Thursday, November 20, 2014

Taking peace to a place of war

Fiona and I are in Ypre to attend the opening of the Pieces for Peace 14-18 Exhibition - we both have artists books in the exhibition.

I thought it might be a good thing to take a few small peace leaves with me to give to folk as a peace gesture. And I might also leave a few in random spots as Marry-Jane did with stones and shells on International Peace Day 2014.

So I stated with a handful of rather sad metal off cuts and cut and hammered them into leaf forms.

©2014 Barry Smith - A handful of peace potential
And after going through my fold forming leaf making process I have just over 20 small (7-9cm long) Peace Leaves to give away.

©2014 Barry Smith - Peace emerging
©2014 Barry Smith - Peace emerging  on my work scarred bench 
©2014 Barry Smith - Peace for sharing
I love the fact that the organisers of the exhibition decided to mark the 100 year anniversary of the atrocities in and around Ypre with a positive artistic event - I think it will be quite emotional.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Busy bees

I was not sure what was happening with the bees in the following photos - all I know they were grouped together on the outside and back of a hive and very active - may be about to swarm - still I wanted to get up close and check them out - and yes there were bees buzzing all around - be confident right!!!! Couldn't get a really clear macro shot with the iPhone as there was too much movement four the camera to focus on. There are quite a few hives in the yard I cut through (with permission) on my way to Treehaven Way.

©2014 Barry Smith - Very busy bees
©2014 Barry Smith - A little closer and clearer
©2014 Barry Smith - A bit of communication going on?
Anyway the bee episode gave way to the beauty of flowers.

And bee on our roses.

There is always something to lift one on early morning walks. Makes me realise I'm alive and am just part of a big active world.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Light Catchers take two

I did get around to finishing the second of the Light Catchers I started on Friday.

©2014 Barry Smith - Crystal and calipers
This second Light Catcher has very clean and simple lines using: part of a weaving shuttle; a heating element out of a small boiler; two vintage crystals; and a brass plate from an old clock. It almost looks like it is a crystal powered craft - slight influence of Steampunk.

©2014 Barry Smith - Twin crystal Light Catcher
©2014 Barry Smith - Twin crystal Light Catcher
©2014 Barry Smith - Twin crystal Light Catcher
©2014 Barry Smith - Twin crystal Light Catcher
I also changed the crystal in the first Light Catcher and so reduced the centre of gravity. I polished the brass plate it sits on.

Both the Light Catchers are now over in the studio-gallery

Friday, November 14, 2014

Light Catchers

As I did not have anything that I needed to do in the garage-studio today - I decided to use a few of the bits and pieces I have on the table to make a couple of Light Catchers.

If you recall my Light Catchers are whimsical assemblage pieces that sit on a window ledge and catch the sunlight and reflect it into the room through vintage crystals.

As you can see from the photos below I started with two piles of stuff;  which after cleaning, sanding cutting and drilling etc became more attractive piles.

©2014 Barry Smith - Objects cleaned and polished for assemblage
©2014 Barry Smith - More objects cleaned and polished for assemblage
One pile became a piece that would appeal to  people who like tools.

©2014 Barry Smith - Caliper Light Catcher
©2014 Barry Smith - Caliper Light Catcher
©2014 Barry Smith - Caliper Light Catcher
I think this piece still needs adjustment - it is too high - so I will get to that over the weekend - I hope. And the other has a Steampunkish nautical theme; but will be revealed at a later date after the assembling is finished

Fiona tells me that the nachos is ready and the wine has breathed - I'm out of here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The glory of early morn

One of the challenges of spring heading into summer in Maleny is that sunrise now has a 4 in it - yes it is very bright by 4.45am.  This tends to mean that we wake earlier and are exercising earlier - so the morning walks are in the cool clear part of the day. Some times the walk starts with a meander on the block checking out the blossoms that are just roaring into life.

Being greeted by the dog on the roof in Treehaven Way is special. How it gets up there or why I can't say; but it is there most mornings guarding the family castle.

Of course there are more roadside blossoms literally popping up in the verges.

And the odd feather - the small white one literally drifted down on the road in front of me.

The leaves even put on a show of colour.

So the upside of the early sunrise is that nature is also very awake and open.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Let there be light - Steampunk lamp

Our weekend has been a bit of a mixed bag with commitments to various art projects and events and work on the block -  so I decided to do an assemblage piece that I could pick up and put down over the weekend. I chose to convert a blowtorch that was in very poor condition and an old desk lamp I bought at a garage sale into a Steampunk mood lamp.

©2014 Barry Smith -  Hot light from the Steampunk lamp
As you can see from the photo below when I say the blowtorch was in port shape I was not exaggerating.

©2014 Barry Smith -  Some of the blowtorch parts ready for resurrecting
But with a lot of grinding and polishing I resurrected it to something akin to its former beauty.

©2014 Barry Smith -  Polished Steampunk lamp
©2014 Barry Smith - Polished Steampunk lamp
©2014 Barry Smith - Polished Steampunk lamp
I cut the centre pipes out of the blowtorch iron flame section; and riveted a section from the recycled lamp into the brass back section of the flame area and riveted the globe holder from the desk lamp to that plate. I have been able to fit a short 15watt globe into the hollow flame section. Once rewired the Steampunk lamp was tested outside - it worked.

©2014 Barry Smith -  Steampunk lamp
©2014 Barry Smith - Steampunk lamp
©2014 Barry Smith - Steampunk lamp
I need to run the lamp for a couple of hours to ensure that the metal flame area does not overheat. But I was pleased with the outcome. It also needs to be tested and photographed in the dark to see what light it throws.

Friday, November 7, 2014


Quite a bit of my making effort recently has gone into making pieces to restock Maleny Additions. They sold out of Leafspoons and Leaf Letter Openers - which I restocked; and then was told they were all but out of Ladles. So I was off to the garage-studio and hammered up a storm; or at least a stash of Ladles as you can see from the photo below - 11 ladles in all.
©2014 Barry Smith - A stash of handmade ladles ready for pricing and tags
All shapes and sizes appeared from the anvil, hammers and stakes. And as you can see different types of handles from straight brass rod; recycled silver-plated EPNS tray handles - some with a bit of twist; and twisted copper and brass wire. All handles are riveted to the ladle bowls with copper rivets. All ladles are made from recycled materials.

©2014 Barry Smith - Small to medium shallow ladle with tray handle that I added a twist to
©2014 Barry Smith - Three gorgeous small deep ladles with brass rod handles - great for sweet sauces
©2014 Barry Smith - Medium shall bowl ladle with tray handle - great for curries
©2014 Barry Smith - Another medium shall bowl ladle with similar tray handle
©2014 Barry Smith - Larger deeper bowl ladle with twisted copper handle - hmm - soup?
©2014 Barry Smith - Larger deeper ladle with silver-plated tray handle
©2014 Barry Smith - Larger deeper bowl ladle with twisted brass handle

©2014 Barry Smith - Small-medium shallow bowl ladle with silver-plated tray handle

©2014 Barry Smith - Small-medium shallow bowl ladle with silver-plated tray handle
Fiona and I applied her swing tags to 6 of the ladles and delivered them to Maleny additions. It means I have a bit of stock in the gallery shop in the shed.