things she’s passionate about. For the last 15 years she’s either been working to attain that goal or enjoying its reality.
It’s a Monday afternoon and Sundberg eagerly picks up a small welding torch, adjusts her dark glasses and goes to work on a metal container that probably once held canned vegetables or fruit.
As she aims the gold and white flame to the metal, a hole is burned into a shape. Moving the torch slightly another appears and then another. Within moments she’s created a pattern down the length of the can. In this case, it resembles a tree with its top at the upper edge of the can and its branches spreading out as Sundberg works her way downward.
“This is like my Zen, my mediation,” Sundberg said about her work. It’s something she can spend a few stolen minutes doing, or lose herself in for hours.
But it’s more than that — it’s become a business. Calling it Manifest Station Studio, Sundberg concentrates her sales online. Beginning in 2014 she realized enough sales of her specialty lamps and lanterns to encourage her to continue. Last year she made $30,000, she said. She said 2018 is promising to be even bigger.