MURDOCH uni graduate Kirill Ivoutin was set for a career as an engineer, until a mysterious Facebook post intervened.
“I saw a photo of massive wrought-iron gates on Facebook and got curious,” says the Hamilton Hill local.
“I contacted the guy who posted the photo and talked to him – it turned out he was in Kazakhstan.”
One thing led to another and before he knew it Mr Ivoutin was invited by the gate’s builder to train as a blacksmith in Kazakhstan, which was ironic, as Mr Ivoutin grew-up in neighbouring Russia before moving to Oz.
“I was in Kazakhstan for three months – It takes five minutes to get the hang of being a blacksmith and a lifetime to perfect.”
Back home, Mr Ivoutin’s friend Allison Bolas offered him the use of the old stables at Randwick on Rockingham Road.
Initially he was going to be a part-time blacky, but Ms Bolas managed to get the house and stables heritage-listed, ensuring their ongoing protection.
Established in 1923 by famous horse racing trainer Jack Marks, the old house was transported from Kalgoorlie by horse and train.
Apart from some minor modernisations over the years, very little has changed to the premises.
“I’m learning from this heritage building,” Mr Ivoutin says, pointing to ornate hinges on the stable’s doors. “I look at how they do things and figure out what the process is.”
It has stood him in good stead, with Fremantle council recently commissioning the blacksmith to make hinges and bolts to replace the rusted ones at the Round House.
Following a course at Central Tafes School of Art and Design, Mr Ivoutin become more artistic, creating the sort of beautiful gates that first caught his attention and a variety of decorative handles, hooks and tables.
“I have a friend who makes the tops from recycled timber, I make the frames.”
He also creates gorgeous iron artworks, including a metre-tall yacht with corrugated-iron sails, and scrolls to represent the waves.
To find out more go to Randwick Forge on Facebook or call Mr Ivoutin on 0478 636 016.
By JENNY D’ANGER