Pete Mattila  Sculptor / Blacksmith / Designer

Pete Mattila at work in the forge

Pete Mattila at work in the forge

"Trained as an industrial blacksmith and welder my work celebrates complex histories, in art, craft and design as well as in industrial expression. While simultaneously identifying the practice and understanding of craft in terms of social consciousness, the expression of an ethical life through the immediate relationship between hand and mind, the interrelationship between the physical world and intention.

The material processes used imply an encapsulated visual dialogue of energy and motion. Articulating movement through the use of steel on steel, with a constant observation of the visual and structural vocabulary specific to steel working process." —Pete Mattila


Curriculum Vitae


Artist's Statement:

"The Meaning of the pieces I produce is, for me, inextricably entwined with process, material, physical engagement, and technical ability. It is only through open-ended  activity that new works can emerge. The way I view my work is like a continuous thread in a larger fabric. I am a maker; what I am making is new to me. I am not viewing it from the outside, I am viewing it from the inside. My conceptual framework comes from that act of doing, making, thinking. I make objects out of steel. Each new moment emerges from its history and could not be arrived at without it. In this way, the object is continually emerging. To me, they are not resolved static things: within each is a growth of understanding."



2011–2013  Master of Fine Art (Higher Degree by Research), University of Tasmania, School of Visual and Performing Arts, Inveresk, Tasmania, Australia.

2007–2010  Bachelor of Contemporary Art (Honors–First Class), University of Tasmania, School of Visual and Performing Arts, Inveresk, Tasmania, Australia.  

2008–2010  Certificate III Engineering Fabrication Blacksmithing Stream, TAFE Ultimo, Sydney, NSW, Australia. (Fully qualified boilermaker welder and industrial blacksmith).


Select Employment & Residencies

20172018 Mattila Studio Battery Point, TAS, AUS.

20162017 Head of Metal ‘Scathain’ MKE,WI, USA.

20142015  Extended Artist Residency @ Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, TAS, AUS.

2014  Lead blacksmith and designer / fabricator @ Mountain Forge Ironworks, Truckee, CA, USA.

20132014  Lecturer of undergraduate: ‘Direct Metal Sculpture’. Tasmania College of the Arts (TCotA), Inveresk TAS, AUS.

2012  Residency at National Ornamental Metal Museum, Memphis, TN, USA.

2011 Internship at Albert Paley Studios, Rochester, NY, USA.

20122013  Employment / Collaboration Mountain Forge, Truckee, CA, USA.

2012  Residency at Bondi Metal Design, Richmond, CA, USA.

2012  Scathain (industrial aesthetic, interior design studio and workshop), employment, Milwaukee, WI, USA.

201011  Red Star Ironworks Pittsburgh (architectural ironwork atelier), employment, PA, USA.


Solo Exhibitions

2019 ‘Catalysis’ accelerated insights into forged steel, Design Tasmania.

2015 ‘Transience’ forged steel sculpture by Pete Mattila, QVMAG contemporary art gallery, Launceston, TAS, AUS.

2013  ‘Making and Living in a post-industrial time / space’ Academy Gallery, Academy of the Arts, Inveresk, TAS, AUS.

2011 ‘Tasmanian Craft Fair Featured Emerging Artist’, Deloraine TAS, AUS.

2011 ‘Pete Mattila, Contemporary Steel: studies in surface composition’, s.p.a.c.e Gallery, Launceston, TAS, AUS.


Collections & Collaborative Public Art Commissions  

Majority of work held in private collections in Australia and the USA.

2018 Permanent collection Design Tasmania, Australia.

20172018 Collaboration work and design with Kirsha Kichele, MONA, Tasmania, Australia.

2015  Queen Victoria Museum QVMAG Tasmania, Australia.

2015  Large-scale fire sculpture commissioned by Tas Gas, Tasmania, Australia.

2014 Major work purchased by University of Tasmania, Australia.


Select Awards

2012    Australian Post Graduate Award (Practice-based Research Scholarship, $25 000)

2011     Tasmanian Graduate Research Scholarship ($25 000)

2010     Dean’s Roll of Excellence with Honours

2010     Scotch Oakburn Tertiary Student Prize

2010     Jim Bacon Foundation Honours Scholarship ($10 000)

2009     Precision Tools Award for Excellence in Sculpture

2007–2009  University of Tasmania, Commonwealth Scholarship ($9 000)


Select Publications

‘Metalsmith’ 2018 USA publication written by D. Wood.

Article: Anne Summers Reports 'Made in Australia' written by Marcus Westbury, 2015.

Documentary: ‘Bespoke’ part of an ABC television series, 2015.

Article: ‘Fired up by imagination’ The Examiner, (front page article) Wed, January 22nd 2014.

Article: ‘Pete Mattila; Building my own Journeyman Program’ The Anvils Ring, USA, Vol. 40, No. 3, Spring, 2012.         .

Profile: ‘Material Engagement; Forged Steel Sculpture by Pete Mattila’ Craft Arts International. No. 82, 2011.

Article: ‘New Works’, The Anvils Ring, USA. Vol. 40, No. 1, Fall, 2011.        

Profile: ‘Pete Mattila’ Tasmanian Life Magazine, 2011.

Profile: ‘Tasmanian Craft Fair Emerging Artist’ Think Tasmania, Website, 2011.

Profile:  ‘Pete Mattila, Artist Blacksmith’ The Anvils Ring, USA, Vol. 38, No. 2, Winter, 2010.


Performance, Demonstrations and Conferences

2014  ‘Gun Metal Records’ Gun destruction performance, part of a gun buy-back event in the 8th Ward, New Orleans, USA.

2014  Sculpture-making performance and soundscape collaboration, MONA FOMA Music Festival, Hobart, TAS, AUS.

2013  Working demonstration at Tasmanian Craft Fair, Deloraine, TAS, AUS.

2013  Sponsored attendance at ‘International Artist Blacksmiths Festival’ Footscray, VIC, AUS.

2013  Sponsored attendance and working demonstration at Steam Fest, Sheffield, TAS, AUS.

2013  ‘Sledgehammer’ A soundscape collaboration and demonstration at MoMA, Berriedale, Hobart, TAS, AUS.

2012  Five-day working demonstration at Tasmanian Craft Fair, Deloraine, TAS, AUS.

2012  American Artists Blacksmith Association Bi-Annual National Conference, Rapid City, SD, USA.

2011  Participation in ‘Repair Days’ National Ornamental Metal Museum, Memphis, TN, USA.



20132014  Lecturer of undergraduate units in ‘Direct Metal Sculpture’. Tasmanian College of the Arts, Inveresk TAS, AUS.

2013  Tutor of numerous adult education classes in artist blacksmithing with LINC, TAS, AUS.

2013  Private classes for individuals, Battery Point, TAS, AUS. 

2012  On the job training of other metal-workers, and supervisory role, Scathain, Milwaukee, WI, USA.

2011  Trained undergraduate interns and workshop apprentices, Red Star Ironworks.