Electrician and blacksmith hobbyist Will Thomson is the latest reality television star to hail from Dapto, with the 22-year-old currently appearing on Making It Australia on 10.
He's the youngest contestant in the DIY competition that for six weeks sees 13 people showing their crafty talents in everything from sewing, woodworking and pottery to carving and crocheting in projects to battle their way to the final prize of $100,000.
"Being on a film set is just a barrel of fun," Thomson said. "Most people make cool stuff and put it on the internet but I was lucky enough to make cool stuff and put it on TV."
Last week saw the artisan create a wooden wolf statue while this Wednesday he will create a diorama of the Illawarra (including the steelworks and lighthouse) inside a terrarium - one of his favourite episodes to film.
"As a kid I used to ride my push bike back from Bald Hill to Dapto in a day - there's nowhere I haven't been on a pushbike," Thomson said. "I wanted to encapsulate all of that and the history in the [project]."
His love for making things stems from his boilermaker dad, Ben, who he says is very "mechanically and engineeringly minded", and was always getting him to help on projects in his workshop when growing up.
"'Hold this torch and shine it at that and don't move', I think every boy has been there with their old man," Thomson laughed.
However, most of his crafty skills - like knifemaking, metalwork and woodwork - have been self taught from watching YouTube videos.
With the series only two weeks in it's too early to divulge if the Dapto native earns the title of "Master Maker" and takes home the generous prize money at the finale, but he does have ambitions to take his blacksmithing work to the next level and start a business.
"Before I went on the show I wouldn't have called myself an artist at all," Thomson said. "At the end I got compliments and people telling me what I do is art and it was a bit of a blow out for me - it was just a hobby that's kept on getting bigger and bigger."
Making It Australia airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm on 10.
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