UNOH Grad Creates Award Winning Metal Art

Posted on Friday, January 21, 2022


UNOH Grad Tom Patsis welding at Cold Hart Art

Written by Communications Specialist Georgia Beard

Tom Patsis didn’t grow up in the racing world, he became hooked after watching it on TV. Ever since that moment, Tom was fixated and never looked back.

Once high school was over, Tom traveled to Ohio from Maine to study Automotive Technology, High Performance Motorsports Technology, and Alternate Fuels with 3 of his closest friends at the University of Northwestern Ohio. Tom immediately made UNOH his home.

“Being around a bunch of car people, every class was obviously automotive related. It just was very comfortable,” Tom explained. “I'm 1,400 miles from home, and you have you and your three best friends, and then you start making more friends and they're all interested in cars. So, I think going to a school focused on exactly what you like is kind of comforting when you're 18 or 19 years old.”

Once graduation was approaching, Tom landed a job with Schumacher Racing since a past classmate was on the team. “It was kind of easy because they liked the previous quality of the students that they got,” he said. “UNOH was producing really good kids and they automatically wanted as many as they could get. When I got my job at Schumacher Racing, they already had eight people from the school.” Tom was able to get hired by simply having UNOH on his resume.

During his time working for the race team, Tom was perfecting his welding skills because a quality welder becomes an asset to teams that work with cars that travel 330 miles an hour down a track. Many hours were put into welding after work every day. Tom would build different artistic creations to practice his welding. This practice soon became a side hustle when Tom posted pictures online of his work and others started wanting to order his pieces.

Tom eventually had to choose one or the other, so in 2015 he took a leap of faith and quit a great job to pursue his own business full-time. It was bittersweet as Tom loved working for Shumacher Racing, but his company, Cold Hard Art, was able to take off.

Cold Hard Art initially started with building replicas of racecars, sculptures, and custom items. Now a large portion of the business is building trophies for NHRA, USAC, NASCAR, Red Bull, and countless others. A moment that really stands out to Tom during his career venture is when NBC Sports had Cold Hard Art create a seven-foot-tall 88 for Dale Junior when he retired at the end of 2017 at Homestead. “They did a whole video of it, where they showed the last race of the year, talking about Dale Earnhart Jr and they kept showing the creation of this giant seven-foot-tall 88 that now lives in his racecar graveyard,” Tom said. “And while they were doing that, they have video of me welding, with the Cold Hard Art logo all over. And this is the most viewed race of the entire year.” In that moment Tom realized that he surpassed the dreams he had growing up as a NASCAR fan.

Tom’s television stardom does not end there. More recently, Tom received a direct message on Instagram about a Netflix competition show needing cast members. The show name was still being figured out but they knew they needed unique metal artists, and Tom showed interest. Before he knew it, Tom was competing against seven other artists on “Metal Shop Masters”. Through the challenges and competition, Tom made friends and family with other members and did eventually come out on top being crowned the winner of the entire competition.

From a childhood NASCAR fan to a UNOH graduate and now business owner working with top tier companies, Tom’s journey to success is just getting started. Follow Cold Hart Art on Instagram and Facebook to see Tom’s next projects.

Category: Applied Technologies, Campus & Community

Keywords: Tom Patsis, Schumacher, Cold Hart Art, High Performance Motorsports

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Last updated: 01/21/2022