FULL SPEED AHEAD
When Melanie Seidl enters a room, the energy level rises within seconds. Strong, successful, self-determined – these traits are embodied in the European stonemasonry champion 2012 as in hardly anyone else. “Even as a small child I was a true craftswoman,” says Melanie. “When I was ten years old, I was given a wood carving tool. And a pack of sticking plasters as well. “ I’d taken the first step in my career… it was just the material that changed. “Wood was not my thing. The first time I heard iron slam onto stone, I knew it was for me. And to this day, the sound of my work is music in my ears,” she says.
Whether working on the Pegasus fountain in front of the Mirabell castle, St. Stephan’s Cathedral in Vienna or a creative garden design for private customers – the self-employed stonemason finds the variety in her trade particularly enjoyable. “There’s a preconceived idea that stonemasons only make gravestones. I want to do away with that notion for good. Yes, gravestones are part of our job, but only a small one,” says Melanie, who spends her summers on an alpine pasture near Salzburg, where she runs a mountain hut.
What has been one of the most extraordinary experiences of her career? “I worked with a former boss to craft a designer table for the Masterpieces exhibition in London. That was an awesome adventure,” she recalls. The only greater adventure was winning gold at EuroSkills 2012 in Belgium: “You really have to see a competition like this to understand just how promising our young people are, and with them the future of the various trades and skills. Strong determination, hard work and perseverance throughout your career are the foundation for personal happiness. Of course, my job can be very physically challenging at times. But when I look at what I’ve crafted at the end of the day, and am able to feel proud of it, then that’s the best reward ever. That’s the spirit that unites as at EuroSkills.”
FOLLOW MELANIE …
… on her way to EuroSkills 2020 in Graz. The European stonemasonry champion takes you behind the scenes of exciting events, shares her personal tips and tricks for the competitions and offers interesting insights into her everyday life. Whether on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or in the brand-new We are Skills app, you can be part of EuroSkills in Graz and enjoy the unrivalled spirit of the European skills championships with a touch of Austrian flair!