Watch the sparks fly

Blacksmith Eoin McSwan of South Grafton works the forge in his workshop. Mr McSwan will be holding blacksmithing demonstrations near the main pavilion at the Grafton Show next Friday and Saturday.
Blacksmith Eoin McSwan of South Grafton works the forge in his workshop. Mr McSwan will be holding blacksmithing demonstrations near the main pavilion at the Grafton Show next Friday and Saturday. Adam Hourigan

THE RINGING of hammer on anvil, the hissing of hot iron quenched in water and the crackle of a red-hot forge - this is the music of blacksmithing and South Grafton man Eoin McSwan can't wait to share it with the public during the Grafton show.

Blacksmithing was Mr McSwan's trade for about 40 years after starting as and apprentice at Davidson and Skelly's in South Grafton.

He said his father had been his inspiration for taking up the craft.

"My father was a blacksmith on the railway so I think that's where I got my interest from," Mr McSwan said.

"Back in those days when I first started we were making logging equipment mostly and also doing a bit of spring-making."

Although retired, Mr McSwan said he was still working the forge but was now creating artistic pieces such as sculptures while also teaching blacksmithing skills to others through events such as Artsfest.

Anyone interested in seeing a blacksmith in action will get the opportunity next weekend with Mr McSwan putting on demonstrations outside the main pavilion at the Grafton Show.

"People really enjoy watching this kind of thing, especially the kids - the hot metal and the hammer, sparks flying - they love it," Mr McSwan said.

It won't all be for show though.

While doing demonstrations outside the pavilion, Mr McSwan and woodworker Graham Kratz will also be creating a bullock yoke which will be raffled-during the show.

Drop in and say hello to Mr McSwan outside the Grafton Showground's main pavilion next Friday and Saturday during the Grafton show.

Topics:  blacksmith grafton show hammer metal sparks

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