Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Muted morning, moon, magpies and other matters

As usual I was out for an early morning walk as Fiona went to her women's workout. The mornings are finally getting lighter - spring must be heading our way. Still the morning was soft and muted this morning - with a fragment of moon clinging to the last of the nightlight.

©2014 Barry Smith - A fragment of moon at dawn
The valley of course was filled with soft pastel colours.

©2014 Barry Smith - The muted colours of dawn
©2014 Barry Smith - Soft morning light on the mountains
The early morning light seems to bring out the Magpies to feed; and sit on the power lines to run a song line.

©2014 Barry Smith - Magpie and moon
As the light grew in strength the blossoms showed off their colours.

©2014 Barry Smith - Blossom and brambles
©2014 Barry Smith - Pine blossoms catch early sunlight
©2014 Barry Smith - Sweetpea in our garden
And the last of Fiona's Peace weather grams contrasted with the valley light.

©2014 Barry Smith - Fragment of Peace weather gram
The day gave way to hard work as I'm working with a builder to strengthen and straighten the log retaining wall at the back of the house. It has  required me to move lots of gravel, dig lots of trenches - but now we are up to bolting heavy plates to the cement foundations of the house and tying the wall to the house with thick steel rods, posts and plates.

©2014 Barry Smith - Bolting the wall to the house
©2014 Barry Smith - Serious steel plates etc etc
One thing about living on a slope is that you get to enjoy the bliss of the valley and early morning light; but it also requires quite a bit of work to upkeep a house on an acre of sloping land.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Recycled metal brooches

On Friday completed a stash of brooches made from recycled silver-plated EPNS and silver-plated copper. As blog readers know when I cut up discarded and recycled silver-plated trays for making bigger works I set aside the smaller offcuts for assembled (usually fold-formed and/or riveted) jewellery and other small pieces.

©2014 Barry Smith - Brooches made from recycled metal
As you can see from the photo above I made 7 brooches. On Saturday morning I took into Maleny Additions to see if they were what they wanted to sell. The answer was yes so all 7 are on their way to Maleny Additions on Monday.

Photos of the individual brooches follow - as usual my photos leave a bit to be desired.

©2014 Barry Smith -  Recycled leaf form (9cm long)
©2014 Barry Smith - Recycled Bakelite tray handle (5-6cm long)
©2014 Barry Smith - Fan form from a tray (4cm squarish)
©2014 Barry Smith - Bit Gothic? - raised edge of a tray (5cm long)
©2014 Barry Smith - Foldformed brass on silver-plated EPNS (7-8cm long)
©2014 Barry Smith - Fold-formed brass on silver-plated copper (7-8cm long)
©2014 Barry Smith - Fold-formed silver plated EPNS on silver-plated copper (5cm long)
Fiona has completed and attached handmade swing tags - she kindly does the original calligraphy on each swing tag. And they have been packed in elegant black boxes. We will see if these appeal to the public and sell as lapel or scarf brooches.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Around the bend and other matters

Its Friday right? Well that means as much art as can be squeezed in. The day started with a 2-hour meeting regarding some serious community-placemaking art for our preferred local store - but more on that when it can be revealed.

As part of a commission I need to be able to hammer metal over rounded corners of boxes. The form needs to be segmented and come to a point. I tried a couple of approaches which at best were okay; so I turned to Fiona for help. She suggested we went to folk who made balls or globes out of paper and see how they did it.

©2014 Barry Smith - Testing globe sections
Well as you can see from the photo above Fiona tracked down a free online globe pattern which we began to experiment with. After a number of tests and measures we have worked out that I can use a segment of the globe pattern to create the form I want on the corner.

©2014 Barry Smith - I think we have found the right section
©2014 Barry Smith - Yes that looks like it will work
Next step is to create the perfectly rounded wooden corner of the box and test the template out in metal.

But I needed a break from all that intellectually demanding stuff; so I decided to go to the studio-garage and start a stash of brooches.

©2014 Barry Smith - Bits and pieces cut and punched etc
©2014 Barry Smith - A bowl of brooches
Why am I doing brooches? Well it is because the folk in Maleny Additions have now asked me 5 times to do this - and they will not be denied. So I have made a stash and will take them in to see if it is what they want. I will share photos when I have had time to take photos of each of the finished brooches. Fiona has just said the curry is ready so I must away and enjoy it with a soft red.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Recycling at its best

Back in 2010 I worked with folk at the Beerwah Resource and Recycling Centre to design and create a Christmas sculpture that was to hang on the wall of the Beerwah Library.

©2010 Barry Smith - Christmas wall sculpture fro recycled corrugated iron
The above piece was the result of our efforts. Quite a large (11mx4m) piece made up of a number of pieces. The sculpture was made from various types of corrugated iron from the recycling centre. The piece was about children celebrating the joy of Christmas and gift giving in the form of healthy recreational activity.  The piece as a whole was only meant to stay in place for the Christmas-New Year holiday period. What to do with it after that?

Well it was a pleasant surprise to see the children elements of the piece turn up on the entrance to a new children's park-playground. Some of the images of the children were supplemented by duplicating what was on the original piece. I had created templates of the children - guess they got recycled too.

©2014 Barry Smith - Children at play - elements of the 2010 Christmas sculpture from recycled corrugated iron at the entrance to a new children's park-playground
©2014 Barry Smith - Recycled art - children at play
So good to see that at least elements of the sculpture from recycled material were themselves recycled - the art of recycling.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

More Leafspoons

Seems like Leafspoons are also popular gifts. I think it is because they are quirky, light and easy to send in the mail - both nationally and internationally.

Anyway Maleny Additions needed a restock of the Leasfspoons so another recycled silver-plated copper drink tray was converted into 7  Leafspoons. I'm sharing a few photos of the different stages of the process.

©2014 Barry Smith - Leafspoon blanks - cut and annealed
©2014 Barry Smith - Leafspoon blanks partially folded
©2014 Barry Smith - Leafspoons - fold formed, annealed again and opened; and spoon bowl hammered
©2014 Barry Smith - Leafspoons - ground and polished
©2014 Barry Smith - A trio of Leafspoons on a wooden block
©2014 Barry Smith - A trio of Leafspoons on a wooden block
Looking good; and hopefully going to make a few folk smile.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Letter openers for Maleny Additions

©2014 Barry Smith - Points of silver-plated copper LLOs on wooden block
My Leaf Letter Openers (LLOs) have proved popular in Maleny Additions - the last batch I gave them have sold out so I had to get back into production. Whilst blog readers have seen the process before the photos below show the conversion of a round recycled silver-plated copper into 6 LLOs.

Marking up half of the double leaf form and folding.

©2014 Barry Smith - Silver-plated copper -  cut, marked and folded
Hammering the two leaf forms in different directions.

©2014 Barry Smith - A bit more cutting and then hammering on the anvil
Unfolding the rough leaf forms.

©2014 Barry Smith - LLOs in the rough
And the finished product after grinding and polishing.

©2014 Barry Smith - LLOs looking shiny on wood in the afternoon sun
All the above takes a while with a couple of annealings thrown in - but the result is good and they rate now off to market in Maleny nAdditions.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wall of rust

The retaining wall at the front of our house was installed about 7 years ago. It was made from thick treated pine sleepers which are meant to last about 15-20 years. This is not the case in Maleny. Because of a number of seasons of very heavy rain some of posts were showing signs of wood rot. Fiona and I decided to rectify the situation by building another wall in front of the old one. The new galvo coated steel posts would provide addition support for the old wall; and the support for the new one. We also needed a return on the new wall to protect the old one from the elements.

Inspired by rusted walls we saw at MONA in Tasmania we decided to design and build a Corten steel wall that would rust. When I say build I mean: we design; the steel fabricator does the cutting and bending; and some ace carpenters and steel erectors erected the wall.

So the series of photos that follow show the newly erected wall.

©2014 Barry Smith - Corten steel wall - all the bolts line up

©2014 Barry Smith - Fiona walks the wall
©2014 Barry Smith - The wall and some rocks removed from post holes
©2014 Barry Smith - One beautiful corner
And some that show rusting process that has already started.

©2014 Barry Smith - Corner begins to rust 
©2014 Barry Smith - Rust on the edge
©2014 Barry Smith - A little negative space
©2014 Barry Smith - Rust on a bend
©2014 Barry Smith - Rusting end
We love this wall already - one very long (27-28m) sculpture on our block. It was really worth the effort.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Roasting for a friend

©2014 Barry Smith - The 2015 crop - did the first pick today
Fiona and I want to give about .5kilo of our coffee to our friend Jeff who gave us the roaster that makes that part of the process possible.

So I wanted the roast to be as fresh as possible - which included husking to get the fresh green beans for roasting. I am using beans that were picked in late 2014.

©2014 Barry Smith - The beans in their paper husks
©2014 Barry Smith - Box of beans and the husker's hopper is filled
©2014 Barry Smith - Fresh green beans
©2014 Barry Smith - 200-250gms of beans in the roaster
©2014 Barry Smith - The roast has started (13.5 minutes in the fan forced roaster)
©2014 Barry Smith - Lots of husks to sweep up
©2014 Barry Smith  - Love the colour and texture of the husks
And this is what .5kilo of freshly roasted coffee beans looks like - this is a mix of a 13.5min and a 13.7min roast - should be some subtle coffee flavours there.

©2014 Barry Smith - .5kilo of home grown, processed and roasted organic coffee
This little lot will be ground and consumed in Jakarta.