Ep 128 Pete Mattila “There is a responsibility with blacksmithing”

This week I’ve got Pete Mattila from Tasmania, which is off the southern coast of Australia. We talk about his shop by the water’s edge, his US apprentice journey, and his design process.

Before we get to the interview I wanted to mention today’s sponsors,

First we have the Adirondack Folk School.  It’s a non-profit school located in Lake Luzerne, in upstate New York.  The blacksmithing program at the Folk School includes 24 classes with an incredible line of blacksmithing instructors this year. To see the complete list of classes or to register, visit their website: www.adirondackfolkschool.org.

I’d also like to thank the New England Blacksmiths, the ABANA affiliate serving Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island. Who by the way will be driving the ABANA 2020 Conference in Saratoga, NY
Check us out at  http://www.newenglandblacksmiths.org/

Also They will be offering the Age of Iron weekend event at the Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, It’s happening the 1st weekend in August, 3rd and 4th.

Those interested in further details can contact Cindy Dickinson at cdickinson@hancockshakervillage.org
or DM @HayBudden on Twitter or Instagram. If you mention I’m here for the blacksmithing you’ll get an extra $5 off at the door!

Thanks NEB!

OK, let’s dive right into this interview with Pete.

What We Talked About

  • Pete first went to a technical college for welding, then he got a job as an apprentice was with an industrial blacksmith at the Ipswitch railyards in Queensland, Australia. There he forged a lot of industrial tools for mines, alloy steel forging.
  • Pete decided to go to art school and received his Bachelor of Fine art. He then received a scholarship for his master’s in fine art.
  • Pete talks about his apprentice journey through the United States, which included working with Albert Paley, Mountain Forge and included a research residency at the Metal Museum.
  • We talk about his design process which he includes 3 basic things: additive process, subtractive process and material displacement.
  • When Pete works with clients for commissioned pieces, one of the things he asks for is 3 words from the client that encapsulates what they envision.
  • About 80% of the time Pete sandblasts his sculptures first and then adds a chemical called Black Fast. Also follows up with beeswax.
  • One of Pete’s goals this year is to convert his gas forge into a veggie oil burning forge.

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