Will Maguire is one of very few contemporary blacksmiths in Australia. Working with hot steel, forging and manipulating it, striving to create beautiful and genuine new forms. He brings blacksmithing into the 21st Century, with a combination of striking contemporary design whilst keeping the integrity of the craft intact with his use of traditional skills learnt from masters overseas.
I am a blacksmith based out of country New South Wales. Initially, I trained as an industrial blacksmith before travelling and working overseas for many wonderful contemporary smiths. Since then I have studied botanical drawing at the University of Newcastle and hold a keen interest in design. For over ten years now I have worked on a beautiful property from an old converted dairy in the Hunter Valley.
Will’s work has an individual depth, texture and feeling embedded in it creating iron with personality.
The idea of blacksmithing is steeped in myth and history but essentially as a skill-based craft. The tangible shaping of hot metal with the craft of blacksmithing forms a medium for expression through sculpture. My attachment with iron is not clear, it provides a real permanent directness while being soft and eminently pliable while hot. This combination continues to be tantalizing and, at its best, ultimately rewarding.
SOLO EXHIBITIONS 2020 Leaning in to Letting Go, traffic jam galleries, Sydney
2017 Journey of Expectations, traffic jam galleries, Sydney
2012 Blacksmith Reflecting Japan, Manning Regional Gallery, Taree
2012 Iron With A J, Watt Space Gallery, Newcastle
2011 Perpetual, Watt Space Gallery, Newcastle
GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2021 Measured Making – #150mm challenge, Appalachian Center for Craft, Tennessee, USA.
2020 Meta-Formations, Houston Centre for Contemporary Craft (USA), Texas, USA.
2020 Sculpture in the Vineyards, Wollombi, NSW, Australia (also 7 times since 2010)
2019 Meta-Formations, Appalachian Center for Craft, Tennessee, USA.
2019 Swell sculpture festival, Gold coast, QLD, Australia.
2019 Discovery Fe26, The Glass house, Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia.
2019 North Sydney Art Prize, The Coal Loader, North Sydney, NSW Australia.
2019 Sculpture on the Farm, Forsterton, Dungog, NSW, Australia
2018 Sculptures in the Gardens, Mudgee, NSW, Australia
2018 Sculpture on the Farm, Dungog, NSW, Australia
2018 Wood, metal and modern materials, Cessnock regional Art Gallery, NSW, Australia.
2018 Lake Light Sculpture, Jindabyne, NSW, Australia
2018 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, Sydney, NSW, Australia
2017 Black & White & works on Paper, Traffic Jam Galleries, Sydney, NSW, Australia
2015 Flow, Roslyn Smorgan Gallery, Footscray
2015 North Sydney Art Prize, Waverton
2014 Sculpture by the Sea Bondi, Sydney
2014 Sculptures Inside, Sculpture by the Sea Bondi, Sydney
2014 Force, Manning Regional Gallery, Taree
2014 Sculpture in the Vineyards, Wollombi
2014 Sculpture on the Greens, Kooindah Waters Golf Resort, Wyong
2013 Sculpture 2013, Brenda May Gallery, Sydney
2013 Emerging 2013, Gosford Regional Gallery, Gosford
2013 Sculpture in the Vineyeards, Wollombi
2013 Sculpture on the Greens, Kooindah Waters Golf Resort, Wyong
2012 Sculpture in the Vineyards, Wollombi
2012 Art Collector’s Choice, University Gallery, Newcastle
2012 Darling Park Exhibition, The Sculptors Society, Sydney
2012 Sculpture on the Edge, Bermagui
2011 Sculpture in the Vineyards, Wollombi
2011 Mortimore Prize, Travelling Exhibition, Dubbo, NSW & ACT
2011 Willoughby Sculpture Prize
2011 Darling Park 60th Anniversary Exhibition, The Sculptors Society, Sydney
2010 Sculpture in the Vineyards, Wollombi
2009 Makers Mark 11, Hunter Arts Network, Lovett Gallery, Newcastle
2008 Playing With Fire, British Artist Blacksmith Association, Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, UK
AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS 2018 ANU artist residency award, Lake Light sculpture Jindabyne.
2018 awarded seed funding from The University of Newcastle for Community blacksmith repair day
2018 Selected for an Artist Residency at Penland School of Crafts
2018 Selected for Stonehurst Cedar Creek Artist Residency
2018 Winner of Cessnock Regional Gallery Exhibition Award
2017 Bachelor of Arts Faculty Scholarship, University of Newcastle, NSW
2017 Artist in Residence award, Sculpture in the Vineyards, Wollombi NSW.
2016 Travelling scholarship from Artist Blacksmith Association of NSW for travel to international blacksmith event Ypres Belgium representing Australia as invited Master Blacksmith
2015 First prize for outdoor sculpture, Hunter region Botanic Gardens sculpture prize, Heatherbrae, NSW 2014 Winner of major stipend Sculpture on the greens (collaborative sculpture with Jake James, Canada), Wyong, NSW
2014 Winner for Sculpture, Dobell art festival, Rathmines, NSW
2013 Winner of major stipend Sculpture on the greens, Wyong, NSW
2013 Winner, main Prize, figurative sculpture, Maitland Art Prize, Maitland
2013 Winner Sculpture (functional) Hunters Hill art prize, Hunters Hill NSW
2012 Overall winner, Emerging Artist award, Wollombi Valley arts council, Wollombi NSW
2012 Acquisitive student prize, Art Collectors Choice, University Gallery, Newcastle university NSW
2012 First prize for Sculpture, Newcastle Emerging Art prize, Newcastle NSW
2012 First prize, The gardens sculpture prize, Heatherbrea NSW
2012 Awarded Natural History Illustration Scholarship, Newcastle University NSW
2012 Demonstrator at biennial Artist Blacksmith Association NSW event Forging in July, Kew, NSW
2012 People’s choice award and Highly commended, Maitland Art Prize, Maitland NSW
2012 Figurative sculpture prize, Darling Park exhibition, The sculptors society, Sydney Highly
2011 First prize for figurative sculpture, Maitland Art Prize, Maitland NSW Australia
2011 Winner of peer judged sculpture competion, Ironfest, Lithgow NSW Australia
2011 Presidents award, The Sculptors Society, Darling park Exhibition Sydney NSW
2011 Finalist Willoughby sculpture prize, Willoughby NSW
2011 Finalist, Mount Eyre Art Prize, Surry Hills Sydney NSW
2010 First Prize in the overall theme in ‘Artscrawl’’ exhibition in Pokolbin, NSW, Australia
2010 First Prize for sculpture, Scone Art prize, NSW, Australia
2009 First Prize for sculpture, Scone Art prize, NSW, Australia
2009 First Prize for sculpture in the Artscrawl exhibition in Pokolbin, NSW, Australia
2009 Demonstrator at biennial Artist Blacksmith Association NSW event Forging in July, Wauchope, NSW 2006 Short listed for HRATA Apprentice of the Year 2006
COLLECTIONS University of Newcastle and numerous private collections, in Australia, England, USA and Japan.
SIGNIFICANT COMMISSIONS 2020 Wedge Bench, sculptural public seat main street Branxton, NSW, Australia.
2020 Bend and stretch, 4.5m public sculpture for Wagga Wagg’s new multipurpose sport stadium, NSW, Australia.
2019 Branch bench, sculptural seat for Singleton council’s arts building, collaboration withNSW Artist Blacksmith Association, Singleton, NSW, Australia,
2017 North Wagga Pontoon, sculptural public seating, North Wagga, NSW, Australia.
2016 WW1 Cenotaph collaborative project, invited panel designer, Langemark, Belgium
2016 Sculptural bike rack, collaboration with Grace Maguire, Kingston foreshore, Canberra
2016 Tarcutta public art, Air Horn Arm pull, Tarcutta NSW Australia
2015 Steel workers Memorial, 5 tonne public art commission for ex-BHP site, Newcastle NSW Australia 2013 Joy Global Rutherford headquarters entrance sculpture, collaborative work with Jake James and the Artist Blacksmith Association of NSW
We are excited to present our opening exhibition for 2021 a group thematic show titled THE BIRDS. Participating artists present their own interpretations and responses to this subject. On a two and three dimensional level the works range from the playful and irreverent through to macabre and nightmarish. The subject is presented through a range of mediums such as steel, ceramics, acrylic and oil paint, digital, pen, ink and charcoal.