Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Inspiration in the workplace

As you know from an earlier post I have started work on my commission of 30 sets of Daily words. What I didn't mention is that these will be given as corporate gifts to business people- that could be different for some folk.

Well they will getting bowls that go from dull, dirty and burnt…

©2014 Barry Smith - Daily Word bowls hammered but not ground and polished
©2014 Barry Smith - A stack of Daily Word bowls in the rough on the annealing pit
To shiny bowls that still have the marks of history and the maker…

©2014 Barry Smith - Shiny Daily Word bowls on the rust table - nice contrast
Most of the words for these sets of Daily Words are different - they are: authenticity, assertiveness, mindfulness, empathy, respect, peace and resilience - both motivational but also a balance of treating people well. The stamping of these longer words takes a bit more time; but hopefully they may add something to the lives and business of the owners.

©2014 Barry Smith - Daily Words for the workplace
I'm working on these in batches of 10 - and the first batch is well on the way.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunflower prototype

I'm thinking of doing an installation of metal sunflowers. I had a bit of free time this afternoon so I decided to make a rough prototype.

©2014 Barry Smith - Sunflower prototype - copper centre and tarnished silver-plated EPNS leaves
I searched for sunflowers on the web and found that they varied in the number of petals etc. I have decided to make mine with 36 petals. Because I will be making at least 21 flowers I need to be able to stream line the process.

The petals and leaves on the prototype are a bit rough and pointy; but this will be refined now that I know the process and the component parts. I still have to work out a secure way of attaching the leaves to the stem - I have a couple of ideas to try. At the moment they are attached by crimping the stems of the leaves to the stalk and glueing them in place.

©2014 Barry Smith - Sunflower prototype
©2014 Barry Smith - Sunflower prototype
©2014 Barry Smith - Sunflower prototype
The photos look good with the afternoon casting golden light and shadows. Lovely bits of rust of the rust bank in the background. All recycled materials; and no grinding or polishing.

Friday, July 18, 2014

A bit of a fishy Friday

©2014 Barry Smith - Small (250mm long) metal fish at sundown - looks like it is pretending to be a shark
Amidst other things I got to work on my fish installation commission today. I had started creating larger metal fish on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons - the biggest is 575mm long. Today the effort went into smaller metal fish - the smallest is 250mm long. Fiona asked what sort of fish they are - I said Barry-fish.

I make a series of components as seen below and then rivet the lot together.

©2014 Barry Smith - Looks like an Ikea fish
So the four small fish I made today are as follows.

©2014 Barry Smith - Four quirky metal fish
And a couple of shots of a small fish with a bit of body action.

©2014 Barry Smith - Fish with a twist
The bigger fish are made from the patterned section of a very large brass jardiniere.

©2014 Barry Smith - Big fish - just cruising
And the school of fish so far look like this.

©2014 Barry Smith - And the school of metal fish thus far
I am about to finish this very windy and cold day by making a couple of pizza (one is smoked salmon of course); and having a glass of red or two - just to warm up of course.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A stack of metal for Daily Words

Over the weekend I started a commission to make 30 Daily Words sets. Each of my  Daily Words set has a hammered bowl, 7 stamped metal words (one aspiration for each day of the week) and a small stand.

I have started cutting the metal discs for the bowls - I love the image of the edges of the  31 pieces of metal I cut.

©2014 Barry Smith - Metal edges - silver plated EPNS
©2014 Barry Smith - Metal discs for Daily Words bowls
©2014 Barry Smith - Metal discs for Daily Words bowls
And there are often interesting offcuts and patterns that emerge during the cutting process.

©2014 Barry Smith - Cutting up a silver plated EPNS drinks tray
©2014 Barry Smith - Spiral fragment from the central cut
And out of the off cuts I cut the strips for the stamped words. I need 210 strips in all - the photo below shows 130 pieces - still 80+ to cut from other offcuts.

©2014 Barry Smith - Metal blanks fror Daily Words words
I intend to make batches of 10 Daily Words sets at a time.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Peace 'prayer' wheel

Over the weekend I managed to finish my peace prayer wheel. This is my version of a Tibetan prayer wheel which when spun sends a prayer or aspiration into the ether.

©2014 Barry Smith - Section of Peace prayer wheel
My prayer wheel is has three levels of prayers or aspirations. On the lower level there is the saying "imagine peace"; on the upper level there are five prayers: seek peace, give peace, act peace, dream peace and be peace; and on the front panel is the saying "give peace a chance". Some images images follow:

©2014 Barry Smith - Peace prayer wheel at sunset yesterday
©2014 Barry Smith - Looking to peace and the sky
© 2014 Barry Smith - Prayer wheel at sunset
©2014 Barry Smith - Section of prayer wheel at sunset
My peace wheel is made from: a large pulley out of a washing machine; a three spoked piece out of an old lamp; 8 vanes made from an old fruit tray; a double bearing piece out of an old grinder; 2 exhaust clamps; 5 goblet bowls; and a new piece of aluminium pipe.

The wheel is meant to rotate with the breeze  - but it appears to be a bit heavy for the breezes we have had so far - I will see how it goes. Of course it can be spun by hand as prayer wheels usually are.   It will be installed at the top of our block in time for International Day of Peace as part of Flags for Peace.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Inspiration and adventure

I think these words Fiona and I picked to start our day were well reflected in this Friday. I had intended to do work on my Daily Word sets (bowls and words) and Flags for Peace prayer wheel - some of that happened.

But what really happened was: I got sidetracked finishing a Steampunk business card holder thingy; the owner of the spiral and pearl earrings and bracelet dropped in to pick them up; and we spent a frantic two hours work with artist friends making 20 environmental nesting-resting boxes for bats, feather tailed gliders and possums that our friends will at an environment display-talk tomorrow. So that is quite a bit of inspiration and adventure for this Friday.

©2014 - Pipe work - Steampunk business card holder
The Peace Prayer Wheel will be completed tomorrow. I thought I would share a few photos of the Steampunk business card holder.

The 'holder' is made up of two pieces: the base (wood, brass found objects, old ceramic fuses); and the card holder (scrap copper pipe, pipe sections from two spirit stoves, and other found objects including clock parts).

©2014 Barry Smith - Steampunk business card holder
©2014 Barry Smith - Steampunk business card holder
The base - a bit like a Steampunk recharging unit.

©2014 Barry Smith - Base of Steampunk business card holder
The holder - a bit like a steam charged energy rod - it has its own brass feet.

©2014 Barry Smith - Holder of the Steampunk business card holder
And I needed to share a couple of photos of the box making courtesy of Fiona who put her head up long enough to take a couple of photos on her iPhone - thanks.

©2014 Fiona Dempster - Yep that is the wood - just get on with it
©2014 Barry Smith - Feather tail glider boxes
©2014 Fiona Dempster - Tiny bat boxes
And as is the customer in out home - it is time for a glass of wine to celebrate our Friday.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Of morning and metal (cut and spiralled)

It was cold and clear this morning - so it made for some great early morning light as you can see from the photos below.

©2014 Barry Smith - Early light floods the valley half hour after the photo below
©2014 Barry Smith - Pre-dawn, city lights and stars in the sky
©2014 Barry Smith - Impossible colours of the sunrise
©2014 Barry Smith - Power lines and morning star
©2014 Barry Smith - Stitched photo of sunrise - Treehaven Way
Yesterday afternoon I cut up 6 larger trays and marked the metal up as the start of a commission to make 30 Daily Word sets before the end of the year - good to do them in stages.

©2014 Barry Smith - Metal harvest
©2014 Barry Smith - Offcuts from the harvest
©2014 Barry Smith - Brass and silver filings
I got a bit sidetracked yesterday afternoon as I formed an ornate silver plated EPNS handle of a tray into a spiral bracelet.

©2014 Barry Smith - Spiral and pearl bracelet
©2014 Barry Smith - Spiral and pearl bracelet
The bracelet is to go with the spiral and pearl earrings. I think progressing a number of things is just one feature of my work - it keeps the creative interest bubbling.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Of fish and flags

Yesterday afternoon I finished the spiral and pearl earring; and today I was progressing three lines of work: the flag-prayer wheel I'm creating for Flags for Peace; finishing a Daily Word-leaf set that needed to have a rose on the bowl (courtesy of a tray I fortunately had set aside); and doing a prototype of a fish for a commissioned wall feature.

I have not made a fish before so it was all a bit of trial and error. I want to keep the design simple and able to be replicated in different sizes and also be unique. The fish form (stylised fish) in the photo below is made from old recycled copper, silver-plated EPNS and new copper rivets. All hand formed and hammered of course. The tail section needs refining.

©2014 Barry Smith - Metal fish from recycled scraps.
©2014 Barry Smith - The rough bits of the metal fish 
©2014 Barry Smith - Metal fish from recycled scraps.
The peace flag-prayer wheel will have eight curved 'vanes' to catch the wind and drive the wheel. There are eight vanes because that is what I was able to cut from an old fruit basket-tray thingy.

©2014 Barry Smith - Metal vanes cut from an old fruit basket
©2014 Barry Smith - Five vanes with peace aspirations stamped on them.
©2014 Barry Smith - Three vanes with "imagine peace now" stamped on them
As you can see from the photos above I have stamped the peace words-aspirations on the curved metal vanes. I have polished the pieces but it was all getting a bit cold and dark outside so I'll assemble the bits and post on it on another day.

And this is how the spiral and pearl earrings finished up.

©2014 Barry Smith - Spiral earrings - recycled silver-plated copper and recycled pearls
Always good to progress and complete a few things.