A devil of a blacksmith

Darren Davies the Growling Anvil Nov 2015

A devil of a blacksmith

NOVEMBER 2015 | Joanne Eisemann

PEOPLE OFTEN commented on Darren Davies’ habit of growling while working at his forge.

“It is just the noise I make, like the Tassie Devils. Half the time they are growling but not unhappy,” comments Darren, adding, “It is how my business got its name The Growling Anvil when I began ‘smithing’ twelve years ago.”

“There was an open day for historic machinery and a working blacksmith shop in the Dandenong’s,” he explains. “I spent the whole day there, hounding the old guys to teach me.”

The story of his move from Victoria to Tasmania is a fairly common one. He was “driving to work to knock out some steel and forget about everything else when he burst into tears.

“I had a good job with the family business, good money, all the perks. I was running my own warehouse, but the money was not making me happy.  I wanted to do something else,” he shares.

Darren now lives on a bush block in Weetah and earns his living through crafting discarded pieces of metal into things people want.  Hence, he “sources metal from scrap metal yards and the tip.”

“It gives my work that extra bit of story behind it,” he adds.

He draws inspiration from the metal itself or its previous life, and strives for a blend of function and beauty, even though he picks up “any rusty bit of metal.”

He gained recognition by starting a working ‘smithy’ out the back of Deloraine Creative Studios, as an attraction to bring tourists into the building when it first opened.

From there he moved to an old garage in the town before shifting his business back home to Weetah.

With his reputation as a blacksmith thus entrenched, much of his work is commissioned, with more common items such as fire pokers and ‘s’ hooks, sold at Elf On The Shelf in Deloraine and via his website www.growlinganvil.com.au

Mike Moores