Sunday, June 26, 2016

This goes with that

©2016 Barry Smith - Lock, key and hairy oak
I have been away for half the week in Melbourne doing work-work. I was to do art work yesterday but we were totally without power from 1am-7.30pm on Saturday after a big cold windstorm on Friday night (I was snug in Melbourne and Fiona and the block were lashed by wind and cold - not a lot was achieved. I took Fiona to the airport this morning sop she could fly to Rocky for her Wrapt in Rocky teaching gig. So today I have been able to spend about 6 hours finishing the leaves and making Artisan Lamps.

I got two finished; and two just need to be wired etc etc.

The title of the blog indicates  the making of my Artisan Lamps involves brings different elements together to create a new whole - you can see that is true in the following photos.

©2016 Barry Smith - A very industrial Artisan Lamp
©2016 Barry Smith - Focus on the industrial
©2016 Barry Smith - Blowtorch lamp using blowtorch from Kirkwall in the Orkneys
©2016 Barry Smith - Blowtorch lamp using blowtorch from Kirkwall in the Orkneys
©2016 Barry Smith - Locks, keys, hairy oak and gaslight fittings - cords, light fitting and globe to be added. As you can see - similar but different - siblings not identical twins
The 18 leaves have been coated, polished on the edges and recoated - so they are now ready for bagging.

©2016 Barry Smith - Lined up for last coating of 'varnish'
©2016 Barry Smith - Beautiful patina and contrasting copper highlights
©2016 Barry Smith - Six sets of leaves
I feel a bit weary - so a single malt and a fungi risotto will now complete the day.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Objects for Artisan Lamps

©2016 Barry Smith - Rusty and patinated detail of a door lock
Sometimes one of the time consuming tasks associated with making my Artisan Lamps is the selection of interesting copper, brass and rusted 'found objects'.

I'm about to start 4-6 more lamps and therefore started to select possible objects and place them on the work table so I can wander around and think about them - to see if I can add other bits to a core piece; and/or whether I can funds bases for pieces; and/or whether I can find pieces I can tap threads into .

Anyway I thought I might share a few images of what is currently on the table and will be worked on in the next few days or put back into 'stock'.

©2016 Barry Smith - Couple of interesting gas fittings
©2016 Barry Smith - Detail of gas fitting
©2016 Barry Smith - Ornate double tap gas fittings - similar but not a pair
©2016 Barry Smith - Small blowtorch
©2016 Barry Smith - Meat mincer
©2016 Barry Smith - Small (about 50cm high) brass tripod
©2016 Barry Smith - Various water plumbing fittings
©2016 Barry Smith -Wood and brass pump handles and beautifully patinated brass bits
©2016 Barry Smith - Very aged locks - could end up as bases of lamps?
I must admit some of the 'found objects' have lovely layers of history and patina on them.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Setting moon after the rain

©2016 Barry Smith - Reflected moonlight on and through dark clouds
Sunday was a very wet day for us un the eastern seaboard of Australia - and Maleny did not miss out on the rain system. However it moved through in about 24 hours.  We went to sleep with the tail end of the rain and woke to a setting moon and the last banks of black clouds drifting to the south.

The photos were taken about 5.20am and the opportunity to take photos only lasted about 10-15 minutes before the clouds covered the moon. When they moved on the moon had set.

Many of the photos have varying amounts of dark cloud drifting over the face of the moon. The colour of the moon appears to relate to the density of the cloud; or its absence.

©2016 Barry Smith - Almost covered in a shimmer of dark cloud
©2016 Barry Smith - Patches of colour and cloud
©2016 Barry Smith - Cloud edged in moonlight
©2016 Barry Smith - Almost free of cloud
©2016 Barry Smith - About to drop behind the cloud and horizon
The setting moon shots were balanced by a brilliant moon rise Fiona pointed out to me at about 5.30pm on Monday night when she was heading into town for a Celebration of the Book meeting.

©2016 Barry Smith - Stark golden rising moon - through trees and power line
©2016 Barry Smith  - Getting higher and changing colour
©2016 Barry Smith - Free of the horizon and paler
And light in the valley on Tuesday.

©2016 Barry Smith - The valley with cloud and early morning light
Never a dull moment on the mountain if one is aware of what is on offer weatherise.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


©2016 Barry Smith - Fire coloured copper - annealed leaf forms ready to be opened
I have been asked to supply some of my Artisan Lamps and larger leaves to a 'new' shop-gallery opening in the Brisbane Valley at the beginning of July. Amidst other things I have been gradually making the Artisan Lamps - so thought I should get on with a few sets of copper leaves this weekend.

I got a little time on Friday and Saturday to do the production process for 18 leaf forms that are about 200-220mm long and 60mm wide. I didn't get to finish them because of the heavy rain that started Saturday night; and because I'm doing a work-work project.

Anyway as you know the process always starts with recycling scrap metal; cutting and annealing; and pickling.

After the forms are cut and hammered there is more annealing and opening on stakes and anvil.

Polishing ready for patina solution.

The solution begins to work its magic.

Couldn't get all the photos across into the post; and couldn't put captions on - bit of trouble with blogger - must be the rain.

Because these leaves will be in groups of three for indoors they will be sprayed with a matt coating and the edges will be given a polish to let the copper shine through again. But the last stages will need to be done next week.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Women of metal

From the title of the blog post one might think this is about women and gender equality etc. Well a couple of weeks ago Fiona and I attended a Communities in Control conference in Melbourne - you can check out the excellent lineup of speakers etc here. One of the groups promoting their role was Emily's List.  As part of their promotional material they had Rosie the Riveter socks - which were duly purchased. Rosie the Riveter says women can do it. But this blog is not directly about Rosie or gender equality - but it is about women doing metal stuff.

©2016 Barry Smith - Half the group adding resin to the silver-plated metal pendants that were cut and formed using a metal press
On Thursday I had 8 women in my garage-studio working with metal. A friend, Annie B, asked if I world do a workshop with a group she is in  - I said yes; and cleaned the studio and prepared for a day of: metal and resin, making metal bowls and forming metal leaves.

The results of the metal and resin work.

©2016 Barry Smith - Great line of metal pendants with inclusions and resin

Some hammering going on.

©2016 Barry Smith - Leaf making in action
Bowls and leaves on the bench for a final polish.

©2016 Barry Smith - Bowls and leaves needing a bit of wheel polish
©2016 Barry Smith - Six of the 8 sets looking shiny
It was a grand day and much fun was had.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sculpture unveiled

Yesterday the sculpture celebrating Unity Water's UN environment award 2015 for an environment water cleaning and wetlands regeneration project was unveiled. It was a wet drizzly day; but what better day to celebrate nature and water; and of course there was a planting of over 400 trees to further confirm the commitment to the environment.

©2016 Fiona Dempster - Barry, Ron and Jane - pretty pleased with the unveiled work
The sculpture was commissioned by Unity Water and the project was coordinated by the environment group Greenhills Fund. The sculpture is made up of two pieces : a 1.7m and 300mm square timber monolith with etched aluminium panels that symbolise water and plants; and a seat with an etched panel that reflects the role of people-community (most volunteers) in carrying out the environmental project

Before the work was unveiled it looked a little like a funeral was to take place; or a magician act.

©2016 Fiona Dempster - - Jane from Unity Water saying a few words explains the significance of the award and sculpture
©2016 Fiona Dempster - Barry explains the use of the salvaged timber and the symbolism of the etched pieces before the covers were removed
And then the magic....

©2016 Fiona Dempster - A coordinated unveiling of the sculpture
©2016 Fiona Dempster - A coordinated unveiling of the sculptural branch seat
©2016 Fiona Dempster - A coordinated unveiling of the sculptural bench seat
Though the sculpture currently sits on a grassed area eventually it will be surrounded by a backdrop of trees that were planted on the day.

©2016 Fiona Dempster - Ron of Greenhills demonstrates tree planting to the volunteers
Great to see the work in place and able to give recognition to those who won the award; and give a bit of joy and rest to those who walk the Maleny Trail. The sculpture is located about 600-700 m from the RiversideCentre end of the Maleny Walking Trail