At the age of 15 Will began a blacksmithing apprenticeship at industrial blacksmith’s Forgemasters Australia in Kurri Kurri NSW. Four years later he was qualified with a dual trade, blacksmith and boilermaker. Following this Will embarked on extensive journeyman travels overseas working with some of the most accomplished and creative blacksmiths in the United Kingdom, Europe, Russia, Ukraine, the USA and Japan. During these travels, he worked on large Architectural commissions, heritage restoration and contemporary sculpture as well as participating in many international blacksmithing events. In 2009 Will set up his workshop in the Hunter Valley NSW where he designs and makes bespoke items and collaborates with other artists and designers to produce individual works of art. He continues to learn and expand his practice. Most recently he completed a Bachelor of Arts (philosophy) with distinction from the University of Newcastle. Also, undertaking study in botanical illustration and design, and artist residencies In Australia and the USA. A few years ago Will was invited as a Master Blacksmith to design and lead the making of part of a large collaborative WW1 Peace Monument in Ypres Belgium. Will’s work is exhibited throughout Australia and internationally and he has completed many significant public art projects throughout NSW and the ACT.
"There is great allure in the idea of working within the remains of industrial works. As an apprentice I worked in a large old industrial complex and in my travels as a blacksmith have spent time in many similarly gigantic practical and beautiful spaces. There is a particular almost sublime Lilliputian element about unseemly large buildings filled with pipes and machinery often so specialised and particular my imagination can only move to the magical and the unlikely. The Liddell power station holds this allure of the gargantuan and unfamiliar. There is also the added element of it being in my own backyard and representing contentious political and social issues of the present. Issue that for better or worse shapes our futures. I want to lean into that and be part of the story of this place."
My project is to understand the history of Liddell and observe its current material reality. Then interpret these understandings in real objects which connect the often hidden action of material (eg. pipes resisting steam pressure and transporting liquid, combustion inside closed furnaces, invisible electricity in wires, the indistinct haze of emissions) with the action both perceivable and appreciable to human viewers. To do this using the craft of blacksmithing, a process with many parallels with Liddell’s act of burning coal to produce power.