Sunday, August 12, 2018

Metal and buffalo horn jewellery

©2018 Barry Smith - Brass wire inlaid into blackish buffalo horn - last photo shows this is a detail of a pendant
I like how the silver-plated metal, blackish buffalo horn and rivets have come together - quite elegant.

I will just let the pieces speak for themselves.

©2018 Barry Smith - Silver-plate, brass rivets and buffalo horn pendant - about 6cm long
©2018 Barry Smith Silver-plate, brass rivets and buffalo horn pendant - about 6cm long - horn is about 3mm thick
©2018 Barry Smith - The grain in the horn was too nice to cover on this pendant 
©2018 Barry Smith - Slender buffalo horn and brass rivet earrings - all the earrings have solid sterling silver earwires - drops are about 6cm long and 5mm square
©2018 Barry Smith - Rectangular earrings - blackish buffalo horn, hammered silver-plater brass rivets - drops are about 4cm long and 8mm across
©2018 Barry Smith - Almost square - brass and aluminium rivets in blackish buffalo horn - drops are about 2cm long and 1.54cm across
©2018 Barry Smith - Blackish buffalo horn with inlaid brass and stainless steel wire - this was Fiona's suggestion - she thought the saw cuts in the horn needed highlighting - it worked - still a bit rough but it started from a very rough off-cut - about 6cm long, 3.5cm wide and .8cm thick.
Hopefully I will be fully functional again next week.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Preparing horn

©2018 Barry Smith - Five slices of buffalo horn for pendants - rough cut
I got a bit of a twinge in my back after shovelling some gravel so no heavy work involving bending and twisting was the order. The next planned post installation for the terraces just has to wait a while. I decided to continue my riveted jewellery work but combine slices of almost black buffalo horn with the metal and rivets.

Slicing and sanding horn is quite a time consuming process because I do it by hand to: minimise horn dust; and also not to burn the horn with fast rotating sanding equipment.

The goal was horn for three pendants and 3 pair of earrings. But one tends to cut a bit more when one is in the process.

©2018 Barry Smith - Pieces for earrings and a couple of odd offcuts - rough cut
©2018 Barry Smith - Pieces put back into the horn stash for another day
I do the sanding sequentially with the following grits: 80, 240, 400 and 800. I finish off by polishing the horn with metal polish.

©2018 Barry Smith - Sanding on 80 grit creates quite a lot of horn dust - smells like burning hair when sanding with the coarse sandpapers - I wear a good quality charcoal filter mask when I do this work
©2018 Barry Smith - Pieces of hon with 4 grit level of sand paper as the background
©2018 Barry Smith - Buffalo horn being given the final polish with m,metal polish - takes a few blemishes away and bring out the colour
©2018 Barry Smith - Before and after photo
©2018 Barry Smith - Though I put heavy cloth bandaids on my thumb and finger I still managed to sand a bit of skin off my thumb - the sacrifices of artists???
The pieces are then ready for drilling, riveting etc.

©2018 Barry Smith - Three buffalo horn pieces ready for pendant making
©2018 Barry Smith - Three sets of buffalo horn for earrings
©2018 Barry Smith _ Not sure what this will become - I cut a section off the horn where I had been doing the vertical cuts to create the slices for pendants and earrings.
The process of making the above horn pieces took about 3.5 hours. I'll post on the finished pieces on Sunday.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The flowers think it is spring


©2018 Barry Smith - One of the many grevillea unfurling
At times it seems that the trees and plants think that spring is just around the corner; but given it was 2 degrees this morning we humans still think it is winter.

However one of the benefits of the cold clear winter mornings is that the last fragment of the moon can be seen in the grey winter morning sky. The grey sky also provided a good backdrop for the birds on the wires.

©2018 Barry Smith - A fingernail of moon in the morning sky
©2018 Barry Smith - Three magpies waiting for sunrise
Now back to some of those blossoms. The crucifix orchids in particular are bursting forth.

©2018 Barry Smith - New orchid in G's orchid house on our block
©2018 Barry Smith - Brilliant colour on the morning walk
©2018 Barry Smith - Orange crucifix near the book wall
©2018 Barry Smith - Another bouquet of white crucifix blossoms
©2018 Barry Smith - Strong pink crucifix orchid near the peace post
©2018 Barry Smith - Slightly chewed but brilliant red
The good news is that though cold the mornings are getting brighter earlier - I am now walking in grey light with a blush of a sunrise.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Nestled in dappled light

©2018 Barry Smith - Tops of the trio of posts in dappled light
This post installation was in part inspired by a small ceramic installation I saw about 6 months ago. The image of the movement from a thicker base to pointed shaped tops just seemed deliciously organic. I wanted to capture some of that movement in the timber posts - going from the square to the pointed tops in a flowing movement.

The work started with some pretty daggy 15cm square lengths of timber in one of my stacks. My chainsaw and belt sander were all that were used to crave-create the shapes. I tried to make each post a little bit of an individual.


©2018 Barry Smith  - Trio at sunset - still a bit rough
I like how they now stand quietly near the stairs leading down to the second terrace below the house.

©2018 Barry Smith  - A quiet group in the company of trees
©2018 Barry Smith  - The trio have been oiled to slow down any cracking of the newly exposed timber - but over time they will just gradually go grey and blend even more with the trees - the tallest post is about 1.2m high
I often reflect on the fact that with our creations there are always inspirations that lead up-influence us. It can be some aspect of nature; or it can be a fragment of the work of another artist. As it is said there is not a lot that is truely new.  I'm pleased that the tops of those ceramic pieces caught my eye and inspired me to make this installation for our block.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Of hearts and posts

A couple of bits for Friday. Fiona said that she was a intending to scatter a few more heart forms in different places on the block. She already has a pottery heart, a couple of heart shaped stones and a recently acquired iron heart formed by a blacksmith. She indicated she was on the look out for some wire hearts that would rust.

I managed to make the three wire hearts below. The biggest heat shape is about 15-17cm long.

©2018 Barry Smith - A trio of wire hearts for the block - the rusting process has started
The raw materials from my wire stash.


The vise was very handy for holding the forms when I was winding barbed and plain wire on the base form.

©2018 Barry Smith 
I have started making three post forms that will make a small installation down on the terraces. One thing leads to another - I decided to use some of the weathered lengths of timber that had sat near the sandstone that is gradually migrating down to the rock river.

©2018 Barry Smith - A pile of well weathered salvaged hardwood
This was a job for the chainsaw to create the rough shape I wanted at the top of the posts.

©2018 Barry Smith
Created quite a lot of sawdust in the process.


I hope to get to finish the three posts and to share the photos on Sunday.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The moon - eclipse and subsequent morning waning moon


©2018 Barry Smith/Fiona Dempster - Almost total eclipse - 28 July 2018
Fiona and I set our alarm so that we would wake just as the moon eclipse started - in official terms the partial eclipse. We were out on the deck when it was about a third of the way through the eclipse.

We watched, enjoyed and photographed the eclipse with the Canon Powershot. It was a bit difficult to get great photos because of the the contrasting light and the camera becoming confused as regards what it would focus on. Still I think between us we got a reasonable number of photos from our southern balcony. I credited both Fiona and myself because it was unclear who took which photo - tag team!!!!

©2018 Barry Smith/Fiona Dempster 
©2018 Barry Smith/Fiona Dempster 
©2018 Barry Smith - I tried just focusing on the section of the moon that was still clear of the eclipse
©2018 Barry Smith/Fiona Dempster 
©2018 Barry Smith/Fiona Dempster 
©2018 Barry Smith/Fiona Dempster  - Almost total eclipse
©2018 Barry Smith/Fiona Dempster 
©2018 Barry Smith/Fiona Dempster - A whisker away from total eclipse????
We could not watch what was officially deemed to be the end of the eclipse as eventually there was too much morning light and the moon just faded into the background as it began to set. So I decided to take a few shots on Monday and today to see how it looked as it waned and began the morning setting process.

©2018 Barry Smith - Morning moon - about 5.30am 30 July 2018
©2018 Barry Smith - Morning moon - about 6.30am 30 July 2018
©2018 Barry Smith - Morning moon - about 5.30am 1 August 2018
©2018 Barry Smith - Morning moon - about 6.30am 1 August 2018
Could be enough moon photos for a while.