A FLOATING upcycled jewellery workshop has arrived in Oxford.

Richard MacKenzie, from Oxford, who goes by the name of Rich, runs jewellery business By Bike & Boat on his narrowboat with his family.

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The 41-year-old, who was born in the city and raised in Bicester, travels the waterways across the country making and selling upcycled copper creations along the way.

Back in 2017, Rich's family decided that living on a canal boat was going to be more of an adventure, and once aboard, the idea of making unique copper gifts and handmade jewellery sprung to mind.

Oxford Mail: Rich MacKenzie.

He will be setting up his workshop from his 60ft narrowboat moored on the canal in Oxford this week.

He said: "We’ve already had a great welcome in Oxford - and I am looking forward to setting up my workshop to make some pieces, and hopefully sell a few whilst we’re here.

"Oxford is our final stop on a year-long adventure on the canals of the UK having left here last winter to cruise north to Llangollen, Chester and Ellesmere Port before returning here to our home city this winter."

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The jewellery maker's love of creating started when he lost his father in 2020.

He said: "When dad passed away it just hit me like a ton of bricks just how short life was. Having a trade that I can do from the stern deck of the boat means that we can travel the UK’s canals and rivers to our heart’s content."

Rich, who lives on the boat with his wife Jackie, 11-year-old son Bobby, five-year-old daughter Fleur as well as their cat and 11-month-old rescue puppy, said trade has been hit this year due to the pandemic.

The family all take part in the process of making and sending the homemade jewellery and copper gifts.

Oxford Mail: Rich MacKenzie's jewellery creations

He added: "I make each item of copper jewellery to order so that it’s just right and fits the customer perfectly. This also is great as living on a canal boat we don’t have a great deal of room to keep a stock of made up pieces.

"I usually use copper gifted to me from local plumbers we find on our travels to make my pieces."

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By Bike & Boat will be open on the canal in Jericho until Friday from 10am this week.

After this, the MacKenzie family will be heading northwards again.

Rich added: "We’ve just come from Birmingham via Warwick and Leamington Spa and are so happy to have finally arrived in Oxford - the views on our cruise into Oxford were stunning and breath-taking."

To keep up to date with Rich's movements go to bybikeandboat.co.uk or follow his social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @BikeandBoatUK.

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