Ballarat blacksmith earns recognition for his passion

28 Jun 2013

Churchill Fellow Tim Bignell
Blacksmith Tim Bignell has spent years perfecting his art

Published in The Courier Ballarat News 28 June 2013
Written by Dellaram Vreeland

THERE are certain arts and crafts that are typically perceived as irrelevant today. But Tim Bignell is determined to prove that blacksmithing is not among them.

The 34-year-old Ballarat blacksmith has spent years mastering his chosen art, demonstrating how his work is not synonymous with making horse shoes.

With a bachelor of visual arts and a certificate III in engineering (blacksmithing), it wasn’t until Mr Bignell was asked to help out at Sovereign Hill’s blacksmith shop G.M. Dilges 11 years ago that he discovered his true passion.

“I worked out very quickly that I enjoyed it and I knew that this was the sort of thing I was into,” Mr Bignell said.

As well as crafting the typical horse shoe, Mr Bignell likes to think outside the box, creating objects out of the ordinary.

The blacksmith has worked on projects including staircases, cellar doors, ceiling brackets, fire grates and garden ornaments.

“Even though we have set stock we have to make at Sovereign Hill, I do enjoy it when someone comes off the street and asks if I can make something different,” Mr Bignell said.

Mr Bignell was this year awarded the Ballarat Arts Foundation VJ Award, which he said would support his professional development and allow him to travel to Europe later this year.

His travels will include visits to Italy and Ireland, as well as the Czech Republic, where he will attend Europe’s largest blacksmithing conference.

In addition to this award, Mr Bignell recently received the Churchill Fellowship, providing him with further funding for his trip.

Read more on The Courier Ballarat News website


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