Sunday, June 16, 2019

Ten years on and a giveaway

©2019 Barry Smith - A set of Daily Word Leaves similar to the above is my giveaway 
It is hard to comprehend that today, 16 June, Fiona and I have been blogging on our art for 10 years. I also realise that I have now done over 1500 posts.

My blogging started on 16 June 2009 with a report on our art adventure in Japan.

©2019 Barry Smith  - Sculptural collaboration in Japan
Twelve months (2010) I was reflecting on the metal letters V & W that I made for A Letter a Week.

©2019 Barry Smith  - Tubular bells made with my alphabet 
Going back through the posts does make one smile - on this day in 2011 it was all about recycling - buffalos horns - which I'm still using today.

©2019 Barry Smith  - Buffalo horn pendant
iPhoneograpy has obviously has been part of my art world for some time as this post from 2012 shows.

©2019 Barry Smith  - Exquisite beauty of nature
It is probably appropriate that my giveaway is about Daily Leaf Words as this post in 2013 was about that.

©2019 Barry Smith  - This Daily Leaf Word set is now in a new home
We had open studio events a little more regularly in the past as the June 2014 post shows.

©2019 Barry Smith  - The elegance of rust - our studio sign
Metal still finds its way into my life as seen in this June 2015 post - in fact I had a couple drop in this morning to drop off a few rusty bits

©2019 Barry Smith  - Even today I still hunt for silver-plated trays to use in my metal work
 Others are fascinated by metal as you can see from this blog on women doing a workshop with me in June 2016

©2019 Barry Smith  - A friend enjoying the pleasure of forming a bowl
Not all my work is small - this big buttress root still stands proud - installed in June 2017.

©2019 Judy Bandidt - Recent photo of the buttress root - someone camped nearby.
 Product is still an enjoyable part of my life - small pieces that can bring joy - some of which make their way into my shop which apparently I updated in June 2018.

©2019 Barry Smith  - Fire caught in melted metal

If you leave a comment on this blog by way of celebrating the past 10 years of blogging with me you will go into the draw for the set of Daily Leaf Words. The giveaway will be drawn next Sunday.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Salvaged metal - beauty and challenges

©2019 Barry Smith - Large handmade rusty washers for the book wall
Creativity can of course take many forms. Mine over the last few days has included finishing upgrading the book wall, covering up some gaps in the woodwork on the tank steps and cutting silver-plated trays to make a stash of product.

I needed some seriously big rusty washers  (15cmX15cm) for the book wall and some different sized rusted plate for the sides of the tank steps. The result of that work is above and below.

©2019 Barry Smith - Rusty plate steel cut for washers and cover plates
©2019 Barry Smith - Drilling 12mm holes to make the oversized washers
©2019 Barry Smith - A stack of oversized washers and other rusty bits drilled on the bench drill press
I need quite a bit of silver-plate for leaf spoons and leaf pate knives for Maleny additions. I have had a number of large trays in my stash so I decided to cut off the rims to make flat plate for the product. My bench guillotine is handy for this work; but as it turnout one of the trays was thick (1.5mm) and hard - nickel silver - even a challenge for the guillotine. The other two trays were .7mm thick and were silver-plate over brass - nice!!

©2019 Barry Smith - The largest tray (on the bottom)  was about 60cm long and 40cm wide
©2019 Barry Smith - Large silver-plated nickel silver tray cut into 16 blanks for pate knives 
©2019 Barry Smith - Blanks for leafpate knives and leaf spoons marked up for cutting. The leaf spoons are being made from the second tray - silver-plate over brass
I tested the silver-plated nickel silver metal cut for the past knives - I wasn't convinced I could cut the shapes out with hand shears and that the metal would not fracture with the hammering and twisting. SoI made up one pate knife before progressing with the rest.

©2019 Barry Smith - I was right about not being able to cut the pate knife metal with my hand shears - I had to cut the metal with my guillotine and a mini disc grinder-cutter. Even bending the metal after annealing was a bit of a challenge - but no fractures.
That is as far as I got today

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Some unusual happenings in the valley

©2019 Barry Smith - Layers of afternoon light 
Over the past week we have seen some pretty usual light and cloud in the valley below us. I think winter is still my favourite time for light - subdued and layered colours.

©2019 Barry Smith - Trees in the mist
©2019 Barry Smith - Lakes of cloud in the valley
©2019 Barry Smith - Layers of afternoon light 
I started the walk this morning in near dark - but by the end of the walk the soft light appeared.

©2019 Barry Smith - Light and darkness - cutting through the neighbours blocks in the darkness
©2019 Barry Smith - Light from Treehaven Way
©2019 Barry Smith - Soft light and clouds reflected in the water in the fire pit bowl - looking south
©2019 Barry Smith - Soft light and clouds reflected in the water in the fire pit bowl - looking west

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Mini pod and bone

©2019 Barry Smith - Mini pod in the maker's hand
As the title says this blog post touches on the mini pod I completed over the weekend; and the preparation of bone for carving.

First the mini pod. Called a mini because the finished pod is about 45mm at its widest point and 39cm  in diameter across the top. The most difficult thing about hammering out a small pod is being able to hold it firmly on the metal stake and not hit one's thumb or finger. A few process photos follow.

©2019 Barry Smith - Flat metal circles sunk into shallow bowl forms
©2019 Barry Smith - After several rounds of annealing and hammering
©2019 Barry Smith - Almost there 
©2019 Barry Smith - Completed - started as 7-8cm circle of recycled silver-plate and raised to the point that the curved in opening measures 3.9cm
As you can see from the photos below this pod is quite small compared to the earlier hand shaped pod. I was pleased with the outcome.

©2019 Barry Smith - A pair of pods on the rust table
©2019 Barry Smith - Mini pod on rusted bike gears
©2019 Barry Smith - A pod nest?
Recently I saw a book on bone carving in one of the local second hand book shops. I thought it would be interesting to give carving a go since I have used bone and horn in jewellery. I also wanted to see how one prepared the bone. Of course it sorted with buying a couple of large beef bones and getting the butcher to saw the knuckles off. All the surplus meat and coating on the bones had to be scraped off and marrow removed. I thin cut the bones into rectangles to enable me to finish the scraping and brushing before soaking in detergent and bleach. the dried bone looks ready for carving.

©2019 Barry Smith - Beef bone - scraped and soaked in detergent and bleach solution overnight
©2019 Barry Smith - After second scraping the bones were cut into usable pieces
©2019 Barry Smith - Pieces of clean bone soaking in bleach solution
©2019 Barry Smith - Pieces of dried bone - ready for carving
The bone I have used in the past for jewellery has usually been through a cooking process. According to the book this results in oil etc penetrating the bone. Processing it as I did is supposed to produce whiter bone - we will see.

Friday, June 7, 2019

A pod in the hand

©2019 Barry Smith - Pod held by Fiona
I started making a series of pod vessels last weekend; but did not have time to get back to the task until today. My goal was to all but finish one of the pods. The good news is that I achieved that goal.

After a couple more rounds of annealing and hammering on the steel stakes you can see how the shape of the vessel is being tightened.

©2019 Barry Smith  - The raising process under way
©2019 Barry Smith  - The two metal stakes I used with the annealing tray and quenching basin in the background
©2019 Barry Smith  - Tightening and raising the vessel form
Along the way I found that the metal was developing a split - turns out the stamping process for putting the pattern on the silver-plated tray had created a small fault line.

©2019 Barry Smith  - Metal split along the stamped pattern of the old tray
But all in all the pod has turned out beautifully. The pod started life as a 10.5cm flat circle of silver-plated copper cut from a vintage tray. In the end the pod is 5cm in diameter and about 4.5cm high.

©2019 Barry Smith  - The form underneath is the 10.5cm circle of metal after being sunk into a shallow bowl; and the pod on top is about 5cm in diameter - achieved by 10 rounds of hammering and annealing.
The pod looks and feels gorgeous in the hand; and the worn hammered silver-plated inside looks great - bit of copper showing through.

©2019 Barry Smith  - Pod on annealing trash
©2019 Barry Smith  - Fiona showing the contrasting lustre of the inside
©2019 Barry Smith  - Fiona showing the contrasting lustre of the inside - hammer marks and overlap of split area
I will give the pod a final grind and polish when I have a few others to take over to the polishing bench.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Another book in the wall and other matters

©2019 Barry Smith - Fungi in sunlight on the book wall
I did walk this morning; and I did take some photos of the darkening winter light which I will share along with a gorgeous photo of rainbows reflections through the water in the kettle.

But first I thought I'd share a few photos of the ageing book wall. The book wall was created as a functional-art wall some 6 years ago. It was made in response to the number of hardcover books including year books, science books, coffee table books and encyclopaedias that were all being sent to the rubbish tip; and we needed a retaining wall.

When I made the wall I knew it was ephemeral and would need periodic top-ups. Recently I was given a full set of year books - some 50-60 books and a full set of encyclopaedias. This was on top of some boxes of books I had stored in the garden shed - other donations. I thought it was time to refresh the wall. You can see from the photos below it was in need of repair.

©2019 Barry Smith - A degraded section of the book wall
©2019 Barry Smith - Whilst sections are degraded they can look gorgeous - the lower layers gradually returning to the soil from whence they came
©2019 Barry Smith - Love the lines and how insects have made burrows in the book
But with the addition of additional books the wall will look strong again - go course with its waves and wrinkles.

©2019 Barry Smith - New layers to the wall
I spied a little pod amongst the leaf litter above the wall.

©2019 Barry Smith - Tiny seed pod that has lost its outer coating
Some photos of this morning's light.

©2019 Barry Smith - Winter frangipani at dawn
©2019 Barry Smith - Looking across the valley towards Brisbane 
©2019 Barry Smith - Lone street light in Treehaven Way
And that gorgeous rainbow light through the kettle.

©2019 Barry Smith - Waves of light and reflections through the water in the clear glass kettle