Andrew Whitehead Tearfully Leaves Making It Australia Due To Illness

In a shock to the competition, metalworker Andrew made the difficult decision to leave the Making It barn.

Before the judges made their decision to send another Maker home, Andrew spoke up letting his fellow competitors, hosts and judges know that he had decided to leave the competition due to medical issues.

Speaking to 10 play after his departure from the barn Andrew reflected on his time in the competition.

“It was the most amazing experience, something that’ll stay with me forever,” he said. “I was thrust into a group of 12 other artists and I felt a bit intimidated because of the talent around me… I was a bit scared when I saw the skills of these people.

“I even said I’m a Volkswagen that snuck into the BMW car park and I was going to get found out, but I lasted a bit longer than I thought,” he added, laughing.

“It was a great experience, I formed some very strong friendships under pressure so they’re always good, solid friendships,” Andrew continued.

Applying for Making It, Andrew said at 63, “new, big exciting things are starting to thin out on the horizon”, so he applied for the series hoping to show off some of his prize-winning metalwork.

During the show, Andrew explained that he got his start with making when his wife suggested he head out to the shed to get a bit creative.

“I built this cow and it won first prize at an art show and I couldn’t believe it,” Andrew told 10 play. “The judges weren't bloody hicks from the bush, they were academics out of Sydney and I thought, maybe these people know something,” he said with a laugh.

“I made something else and it all kept going from there, I kept winning prizes and eventually got my first public commission, and once you get something up on a wall, the rest just flows.”

Despite having his work in competitions and out in the public, Andrew said nothing prepared him for putting his crafts up in front of judges Deborah Riley and Benja Harney.

“It was a bit scary! Normally at an art show you’re throwing your hat in the ring and seeing who wins,” Andrew explained. “This thing, the spotlight was on you and they were commenting on it in great detail. Normally you don’t get feedback on your work, you either win a prize or you’re never heard of.

“It was interesting, I was a bit overwhelmed by it actually, being under the spotlight.”

The nature of the competition also saw Andrew and his fellow Makers creating under strict time constraints. “You’ve got to get it right the first time and think three or four steps ahead so you don’t paint yourself into a corner,” he said.

“You can’t afford to get halfway through and go, oh no this one’s not good I’ll start again because there’s not enough time… In my normal building life, I don’t have that restriction on me, I’m given unlimited time, so I can produce something of a higher quality and that’s what let me down a bit. I couldn’t create the quality that I normally would because of the time restriction.”

Throughout the competition, Andrew said his favourite craft that he made would have to be the very first challenge where he created his Drop Bear.

“I just think it was ridiculous, it hit the spot and everyone enjoyed it, laughed at it. It just came out of the blue and I think it’s a great representation of me.”

Watch Making It Australia on Saturdays at 6pm on 10 and 10 play on demand