Hammering out a new career

THE traditional understanding and craft of the blacksmith has been turned on its head as part of the University of Tasmania's summer school arts program.

Under the guidance of industrially-trained blacksmith and now Launceston-based sculptor Pete Mattila, the class of 16 is learning that the craft is not limited to making horseshoes or tools, but only limited by their creativity.

Having recently completed his Masters of Fine Art with first class honours at the university, Mattila ran an introductory blacksmithing course during last year's winter school.

Its popularity ensured it made a return in the summer school program.

``This unit is run almost like a laboratory investigating steel work processes, with looking at the potential of the material and the forms that develop in all that experimentation and taking that and continually pushing creativity, a lot of those pieces are starting to evolve,'' Mattila said.

Tasmanian Centre of the Arts marketing officer Ali Ward said it was one of  a small number of courses in the state that allowed people to learn about blacksmithing without having to enrol in a trade course.

--Works created during the two-week Creative Arts Summer School will feature in a pop-up exhibition open to the public on Friday, at the Academy Gallery, Inveresk. The exhibition opens at noon and runs for two hours.

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