Tom developed his passionate obsession for forging and shaping metal when he was 13 years old, in Lucien, Mississippi. Following the directions in a book, he began by making knives from old sawblades, then advanced to Damascus steel. Staying in the world of metals, he worked as a machinist, tool & die maker in his 20's.
In 1980, he decided to pursue his artistic bent and make blacksmithing his full-time profession. Specializing in functional and decorative iron work, Tom participated in juried craft shows in Baton Rouge, became a multi-time award winning artist, and demonstrated at the 1984 World's Fair in New Orleans.