Friday, October 24, 2014

Deputy Book Celebrator

A very early morning in our household as we had to get up to get Fiona on her way to NZ with Susan B to present the work on their artists' book collaboration at the international conference in Auckland.

One of the outcomes of Fiona being over there and I being over here is that I get to deputise for her in a couple of Celebration of the Books things - such as helping hang Swap Tree signs; and best of all attend the official launch of the weekend (food and wine - thanks Fiona).

The group of volunteers who put on this event/s does a lot of good and unrecognised work - so I thought I might offer the key folk a small book gift - a micro metal book brooch at the launch - quiet like.

©2014 Barry Smith - Micro books packed in Fiona's gift pockets made from old book pages
I didn't have a lot of time today as I had committed to sanding and painting Fiona's folks decks whilst they also are away for the weekend - which I started earlier today. I had cut covers for the metal books yesterday afternoon; and this afternoon hurriedly stamped, drilled, ground, polished and riveted 5 brooches and 2 micro books - didn't have enough clasps.

©2014 Barry Smith - Each micro book is stored separately to ensure the 3 pieces match later
©2014 Barry Smith - Five micro book brooches  (25mm wide, 35mm long and 10mm across)
©2014 Barry Smith - Two micro books (25mm wide, 35mm long and 10mm across) 
©2014 Barry Smith - Bit of metal detail
The photos above are a bit blurry as again it was a rushed job so I could do this post before rushing out the door.  I like that I thought to take the brooches and other two books along in Fiona's wrapping - makes her a little more present at the event.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Droplets after rain

Last night we had a light shower of rain - much appreciated by the garden and plants in general. On my early morning walk I was taken by the number of shining points of light caused by the bright sun low in the sky and the rain droplets still clinging to flowers and leaves.

©2014 Barry Smith - Droplet clinging to a Jacaranda branch
So what could one do but pause, appreciate and take the odd photo - some of which follow.

©2014 Barry Smith - Grevillea
©2014 Barry Smith - Passionfruit
©2014 Barry Smith - Scarlet bottlebrush
©2014 Barry Smith - Hmmm!! Bright yellow flower?
©2014 Barry Smith - Jacaranda - starting to bloom
©2014 Barry Smith - Coral tree - yet to bloom
©2014 Barry Smith - Pink trumpet flower?
©2014 Barry Smith - Tiny white flower?
©2014 Barry Smith - Section of a pink bottlebrush - a riot of droplets
©2014 Barry Smith - Tibouchina
©2014 Barry Smith - Sweet pea - waiting to unfold in the morning sun
©2014 Barry Smith - Agave leaf
©2014 Barry Smith - Tiny stamen flower of bougainvillea
It almost seemed like the flowers and plants were breathing, cleansed and full of life. All photos were taken with the iPhone.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Over the weekend Fiona and I spent most of our art time on a commission - polishing, drilling, riveting etc.

But I did find an hour or so here and there to continue some of my Friday effort. I finished the 35 small inspirational word leaves I started to work on.

©2014 Barry Smith - Thirty-five silver-plated ELNS leaf forms - after forming and first unfolding
I always love the progress from raw discarded metal to beautiful leaf forms. These small leaf forms are quiet difficult to make as the size is small and the EPNS metal is hard.

©2014 Barry Smith - Thirty-five silver-plated ELNS leaf forms - unfolded fully on the anvil
©2014 Barry Smith - Thirty-five silver-plated ELNS leaf forms - rough edges ground off
©2014 Barry Smith - Thirty-five silver-plated ELNS leaf forms - polished with steel wire wheel 
©2014 Barry Smith - Thirty-five silver-plated ELNS leaf forms - polished with cloth wheel
And when combined with a bowl made on Friday you can see the beauty of the Daily Leaf Words.

©2014 Barry Smith - Daily Leaf Word set
©2014 Barry Smith - Daily Leaf Word set
I plan to take a few photos of the four sets I have made and put them in my online shop during the week. A great feeling to complete these simple but beautiful inspiration sets.

Friday, October 17, 2014


It has been one of those days - people and community came before art - on a number of occasions throughout the day.

I had intended to make 4 sets of Daily Leaf Words - my daily inspirational words sets but with word leaves instead of flat metal. By day's end (note the setting sun in the photo below) I had made the 4 bowls (plus a little aside bowl for a couple of friends); but had not finished the inspirational leaf words.

©2014 Barry Smith - Bowls at sunset on the handrail of the car turning deck.
A few photos of the emergence of the bowls.

©2014 Barry Smith - Marked and anvil hammered bowls
©2014 Barry Smith - A last annealing before final hammering with wooden hammer
And a couple reflecting the setting sun. The Daily Leaf Word bowls are about 110mm in diameter.

©2014 Barry Smith - High shine amidst the rusted metal
©2014 Barry Smith - Lovely pattern showing through - last bit of polishing to do.
As it is Friday the day will be celebrated with a glass or two of red.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The colour of spring and other images

At the moment our block is a riot of growth and colour. This morning I was particularly taken by the contrast of the colour of the new growth of our Japanese maple against a clear blue sky morning.

©2014 Barry Smith - Spring maple colour
Over the weekend Fiona and I attended a couple of exhibitions in the same building (one artists' books exhibition and the other a textile exhibition). I was taken by the detail in some of the pieces which I share in the following photos.

I apologise to the artists that I don't give them recognition for the fragments of their work - the visit and appreciation of the exhibition was a bit too fleeting for recording all the details.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Finally - book earrings

Fiona and my weekend has been full with jobs on the block; and attending an artists' book exhibition in another town. There was a fibre exhibition in the same venue as the artists' book exhibition - both exhibitions are beautiful - so in the future I would like to share a few close texture shots from the day.

©2014 Barry Smith - Metal on the anvil for micro earrings (20mm long X14mm wide)
 For an hour or so yesterday and a couple of hours today I managed to squeeze in work on micro book earrings and book pendants. Following are a few photos of the earrings drilled, riveted and polished. The earrings have love stamped on one earring and peace on the other. The are about 20mm long, 14mm wide and 6mm deep. The earrings and pendants are made from recycled silver-plated EPNS.

©2014 Barry Smith - Four sets of micro books
©2014 Barry Smith - Four sets of micro books
And a photo of the book pendants - about 35mm long and 20mm wide - one is stamped with the word wonder and the other dream.

G2014 Barry Smith - Small book pendants
And this is how the micro book earrings will look when assembled. I have added a gold jumping in for contrast.

©2014 Barry Smith - Peace and Love micro book earrings
©2014 Barry Smith - Peace and Love micro book earrings
I think the pair of earring above will make their way to Carol. Several pairs of the earrings will make their way into the online shop during the week.

Friday, October 10, 2014

A little reflected beauty at the end of the day

©2014 Barry Smith  - Shiny and reflective micro Starburst Bowl (25mm in diameter)
This Friday has been an art and people kind of day. It has included visiting a couple of open studios of artist friends; meeting about and reworking technical drawings for one of the large a art-feature panels for our local store; recycling a bit of metal for another friend; and doing a wee bit of hammering.

Given the short amount of time I decided to work on more of my small Starburst Bowls for my planned 'installation' of many such bowls.

As usual the work starts with scraps - in this instance the bases off metal wine and liquor 'glasses'.

©2014 Barry Smith - Bases on the annealing pit.
Goes through a few cycles of hammering.

©2014 Barry Smith - Two lots of hammering - more annealing and hammering to go.
And ends up with polishing.

©2014 Barry Smith - Micro Starburst Bowl in setting sun - lots of hammer texture 
©2014 Barry Smith - Shiny cluster of small Starburst Bowls reflecting the afternoon sun
©2014 Barry Smith - Shiny cluster of small Starburst Bowls reflecting the afternoon sun
I only managed to finish half of what I started; but my total completed stash has grown to just under 20 now. We have a visitor coming to share bubbles and pizza so I must away.