The program showcases the connoisseurs of craft – exceptional people who possess the knack for creating something totally resourceful and mind-blowing out of a few pieces of string and a bandsaw.
After every episode, Chattr will be speaking to the Maker who was eliminated the night before. Today we spoke to Scrap Metal Artist, Andrew.
What made you want to apply for Making It?
“One of my students sent me the flyer. I had it up on the wall for a month or two thinking ‘I don’t know about that’. And then a mate of mine in America applied for a reality show for some metalworking show over there, and I thought, ‘jeez, he’s brave’. And then over the next couple of weeks I wondered what it would be like, and eventually got enough courage to apply for it and have a crack at it. I’m 63 and new and exciting, big things are starting to thin out. I thought this is a once in a lifetime shot, I might as well have a go at it.”
What was your time on the show like?
“Fantastic. To be thrown into a group of amazing artists was very stimulating for the mind and your own creativity. I was a bit intimidated! We got there and we all checked out each other to see how good each person was – what’s the opposition like? I saw the skills of all these people both in art and other areas was just off the charts. I thought ‘what am I doing? I’m going to look terrible!’.
“But as we got to know each other, we formed a very strong bond like a family. We realised that we weren’t competing against each other, we were competing against ourselves and the object was for us to build the best thing we could. There were no prima donnas, or bullies, or anything. Everyone was very happy and we were a very strong unit because we weren’t fighting each other.”
You chose to voluntarily withdraw from the show, tell us about that?
“I had some health issues that I needed to address sooner than later. And I won’t go any more since that was my reason for leaving the show.”
What was it like creating such personal crafts for a national audience?
“That was a bit scary, you’re offering your soul up on a plate for the public to throw out or eat. So you’re very fearful. We had to do an animal that was representing us, so what you presented to the public had to be convincing that you’d put your heart into it. At the same time you didn’t want to reveal too much! For the food challenge I did myself in a bathtub, it wasn’t a very complimentary view, but it was it represented reality and the ageing process and acceptance of things as they are. That was a bit risky, it could have gone pear-shaped but I think in the end people laughed the way I wanted them to laugh at the whole idea.”
What would you say to people who don’t believe they’re crafty enough to try this sort of thing?
“You’ve got to get there to start with and once you’re there, you’ll work it out. I had no idea I could work with these other materials, steel and welding was my main business. In the show I had to work with other stuff, and it was very scary and very intimidating, but you can perform under pressure. The selection process they had was a good and sound one, that’s why the people all were able to produce some work in areas that they were totally unprepared for, and it was still of a reasonable standard. You’ve got to get there and have a go, and just commit to the plan – something will come out of your head you didn’t know was there.”
What’s next for you?
“I’ve got two public artworks that are being installed, one at Mooroopna in Shepparton and one at Jingellic. Two major public artworks, we’re just waiting on some logistic problems to be sorted out. I’m currently working on a fruit bat, it’s a private commission. On Friday, I’m jumping on a bus and I’m driving around the regions visiting my artworks – it’s like an art tour, a bit like that One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest scene when they all escape on the bus and drive around town, only I’m the bloke with the microphone! Then next year, I’ve got a commission to do a big Roman soldier who’s representing the gentleman’s father, and he’s going to be in a chariot towed by a big V8 motorbike. That’ll take me most of the year to get that one done!”