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4-H'er Feature: JD Bumgarner

 Inspiring creativity through welding

JD Bumgarner has been in 4-H since 6th grade as a member of two 4-H clubs in Clay County, the Meadow Motivators and a shooting sports club. His favorite project areas are creating pieces for the Bucket of Junk Challenge and visual arts.

“I have always been interested in designing and drawing things.  Even when I was little, I would help my Dad put things together without having to look at the directions, which is a good thing since I have trouble reading,” JD says.

JD has Cerebral Palsy, a brain injury, which makes it harder for him to process information quickly. His favorite types of classes have always been art classes, where he gets to use his creativity. And now that creativity has turned into a business.

Through JD’s Creations, JD makes creative metal art and wood products for sale. His business was born after his mom signed him up for a 4-H Bucket of Junk Challenge.

“The 4-H Bucket of Junk Challenge gave me the opportunity to discover and develop my creativity. After I made my first piece and showed it to my parents they were amazed. I had never welded before my first Bucket of Junk 4-H spin event,” said JD.

4-H helped JD learn more about welding, develop communication skills when meeting with judges and ultimately, helped him find his passion in creating art out of junk metal.

JD with "Iron Indian" sculpture
“My parents already knew that I was very creative and good at designing things on paper, but now I had a new way to be creative through welding.  I have learned that my brain works differently, which isn’t a bad thing because it helps me see and create art out of buckets of junk.  I like to think that I am giving new life to junk that would have been thrown away,” JD says.

JD’s parents gave him a welder and welding equipment for Christmas which he started to use right away. In February 2020, JD took his “Iron Indian” piece to the high school art show at Arts on Grand and it won the “Curator’s Choice Award”. That went on to be the first piece of art he sold. 

JD says he is blessed to have supportive parents who encourage and help him use his creativity. JD’s mom helps run the business part and she set up a Facebook business page earlier this spring. COVID allowed JD some extra hours to focus on welding. He says he still thinks of it more as a hobby and nice way to earn money while doing something he enjoys.

“The best part for me is that it allows me to be creative.  My favorite part is doing the designing and laying it out on the ground and then welding it together because I enjoy seeing the pieces come together,” JD says. “I've also enjoyed developing my own mission statement, which is "Inspiring others while giving junk metal new life."  I really enjoy taking the junk metal and making pieces of art that other people enjoy and are willing to buy.”

To see some of JD’s cool creations and consider ordering one for yourself, head to


A little more of JD’s story:

I came to live with my Mom and Dad when I was 27 months old as part of the foster care system.  My biological sister, Chloe and I were adopted by them a few years later.  I also have a younger brother, Nate and two beagles at home. My entire family enjoys helping me with my welding. My Mom runs the Facebook page called JD’s Creations and posts and sells my pieces there. Both my Mom and Dad help me polish and clean the pieces of junk before and after I weld them.  I’ve even taught my Mom, younger sister and brother to weld.  I really enjoy working with my family on my different projects - it has brought us all closer together. I am very blessed and thankful that I get to do what I love.


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