Sunday, July 5, 2015


©2015 Barry Smith - Camelia on water with afternoon sunlight
The weekend has been taken up with: Fiona's mum and dad's move; visiting friends; the Celebration of Book in Maleny; and chasing the Brush Turkey who is attempting to build a huge mound out of out garden mulch.

©2015 Barry Smith - Helping Fiona and Judy set up the book swap tree
There was no time in the studio; but Brush Turkey surveillance was rewarded with beautiful sunlight on camellias on the terraces.

©2015 Barry Smith - Off-white camellia with afternoon sun 

©2015 Barry Smith - Camellia, water and rust
And during the week another beautiful soft moonset.

©2015 Barry Smith - The light of moonset 
©2015 Barry Smith - Another sunrise and moonset in the valley
There is always art to behold.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Recipients of giveaway and more lessons needed

©2015 Barry Smith - Off-cut from a tray for a future brooch
Thanks to all the folk who checked out the giveaway post. The people who got their comments in the first eight were:

  • Irene Mac W
  • Jac
  • Penny
  • Irene P
  • Anvil Artifacts
  • Jo M
  • Judi 
  • Annie B

If those folk can send their current mailing address to - the bits will be packed and mailed over the next week or so.

Fiona has managed to share her lurgy with me, it was quite cold outside and my word for today was gentleness - so today I decided just to do a small bit of art indoors - making a few rings from handles I had rescued from bowls.

©2015 Barry Smith - Patterned and planin handles for rings
The cutting and forming of the rings went well enough.

©2015 Barry Smith - Handles cut and worked into the round
But as you can see from the photo below - the soldering of the rings did not go well. The seam split on each when I gave them a bit of a hammer with a tiny nylon hammer to improve the roundness - so not strong enough!!!

©2015 Barry Smith - Ring forms looking the worse for wear after pickling and soldering effort
So there are more lessons required for me on the soldering front. Most likely I was just too impatient and had not cleaned the rings well enough - though I did pickle them and was them. I think I will get someone to come to our place and teach me with my gear in my setting.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Give away - as if holding bubbles and words

It is a long time since I have had a give-away - the blog milestones just seem to go by before I'm aware of them - I'm past 900 now.

When I posted on my efforts to use resin on Friday I asked for advice from others who use this medium. Our blog community responded in a gentle positive helpful way; and some folk said bubbles in resin is good. So I decided to give away some of the pendants with bubbles - maybe a reminder of the bubbles in champagne.

So the five pendants below with some champagne crystals are on offer - all made from offcuts of silver-plated EPNS and copper.

©2015 Barry Smith - As if holding water (and bubbles) pendant forms
The three circular ones, made from silver-plated copper 'feet' from a vintage bowl, with red beads are also to be given away.

©2015 Barry Smith - Beads and bubbles
Each pendant form will be accompanied by an inspirational couple of words - see below.

©2015 Barry Smith - Simple inspirations on metal
So what do you need to do to be in the running for a pendant form? Simply visit this blog post and leave a comment letting me know: if you would like a pendant; and whether you prefer the more triangular-rectangular or round form. The first 8 people to leave a comment will receive a pendant and words.

I learnt from the Friday exercise that I prefer the square and triangular forms. I have cut some more offcuts. I will give the resin another go keeping in mind the hints and advice offered.

©2015 Barry Smith - As if holding water - second trial
I thought I might finish the blog post with a photo of a leaf on wood - I was fiddling with a long thin pliable leaf whilst having a coffee on Friday.

©2015 Barry Smith - Knotted leaf on wood

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Creating with castoffs….

©2015 Barry Smith - Crystal, section of teapot handle plus careful cutting etc  = pendant
I have finally finished my marathon task of cutting up metal and resorting it.

The last task was to cut up and dissemble tea pots, goblets, milk jugs and sugar bowls etc. These objects often have tough metal, many curves and attachments so they require some extra cutting and sweating off of soldered bits etc.

The pile started like this.

And ended up like this. Sad to cut these up I know - but nobody wants them and they were off to the scap metal merchants. The metal will be given a new life.

I also had a number of spouts and handles - what can one do with these?

Small jug and sugar bowl handles can become pendants (for example for Meg and her daughters).

©2015 Barry Smith - Bowl handle pendants
The tips of teapot spouts can become flower-like with stamens protruding from the bottom

©2015 Barry Smith - Flower pendant 1 - formerly teapot spout
©2015 Barry Smith - Flower pendant 2 - formerly teapot spout
©2015 Barry Smith - Flower pendant 3 - formerly teapot spout
Parts of hollow handles will become pendants such as the one at the start of this post.

And other bits can become stands for bowls.

I put some jump rings on some as if holding water pieces.

©2015 Barry Smith - As if holding water pendant - maybe holding sparkling wine?
©2015 Barry Smith - As if holding water pendant
©2015 Barry Smith - As if holding water earrings
Watch out for my Wednesday post as I will be having a giveaway of as if holding water pendant prototypes.

Friday, June 26, 2015

As if holding water...

©2015 Barry Smith - One of the curved pendants from my - 'as if holding water' series today
I can't say that today has not been filled with art  - it has; but not all creative stuff in the studio. Meg came to pick up her stash - smiles!!! The Peace in the Trees Sculptural Walk on the Maleny Precinct is coming to fruition after almost two years of work - still doing more paper work etc today but hopefully in about four weeks it will be installed. I have almost finished a big re-organisation of my growing stash of silver-plated metal - only tea-pots to be cut up and stored. And I had a play with my disk punch, dapping blocks; and resin - to create a few bits for earrings and pendants.

I aimed to create small basin shapes to carry the resin and crystals - almost as though the curve was holding water and crystals. Anyway, readers of the post can be the judge.  The disks are about 25mm in diameter. All of the pieces below are part of what I'm affectionately calling - 'as if holding water'!!!

©2015 Barry Smith -  Patterned silver-plate over brass
©2015 Barry Smith -  Patterned silver-plate over copper
©2015 Barry Smith -  Plain silver-plate over copper
©2015 Barry Smith -  Patterned silver-plate over brass
©2015 Barry Smith - A gathering of earring drops
©2015 Barry Smith - Square curved pendant (about 30mm sq) - patterned silver-plate over brass
©2015 Barry Smith -  Patterned silver-plate over copper
©2015 Barry Smith -  Curved triangle pendant
©2015 Barry Smith -  Curved pendant - patterned silver-plate over brass
©2015 Barry Smith - Recycled flat foot off a bowl
©2015 Barry Smith - Square curved pendant (about 30mm sq) - plain silver-plate over brass
One thing I was disappointed with a little was that there are quite a few tiny bubbles caught in the resin which means the clarity is not what it could be. Not sure what I can do about that - maybe a few suggestions out there? Another lessons learnt - use solid crystals of a reasonable strong colour. My crystals were the threading type and the clearer colours and edges became transparent.

Still I really like the 'as if holding water' effect - and making the curved pieces from scrap and adding the resin was fun - a bit of an adventure - which was my word for the day.

Now it is time for a single malt.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Winter solstice - morning light and the moon

On Monday we had the shortest day of the year - our winter solstice - I was very aware of just how dark the mornings had become. The photo below shows the mountains in the valley with the faint lights of Brisbane and its port in the distance. Interesting dark low light captured by the iPhone.

©2015 Barry Smith - Dark morning light
By the time I reached Treehaven Way the sun began to show a bit of colour.

©2015 Barry Smith - Power poles and morning light
©2015 Barry Smith - Light transforms the horizon
©2015 Barry Smith - I love the power lines cutting across the heavy sky
And of course one is lucky to be able to appreciate the moon on some cold and clear early evenings.

©2015 Barry Smith - Half a moon on the night after the shortest day (Tuesday night)
©2015 Barry Smith - Ragged edge of the moon
©2015 Barry Smith - The colour of cloud and distorted moon

The Evening Star (Venus) is also such a bright presence.

©2015 Barry Smith - The colour of Venus - telephoto lens on maximum - no detail
The low light does not make for many photos on the walk or the block; but the little nectarine flower below continued to offer colour today even though we pruned the tree yesterday morning - all the pruning have been kept to dry to use for kindling in Fiona's studio fire.

My afternoons have been dedicated to continue the job of sorting my studio-garage - I have now moved onto serious sorting and categorising my recycled metal including off cuts.

©2015 - Very small chips of metal (silver-plated brass) for smelting
The shortest day has passed - so next Monday I'm expecting a little more light when I head off for my morning walk