Long interested in how things work and how they are put together, Marshall has been a builder his entire life. He has often expressed some pride and fascination at being the offspring of 4 generations of engineers, the first of them being his great-great-grandfather, John Eric Forsberg, who managed a small iron works in Dalarna, Sweden in the late 1800’s. If there is something in the blood, he has inherited it.
Marshall was 14 years old when he received a small, 110-volt welding apparatus as a gift, and he began to put his imagination to work in metals. Using that first machine, he built roof racks, running boards and brush guards for his first love (a $600 Jeep Cherokee he bought in high school), as well as other constructions for paying customers. Since then, he has moved up in welding capability and skill by virtue of taking on larger and more complicated tasks in metal-working, as well as by “cross-training” – Marshall worked for the Bigelow Organ Company in American Fork, helping to produce their Opus 31, a beautiful instrument for the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago.
The exposure to a variety of jobs has given Marshall a broader sense of the range of solutions to problems. And since his early youth, he has had an uncanny ability to think in three dimensions, so “fitting things together” is an area of unusual strength for him. On a Boy Scout trip to the Wind River mountains in Wyoming, while riding in the second of two pickup trucks, he noticed that the lead truck’s rear wheel was coming out sideways – that the axle was loose. When the youth and leaders had pondered the problem for a few minutes, Marshall came up with a fix involving a 16-penny nail and a pair of locking pliers. It worked, and that’s how they drove the rest of the way to their hiking trail!
After working at a local metal shop, Marshall started a small company of his own, headquartered in the tiny garage of his newlywed apartment. He made shutters, railings, window well covers and gates that he marketed through retail outlets as well as direct to homeowners. Powder coating – the process of finishing metal by baking pigment onto the surface – has intrigued him by its quality and variety, and Marshall took the opportunity to buy a large oven to give his shop the capability of doing powder coating in-house. In 2007, he joined with his woodworking neighbor, Jeff Owens, to form a new company – Utah Wood & Iron™, LLC.
When you have a problem, whether of a mechanical, procedural or decorative nature, Marshall is a good person to turn to for a clever solution. The result may be simply sensible or delightfully original, but whatever it is, you can be assured that it will work, and work well.