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History caught in 100kg of steel

STEELY RESOLVE: Dan Davie with his newest statue of a 1916 Digger which will make its new home at the Edmonton Cenotaph.
STEELY RESOLVE: Dan Davie with his newest statue of a 1916 Digger which will make its new home at the Edmonton Cenotaph. Scott Kovacevic

THE Anzac spirit has a reputation for steely resolve, and blacksmith Dan Davie has captured it with his newest statue made of more than 100kg of metal.

Representing a World War I Digger, the statue was a four-month labour for the sculptor, and will soon be headed north to its new home at the Edmonton Cenotaph.

And it was all done one piece at a time.

"I forge all the panels, and then I fabricate them into place,” he said.

"Then I carve it back into details.

"It's all different sections of steel.”

Mr Davie said the weight was added as a precaution for where it will be erected.

"I've made it heavier than normal because it's going to a pretty wet area up there,” he said.

It will be the latest piece of art from Mr Davie to find a home around Queensland.

While he enjoyed knowing his work was out and about, it was not something he focused on.

"It's good but I don't dwell on it, once it leaves home it's gone,” he said.

"It's nice to do these things. People have got a lot of memories of this stuff.”

While the Digger's look is iconic in Australia, it was not the only part of Australian service heritage which he wanted to get right.

The historic .303 rifle also needed to be perfect.

To make it so, Mr Davie went an extra mile.

"I went out to Ron Owen's Gun Shop and they let me take photos and measurements of a .303,” he said.

"It was good because I could get the proper dimensions rather than just trying to work it out off a photograph.”

While this statue is soon to deployed to its new northern assignment, it will not be alone for long, with a Vietnam veteran statue to join it in time for the 2018 Anzac commemorations.

Topics:  blacksmith diggers gympie arts history world war

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