Nick Swain-Blacksmith with attitude.

If you go down to the woods today you're in for a big surprise! Well not the woods per se but a layby just off the A41. Not quite as poetic maybe but nearly as much fun as a teddy bears picnic.

Travelling home from a job last Saturday I turned onto the B4009. From the corner of my eye I spotted a collection of artisan objets displayed on the grass verge. Being the art obsessive I am I had to do a U turn and find out more.

Nick Swain is one of our wonderful english eccentrics. A blacksmith by trade, he lives on a narrowboat on the Grand Union Canal and fashions his decorative iron work on the bankside.

I parked up and ambled over to find out more. A large metal cross designed as a headstone sat at the centre of the display. With his black hoody up Nicks first words to me were "Are you the man for the cross" For a second I thought I'd met the Grim Reaper! "sorry?" "Are you the chap who was coming to pick up the cross" Phew.

Nick can turn his hand to anything by the looks of it. He works out of a mobile smithy in the form of a Romany caravan that he built himself from scratch,towed by a flatbed Transit that he is transforming into a motor driven Shepherds Hut. Most of the work on display were highly decorative garden objets (I couldnt resist buying one of his firebowls crafted from scrap gas cylinders he finds dumped by the wayside.) but Nick loves to produce abstract sculptural pieces too.

 Take some time out and amble along to the crossroads where Mr Swain displays his work, you'll be richer for the encounter.

Nick on Youtube

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