Horsham blacksmith Liam Reyland, 13, looks to turn hobby into career

WHEN you hear of a Horsham blacksmith who was born at the turn of the century, you are probably not thinking of the 21st century.

But Liam Reyland, 13, uses his backyard workshop – where he has an anvil and a forge set up – to make tools and fire pokers.

Liam said he caught the bug for blacksmithing after he saw a video on the internet when he was 11.

“I’ve been doing it for one-and-a-half years,” he said.

“I just like to see the metal take form.”

The St Brigid’s College student said he was definitely the only Horsham person his age with the red-hot hobby.

His father Danny Reyland said he could be the only 13-year-old in Australia who knocked metal into shape for fun.

Liam said he was realistic about the declining nature of the industry.

“In Australia it’s definitely dying, but in America it’s a bit bigger,” he said.

He said he would consider making it a career if he was able to get his own workshop.

Mr Reyland said blacksmiths in western Victoria were already aware of his son’s budding talent.

“Cameron McIntyre at Kryal Castle was taught by James Garrett, the blacksmith who used to be in Horsham, and he said to Liam that in another couple of years he’ll need an apprentice,” he said.

Liam assisted Mr Garrett with a demonstration at the Wimmera Mallee Pioneer Museum at Jeparit a fortnight ago.

“We made some meat hooks and some fire pokers,” Liam said.

As for the future, a possible move from the backyard to a shed is on the cards, where Liam hopes to add a 100-kilogram anvil to his arsenal.

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