Art by Degrees°
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About the Blacksmith

I left high school in 1981 and commenced a 4 year apprenticeship with Telecom. For the next 20 years my career covered many aspects of telecommunications maintenance, installation and training. My career highlight was the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games where I was a Team Leader for all Telstra Olympic Venues controlling the electrical power systems, I earned a Commendation Medal from Telstra for my efforts during the Games. It is this commitment that I bring with me to my other careers that I have followed since Telstra.

After Telstra I was employed by a Charitable Society Disability Workshop where we customised and developed new products to suit the ever different needs of their customers. This job was short lived, 4.5 years due to business restructures, but I developed several new processes of manufacturing and stepped up product enhancement.

After being an employee for so long, I decided to start my first business, by the name of SpeedBoar Machining, which is my core business in the area of Aged & Disability Equipment Refurbishing, Customising, Servicing, Repairs & Supply. I decided to learn Blacksmithing so I could make hydraulic press tooling required for complex bracket work on wheelchairs plus I could also then hand forge other items as required. During a visit to Ironfest, I found numerous Blacksmiths demonstrating their art. Richmond TAFE NSW also had their Blacksmith on site and they were asking for Expressions of Interest for their Blacksmithing Short Courses. I naturally signed up and that's how I caught the Blacksmithing Bug.

How we became involved with The Australiana Pioneer Village at Wilberforce NSW was by being asked to demonstrate the Blacksmith Art for their Grand Re-Opening on Australia Day 2011. We were quite unprepared for this major event, especially when we found this out 3 days prior to it re-opening! We called in a Farrier / Blacksmith friend to assist us on the day and with that in place, we hoped for the best. Since the re-opening we have demonstrated, all day, every Sunday, when the Park is open. Every so often we are away ( sometimes we can get a "stand in Blacksmith" ) from The Australiana Pioneer Village to attend other events or specialist markets.

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