Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tracking the moon…..

Another of those global events that made me realise that the world is a fairly small place. Fiona had informed me that we were to have a red moon last night as a result of a total eclipse of the moon. Some folk know I'm a bit of a fan of the moon and on clear nights I sometimes take a photo opt two of full moons.

Last night Fiona and I shared the spectacle with many of our blog friends in various parts of the globe.

Earlier in the night we both took photos to capture the red moon. This proved to be a bit difficult because of light and cloud. But as you can see below, and might have seen on my Facebook, we did capture a few reasonable images of the eclipse.

©2014 Fiona-Barry - Red Moon
©2014 Fiona-Barry - Red Moon
©2014 Fiona Dempster - Partial eclipse
©2014 Fiona Dempster - Partial eclipse
To prove to myself that the camera was not playing up I took a series on photos at about 10pm, 12pm, 4am and 6am. For some reason I woke at 12midnight and 4am - so why not see what was happening; and by 6am we were up for exercise. So some of the photos are shown below in sequence starting with the cloud covered moon - the clouds covered the last bit of the eclipse; and ending with the early morning 'almost moonset'.

©2014 Barry Smith - A drift of clouds - halo moon
©2014 Barry Smith - A drift of clouds - halo moon
©2014 Barry Smith - Cool midnight moon
©2014 Barry Smith - Cool midnight moon
©2014 Barry Smith - The colours of moonset
©2014 Barry Smith - Setting moon
©2014 Barry Smith - Setting moon
I like how the craters of the moon appear to rotate as the moon goes from moonrise to moonset. I took a couple with the iPhone of the dawn moon and colour; and altered one - bit of fun.

©2014 Barry Smith - Setting moon using iPhone
©2014 Barry Smith - Setting moon - altered
©2014 Barry Smith - Setting moon - altered
That is probably more moon photos than any of us require?????

And just a reminder - don't forget the 750 post giveaway - check it out here:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Giveaway - peace, angels and being

Last week I realised I was about to reach 750 blog posts - for me that is a bit of a milestone. Today is my 750 blog post -  I'm celebrating it with a giveaway with three themes: peace; angels; and being - all will be revealed below.

©2014 Barry Smith - Angel wings pendant - love and protection - wings about 7cm long
This milestone made me stop and ask myself: why do I try to post reasonably regularly? 

Amongst a heap of things I think it is because it: encourages me to look at the world in an inspired and creative way; reminds me that if I don't put in studio time then stuff does not get created; enables me to share my art journey with a community of fellow artists; promotes what I do and where I'm up to in my own development; enables me to share some techniques; enables me to promote some idea and ways of being; and hopefully it is just a way of sharing art etc with a community. For me the blog offers the opportunity to have more of a conversation than Facebook does.

Anyway enough of that. So there are three giveaways: a small peace book; an angel wings pendant; and a being inspiration-meditation leaf. 

And what do you need to be to be in the draw for one of these giveaways - you need to leave a comment that relates to your artwork of choice. So if you want to be in the draw for the peace book - please leave a comment regarding peace in your life. If you want to be in the draw for the angel wings pendant - please leave a comment about the role-meaning of angels in your life. And if you would like to be considered for the being leaf then let me know what being means in your life. And of course if you want to be considered for all three then you can leave a multi-strand comment.

©2014 Barry Smith - Small (6X4cm) Peace book - imagine peace
©2014 Barry Smith - Small (6X4cm) Peace book - imagine peace
©2014 Barry Smith - Small (6X4cm) Peace book - imagine peace

©2014 Barry Smith - Small peace book & angel wings pendant
©2014 Barry Smith - Angel wings pendant - love and protection - silver plated EPNS, chain and crystals

©2014 Barry Smith - Being Leaf form - silver plated EPNS - about 12-13cm long

The giveaway will be drawn on Easter Sunday (one week from now). Hope you will join me in: celebrating art; the sharing of ideas; and our art journeys.

Friday, April 11, 2014

A slightly different request

It is funny how one thing can lead to another.

©2014 Barry Smith - Handles of cake knives
I started selling my ladles through Maleny Additions (MA); and then added in Leafspoons. Some time ago I posted on the request I got through MA to make a cake lifter. The couple wanted it for their wedding. They were satisfied with the result; and then said would it be possible for me to make a matching cake knife. Well given I use recycle material I could not use the same metal (silver plate over copper from a heavy ornate tray - once it is gone it is gone); but fortunately I had another silver plated copper tray in my stash with a similar pattern.

So I have made two options; a more traditional wedding cake knife shape; and a dagger form - bit more game of thrones or whatever. The more traditional form is 30cm long; and the dagger form is 25cm long.
©2014 Barry Smith - Cake knives
©2014 Barry Smith - Dagger form wedding cake knife
©2014 Barry Smith - Handle of the dagger form - three rods of copper on each side of the blade
©2014 Barry Smith - More traditional wedding cake knife
©2014 Barry Smith - four strands of copper riveted on one side of blade
I have formed a bend into the blades to stiffen the blades. And as you can see one handle has 4 strands of wire (2X2) and the other six (2X3). I think they have worked out well. They were delivered to MA today so that they can contact the couple to see if this is what they want. And yes they do cut - I was able to cut a slice of baguette bread with each knife.

Its Friday - so must be off to have a glass of red.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Journeys - prints

Fiona and I are participating in another of the Maleny Printmakers exhibitions. This coming exhibition is an Easter exhibition with the general title and theme of Journeys.

©2014 Barry Smith - Close up of On 5th Ave on Fiona's handmade paper
I wanted to focus on a series of prints on ideas and fragments from our December trip to New York city. Time has beaten me so I will be exhibiting two linocut print pieces: On 5th Ave; and Travelling Together.

Initially I was printing these on Stonehenge smooth paper - but I didn't really like the results below. They appeared too flat.

©2014 Travelling Together on Stonehenge smooth paper
©2014 On 5th Ave on Stonehenge smooth paper
Fiona, who was supervising my printing, suggested I try some of her handmade paper given I was printing squares and didn't like the smooth paper - and I really liked the results. Not only did the ink sink into the paper but because the paper had more body and texture the linocut itself created an embossed look. In the end I went with an edition of 5 of On 5th Ave on 15cm square paper; and with Travelling Together I over printed an edition of 5 on 10-12cm squares.

©2014 On 5th Ave on 15cm squares of Fiona's handmade paper
©2014 Travelling Together on 10-12cm squares of Fiona's handmade paper
And of course in the printing process there are always trials - so you can see the left over prints on rectangular and square paper.

©2014 On 5th Ave on small squares of Fiona's handmade paper and rectangles of Khadi paper
©2014 On 5th Ave on 15cm squares of Fiona's handmade paper and rectangles of Khadi paper
So not a big print record of the 'journeys in New York city' -  but at least I will hang a couple on the wall.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A gift from a fellow artist

Some weeks ago I was the lucky winner of Donna Watson's (of Layers fame) hand made book The Beauty of Nothingness.

And of course not only is it filled with beautiful imagery but also reflections on the importance of nothingness. And because because she is a mixed media collage painter Donna's parcel had those other creative bits with it.

Thanks Donna for the book; and for the ongoing layers; and reflections on Zen.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

One finished and the second started

Over the weekend I have continued to work on the two pieces of work I want to submit to the Goondiwindi Aspects Art Show.

The first, an installation of 25 leaf forms on bent rusted iron rods, has been completed.

©2014 Barry Smith - An installation of patinated copper foldformed leaves
After Friday there were still a few more steps including hammering and opening the leaf forms.

©2014 Barry Smith - 25 leaf forms hammered and opened
Grinding sharp edges off and polishing the forms with a steel wire brush so that the patina solution had a better chance of acting.
©2014 Barry Smith - Very smooth and clean leaf forms
Applying the patina solution with a pump sprayer; and letting it cure.

©2014 Barry Smith - Patina solution applied - SZQ's rusted Iris in the background
The installation has been designed to be installed in light coloured gravel but the grey gravel by the bell deck demonstrates the idea.

©2014 Barry Smith - An installation of patinated copper fold formed leaves - in grey gravel
©2014 Barry Smith - An installation of patinated copper fold formed leaves - in grey gravel
But because the installation needs to shown indoors I have made timber planks to hold the rods - doesn't look as good - but ….. And they can be placed in different configurations. The timber is Spotted Gum -  recycled offcuts and second quality discarded planks. I might need to shorten some of the rods to get some layering happening - I will discuss that with my design consultant.

©2014 Barry Smith - An installation of patinated copper fold formed leaves - in Spotted Gum planks 
©2014 Barry Smith - An installation of patinated copper fold formed leaves - in Spotted Gum planks 
©2014 Barry Smith - An installation of patinated copper fold formed leaves - in Spotted Gum planks 
I also started the other work - a double spiral of leaf forms encircling a 175cm high 20cm square post. The top and side grain is beautiful now that I have done the first sand and oil; and I have cut the 45 degree slots into the post to hold the leaf forms - 16 copper leaves 25-27cm long.
2014 Barry Smith - Growth rings 
©2014 Barry Smith - Post with angled top and slots for the copper leaf forms
I need to finish the second work this coming week.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Some things take longer

Amazing as this might sound - bigger pieces of work that involve multiples take longer to create. This afternoon I set myself a target of getting as far as I could with making 25 larger (about 25-27cm long) leaf forms that are riveted to iron rods (8mm diameter and 80cm long). The final product (installation) will go to Goondiwindi for the Aspects Art Show.
©2014 Barry Smith - Folded copper leaf forms on iron rods
Well - given I was starting with some seriously weather annealed copper that I cut about a month ago I knew I had a challenge on my hands.

©2014 Barry Smith - Badly weathered annealed recycled copper sheet
The metal needed to be cleaned by pickling; and they came up well after a rub down.

©2014 Barry Smith - Lovely colour in the pickle pot - really an old slow cooker
©2014 Barry Smith - Clean copper ready for folding
The rods needed to be cut into lengths - note my substantial 'bolt cutters' (about 90cm long).

©2014 Barry Smith - Cut rods and a serious bolt cutter
Ends of rods needed to be flattened with a 2kg hammer on my rough round anvil (bought at a garage sale) so that I could form the leaf over the flattened end; and then drill and rivet the rods into the folded leaf forms.

©2014 Barry Smith - Cold forming iron rods
The folded forms were then cut into the half leaf shape ready for hammering.

©2014 Barry Smith - 25 leaf forms riveted to iron rods
©2014 Barry Smith - 25 leaf forms riveted to iron rods
So that is where I left off  - 25 leaf forms riveted (copper rivets) to the rods ready for further hammering tomorrow.  They look like a stash of spears - I did feel as though I was in weapon production mode. Now it is time for a Friday drink.