Direct Metal Sculpture

Create amazing garden art from metal! Take home your very own sculpture to make your garden beautiful.

Students will create plywood templates from their own designs (the tutor will have designs to use also), which are used to plasma cut steel shapes.

Make flowers, plant leaves, birds, butterflies, scrolls and many other shapes.

Assemble the parts using tack welding, to form your artwork. Then we will do some heating, hammering and bending to ‘give it life’!

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a blacksmithing course as such, however a component will certainly involve hammering red hot metal and bending hot steel. 

This course is strictly age 16+ due to safety with equipment and restrictions on forges, anvils , oxy LPG gear and plasma cutter. 

  • Full days - Monday to Friday - 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Suitable for ages 16 to adult
  • Beginner, Intermediate
  • Join waiting list

Course Info

Participants will choose either a poppy or sunflower to make. Using a laser cut steel template, they will forge texture and life into the petals, centre and stem. Then shape components prior to welding together and finish with paint, or treat to rust.
Skills gained on day 1 will allow students to embark on a more ambitious, larger project, a such as a Bird in Flight, which will take the next few days to complete. This will be a free standing garden sculpture. 
Remaining time will be spent on a smaller student designed sculpture or a forged steel rose.
Participants in this course will gain skills in plasma cutting steel shapes, forging form and texture to give ‘life’, fabrication of a graceful stand and welding components to complete their sculpture. 
NOTE: The main image for this course depicts the project you will be working on for Camp Creative.  The other images on this page depict examples of your tutors work.

Some metalwork experience is beneficial, but not essential.

Please bring the following work health & safety gear on your first day of class:

  • Enclosed shoes
  • Safety glasses
  • Riggers gloves
  • Earmuffs or plugs
  • Long sleeve cotton shirt and pants (when cutting, welding and forging)
  • Please ensure any long hair is tied up securely

Your class has an extra cost of $50 – this cost includes:

  • Consumables
  • Paint
  • Grinding discs
  • Welding rods
  • LPG gas
  • Oxygen

Mild steel sheet metal & corten (rusting) steel will need to be purchased from Colin at an extra cost.

The cost will be confirmed closer to the time, due to fluctuating metal prices. Your tutor will be in touch to arrange payment.

Colin Dray
Course Tutor

Colin Dray

Colin studied Geology at Sydney University in the 1970’s, and went on to teach Earth and Environmental Science, Industrial Arts and Metalwork at Bellingen High School.

He became fascinated with Blacksmithing and Metal Design in the early 90’s and joined the Artist Blacksmiths Association of NSW. He has continued as an active and enthusiastic member of the group, helping to promote the growth of modern blacksmithing, by attending several Conferences and Festivals in Europe and the US, and by encouraging international smiths to visit and teach Masterclasses in Australia.

He gained trade qualifications in Metals and Engineering (Industrial Blacksmithing and Welding) putting these skills to use in Artistic Blacksmithing, regularly exhibiting forged sculptures in local and regional art galleries.

He contributed sculptural pieces as part of an exhibition entitled ‘Fe26 – Discovery’ held at the Glasshouse Gallery in 2019, which dealt with the interactions and experiences that occurred between Europeans and Indigenous people when John Oxley first entered the Hastings River valley 200 years earlier.

Colin participated with an Australian team in the World Blacksmithing Championships in Stia, ITALY, in 2017, competing against teams from over 20 countries, where they won a silver medal for their sculpture “Dreaming”.

After retiring from School teaching, he has maintained his passion for the Craft of Blacksmithing and continues to forge functional and sculptural ironwork in his workshop in the forest of the beautiful Bellinger Valley. Recently he has been involved in large scale collaborative public sculptures with overseas metal artists.

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