Clever craft earns Ryland a Denmark Chamber of Commerce entrepreneurship gong

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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Denmark Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneur award winner Ryland Kontoolas.
Camera IconDenmark Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneur award winner Ryland Kontoolas. Credit: Anna Boaden/ Denmark Chamber of Commerce

A natural talent for metalwork has earned craftsman Ryland Kontoolas the Denmark Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneur award.

The Denmark Senior High School student-turned-apprentice boilermaker took home the award and $500 in October for his knack for metalwork and woodwork.

Kontoolas, 17, has been honing his craft since Year 7, starting off by creating wooden beads and jewellery before practising with soft steel and silver.

He would practice during lunchtimes, learning new skills and tools.

“My dad got me an angle grinder when I was 14 and that really got me into making things at home,” he said.

Ryland Kontoolas’ metalwork is in high demand.
Camera IconRyland Kontoolas’ metalwork is in high demand. Credit: Supplied

But it was a fascination with rings that saw Kontoolas’ entrepreneurial success take off.

He started with a hex nut, shaping the metal into a smooth piece of jewellery.

“I thought I would give that a shot, I made my first one out of them and since then I have been hooked,” he said.

He has since started using vintage coins and spoons to create unique keepsakes which he sells through his Instagram page to customers across Australia.

“I would get foreign coins and antique coins and I’d shape them and fold them outwards so you get the designs and really nice patterns,” he said.

A ring crafted from a vintage coin.
Camera IconA ring crafted from a vintage coin. Credit: Supplied

“People were asking for custom orders that I had never really done before so I thought I would give it a try and it got me to learn new skills pretty quickly.

“My favourite part about metalwork and just making things in general is always the finished product.

“I know it’s about the journey, but I really like getting the final product done and being able to step back and admire it and look at what you have achieved. To have other people admire it — that’s also pretty cool.”

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