Monday 6 January 2014

Blacksmith's of the year.

There’s an old guy, runs a blacksmiths in the East end of London where demolition is a daily fact and he’s close to retirement.

His shop is part of an old residential terrace and it would be easy to walk past and not notice, the windows are partly boarded up – but if you pay attention a wrought iron angel, or a baroque gatepost, partly covered in dust, will catch your eye.

Inside the workshop is in two parts; the first where he works over a fire whose warmth will surprise you, his tools hang here carefully arranged and lovingly maintained.

He still uses his own breath to fan the flames.

The second part of the workshop becomes a gallery of his trade, and he is a specialist - an artist of flame and metal, a gothic storyteller.

I walk through his world, I want to ask if he will take me as an apprentice and then I see the backroom.

Here hang and stand the pieces his fantasy creates, un-demanded by any client but forged from his subconscious.

And in the centre a small table on which sits a chessboard.

A game is in progress.

He is playing against himself.

Although his opponent is imaginary he has given them a name.

It is my wife’s name.

It is her move.

I look at the game and sit down opposite him.

Black is surrounded; the white forces are strong.

I instinctually move a piece, conscious of the trap that surrounds my pieces.

A bishop takes a pawn, check.

He moves his king.

A pawn advance, check.

He moves his king again.

Queen takes knight, my pieces are free but I am exposed.

I wake.


Anonymous said...

Love the new blogs they are just great - and the photo of you warming as I knowknew the view. Was my comment about the rubber suit mean I am on the right track with the search thing and the quiz - I was quizing you with my comment Der xxx

popps said...

I don't know if it was mean, i don't know what it means!