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TAFE NSW sparks passion for lost art


TAFE NSW sparks passion for lost art

TAFE NSW Alumni Matt Mewburn is helping to revive the lost art of blacksmithing – using skills he gained while studying at TAFE NSW.

Matt started forging when he was 16 years old, but was lured away from the furnace to a career in electronics. He felt a strong desire to ‘get back on the tools’ and enrolled in the TAFE NSW Certificate III in Engineering - Fabrication Trade (Blacksmithing) to hone his craft and forge a new career path.

Matt said, “I missed working with my hands and knew that TAFE NSW could offer me an outlet to do that. I didn’t originally intend for it to be a career change but the quality of the training gave me confidence that I could take the skills I learned and start a business doing something I loved.”

Matt eventually co-founded Eveleigh Works at the Eveleigh Locomotive workshop in Sydney. The 130-year-old space houses the most significant collection of Victorian blacksmithing machinery in the world and in the height of it’s day held 5000 to 6000 employees forging, heat treating and building steam locomotives.

TAFE NSW teacher and Sydney blacksmithing legend, Lindsay Cole, said the art of blacksmithing was experiencing a renaissance due to energetic young entrepreneurs like Matt.

“You can see there is a huge interest in lost arts like blacksmithing as people turn away from mass produced goods and consumerism in favour of sustainability. We train apprentices who work for railways, create custom metalwork for homes all the way to sculptural artists.”

“What we offer at TAFE NSW is the real deal – because it’s a Certificate III in Engineering with a Blacksmithing pathway you really learn the key engineering components that are essential to crafting a sturdy product.”

Matt Mewburn now shares his blacksmithing knowledge in his new position and urges anyone with an interest to check out what TAFE NSW offers.

“I learned job-specific industrial metalworking skills at TAFE NSW that are offered by very few places, not just in Australia but around the world. My industrial training is the perfect foundation to make sure that the products that we build is not just aesthetically pleasing, but also structurally and technically sound.

“The training I received at TAFE NSW is without a doubt the best available to anyone considering a career in blacksmithing. We give people a taste of what the craft is like here at Eveleigh Works but we always recommend they complete their trade qualifications at TAFE NSW if they are serious about pursuing blacksmithing as a career.”

“The calibre of the teachers at TAFE NSW is second to none. My blacksmithing and welding teachers all had enormous amounts of knowledge and on the job industrial experience. That coupled with the fact that we were learning in a purpose build blacksmiths shop with trade specific machinery and tools made the practical learning experience very enjoyable.”

To learn more about the Certificate III in Engineering - Fabrication Trade (Blacksmithing) at TAFE NSW head to or phone 131 601.

Media contact: Alice Dalley, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, email, mobile 0402 528 210.