For this week’s Your Happy Space instalment, we journey to Trentham and the surrounding areas to meet local artist and metalsmith Sam Bloomfield as he shows us his around his town and talks about how his surrounds inspire his mythological themed craft.
Bloomfield began metal work at a young age through dabbling in the shed with his dad, though his creations veered into medieval territory when he met Lord of the Rings armourer Stu Johnson in Wellington, New Zealand. Influences of Johnson’s gothic style can be seen in Bloomfield’s work today, though he is passionate about playing with different ideas when it comes to making armour and has incorporated taxidermy into his craft.
Bloomfield has since relocated to Trentham, Victoria, though he says the area is the closest to being back in New Zealand as he can get. From forests carpeted with rolling mist to the 1850s stone-walled barns of Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm, the area is riddled with imagery which speaks to Bloomfield’s medieval-minded creations.
Between the fragrant lavender fields of Lavandula to The Garden of St Erth‘s vibrant flora, there’s little reason to stay indoors and you’ll often find Bloomfield traversing his favourite scenic areas on foot – sometimes adorned in his own handiwork. “I have been caught a few times wearing armour in the forest, or turning up to a coffee shop in it. I don’t need an excuse to wear it, just a cold day and mist usually,” he noted. There are ample hidden oases to explore, and waterfalls like the idyllic Trentham Falls remind Bloomfield how lucky he is to call the region home.
When he’s not treading Trentham’s beaten tracks, Bloomfield is likely to be catching up with friends at The Cosmopolitan Hotel; a staple of the community since 1866. Though the original historic stables burned down, a subsequent restoration saw the structure converted into a bar and restaurant, keeping the building’s charm firmly intact.
The area boasts a strong artistic community of supportive creators who you’ll often find hosting exhibitions or collaborating with one another. Bloomfield is a firm believer that the lush forests and scenic landscapes play a strong part in fuelling his creative fire and whether he is exploring Trentham and Daylesford’s many offerings or hard at work in his open studio, the magic is never far from reach.