Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cornucopia type of morning

©2016 Barry Smith - Tiny (1cm in diameter) crushed pods on the road - almost like water carrying vessels
This morning felt like autumn - coldish, grey and at first there seemed to be many things that were ended such as the pods above and below; or on their last legs.

©2016 Barry Smith
©2016 Barry Smith
But nature always surprises - showing some things one has not noticed before.

©2016 Barry Smith - Such an enfolding shape
©2016 Barry Smith
©2016 Barry Smith - Beautiful cascade of purple stars
©2016 Barry Smith
©2016 Barry Smith - Ants collecting nectar!!
And then there were those things that had decided to reappear even though spring had seriously passed.

©2016 Barry Smith 
©2016 Barry Smith
©2016 Barry Smith
The grey morning was in its own way fretting and offered a muted backdrop for the colour.

©2016 Barry Smith - I noticed this crushed glass on the outside workbench when I arrived back home

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Beauty in both the short and the tall

Jo St Baker asked me to make a few more Artisan Lamps for her studio-gallery in Redcliffe - it would appear that the lamps sell well in the industrial-Steampunk setting of her gallery.

I had made one blowtorch lamp before heading off to NZ; and had time to make 4 more before she dropped in to pick the lamps and some jewellery up on Saturday morning.

As always there are a couple of pieces that are favourites.  These included the small and tall lamps below.
©2016 Barry Smith - Short Artisan Lamp - formerly gas welding equipment
©2016 Barry Smith - Tall Artisan Lamp - formerly gas welding equipment; milk separator; and various brass and copper pipes and fittings
Not to say the other three aren't attractive as you can see.

©2016 Barry Smith - Artisan Lamp - formerly bunsen burners and gas welding tip
©2016 Barry Smith -  Artisan Lamp - formerly solid fuel blowtorch

©2016 Barry Smith - Artisan Lamp - formerly stop-cock tap; brass valve; and other found objects
I have added a photo of the stash of jewellery heading into Jo's studio-gallery.

©2016 Barry Smith - Steampunk influenced jewellery - mainly discarded watches and parts and resin - includes a few brooches
Over the weekend I was working on a commission of 20 Leaf Letter-openers - but that is for another time.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Molten metal

©2016 Barry Smith - Smoking hot - graphite crucible with molten metal at 1100 C
Some months ago a friend (Peter T) asked if he could do a metal melting day with me. Fiona and I set yesterday, 4 February,  in our diary. The weather had not been good, metal melting wise, for the previous few days - but yesterday dawned foggy but dry - so we decided to go ahead.

I put the electric furnace and a full crucible of small silver-plated brass and EPNS offcuts on at 8.30am. But by 10am when we were to do a pour the weather looked like this…

©2016 Fiona Dempster - Not the best day for melting and pouring metal
Still we sheltered ourselves from the rain and did the best we could with the pour.

I had made a few "green sand" (9 parts sand and 1 part clay mixed and dampened) moulds such as the small pyramid below. The colour of the sand is rusty as I was using fine rusty coloured sand.

Green sand mould
But we used a combination of sand, graphite and plaster (another experiment) moulds.

©2016 Peter T - Pouring into plater and graphite moulds
I was also experimenting with setting glass and watch parts into the metal by pouring the molten metal over a watch part and crushed glass and glass beads. Both these approaches worked in part - some potential with a bit of refinement.

2016 Fiona D - Brass-silver metal pyramid from plaster mould
©2016 Fiona D - Blue glass partly imbedded in metal
©2016 Peter T - Glass beads imbedded in metal
©2016 Fiona D - Watch body imbedded in metal
©2016 Fiona D - Metal heart
©2016 Peter T - Pieces knocked out of graphite moulds
©2016 Peter T - Small pyramid out of sand mould
©2016 Fiona D - Most of the pieces in the rough
The poured pieces have not been trimmed or polished - that is for another day.

Very safety conscious when doing this work - me with safety equipment.

©2016 Peter T - Ready for outer space?
Today (Friday-  I have been working on a few more Artisan Lamps and Steampunk influenced jewellery to go to JoSt Baker's gallery in Redcliffe - more on that on Sunday.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Colour and light through droplets

I'm continually fascinated by droplets of water on plants - particularly after rain.

In NZ Fiona and I sat having a coffee from a van-shack in what literally was a vacant block - the reward was good coffee and  water droplets on some nearby plants.

©2016 Barry Smith - Droplet filled with colour

This morning I walked on the mountain - the theme of droplets and the reflected colours and light was further explored - we had a storm yesterday afternoon and rain over night. I'll start and end with a rose in our front yard.

©2016 Barry Smith - Early morning rose

©2016 Barry Smith - Water jewels in the agave creases 
©2016 Barry Smith - Frangipani, droplets and micro spider
©2016 Barry Smith - Mid morning rose - from bud to bloom in a few hours
And this is what the valley looked like as I took off for my walk.

Funny how the small things can entertain one.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bringing fragments together

©2016 Barry Smith  - Bone earrings with drill holes and solid silver rivet
Over the weekend I just wanted to do a small bit of creating to ease me back into things. I decided to not start any commissions or product for outlets; but rather just do something that used bits and pieces that asked to be used.

So I decided to use: some scraps of bone still lying around from earlier work; some of the sea glass from NZ; a few NZ pebbles; and a few scraps of silver-plated EPNS and copper.

©2016 Barry Smith - Stash of fragments ready for selection and assembling
As you can see from the first photo this resulted in a few pieces of bone jewellery. The bone earrings above are something new for me - the bone drops are about 20-25mm long 5-6mm wide and 5mm thick at the thickest point. They made their way into Fiona's jewellery box this afternoon.

A few more bone pendants with negative space.

©2016 Barry Smith - Bone, glass and stone and brass
©2016 Barry Smith - Love the simple lines of this bone, glass and stone pendant
©2016 Barry Smith - The bone has natural imperfections - contrast between the brick and black pebble and dark brown sea glass - brass rivet on both sides to fill natural holes in the bone
©2016 Barry Smith - Curved sea worn fragment of a bottle spout.
And a few of pendants with silver-plate.

©2016 Barry Smith - Square (25-30mm) pendant with silver-plated EPNS
©2016 Barry Smith - Rectangular pendant (about 40mm long by 20mm wide) with silver plated copper
©2016 Barry Smith - Unusual block pendant (about 40mm long, 15mm wide and 10mm thick) with natural black grain in the bone plus silver-plated EPNS on two faces 
A satisfying and gentle way to get back into the creative groove.