Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vessel exhibition

In the month of October Maleny Artworks is presenting an exhibition simply titled Vessel. The exhibition carries a prize of $500 for the winning Vessel.

Though the exhibition is primarily for clay workers I have entered and delivered two pieces. Both pieces are built around simple clay forms I made. The clay forms are hand built fired unglazed terracotta clay.

In the first piece a structure made from salvaged metal tubing, rusted screws and rods and wood supports an inverted pyramid vessel.

In the second piece a large wedge of rose gum and small brass rods supports a hull like vessel.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Metal – beaten and busted

Sometimes we just try to take the material too far. As you can see I had beaten this small bowl into shape; had added a line of copper rivets as and internal decorative feature; and was attempting to rivet a curved piece of metal to the bowl as an external decoration.

All went well attaching the external piece with rivets – all looked solid – but as I attempted to beat and meld the metal together the attached piece let go and also split. In its own way it does not look too bad – so I might go back and work it a bit more and see if the split and detached rivets can be incorporated into the final piece.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Spiky metal sculpture finds a home

Good news for me - the skinny and spiky small sculpture has been sold and will be off to a new home. I think the new owners will have a piece that will be a bit of a talking point.

I had entered three pieces into the exhibition. As you can see another of the pieces featured Echidna quills. Apparently a lot of people have commented on the use of the quills and are able to tell a story that has a quill connection.

The ceramic teapots in the Fantasy Teapot competition were in three categories – functional, porcelain painted and creative. It is always amazing to see where the challenge takes people – such good imaginations and use of ceramics. Of course there are three happy winners.

The show is really worth a look. Have a look at Mieke's blog on the exhibition.

Monday, September 21, 2009

World Peace???

At breakfast Fiona reminded me that today is International Peace Day. On this day we try to be a little more conscious about having peace in our lives; but also send out some peace vibes in the hope that we can all live a little more cooperatively and respect and accept our differences.

We thought we might do a blog each earlier today just to keep the day a bit more in our own consciousness; but also to simply get a few vibes out into the ether as well. So if you read this blog today or in the future may you go well and peacefully.

I thought I would post a few photos of carved bits and pieces that are on our block to remind us to think peace.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Skinny metal vessel with attitude

Another little challenge!!! I was talking to Mieke and she asked if I had done a sculpture for the upcoming MACG fine arts exhibition. Well it had not really crossed my mind that I might be part of that exhibition but given I was playing around with recycled bits I thought it would be fun to build a ‘sculpture vessel’ out of found bits and objects.

So I have come up with this rather skinny and spiky small sculpture (stands about 300mm tall and the base covers about 150mm square). This skinny vessel is made from a cylinder out of a brass knapsack spray (found amongst the roadside rubbish collection) and the rest of the piece includes some salvaged bits of copper pipe, brass bolts, brass rod, a timber base and the quills of an Echidna (from the side of the road near our place).

I think it is quite quirky and has attitude.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Timber and metal in balance

I was pretty keen to create this small sculpture. I wanted a piece that only used only two materials - scrap metal and salvaged timber in some form of simple material harmony. Of course I also want to experiment with getting a 200mm cube of rose gum to balance on one edge to symbolise the fact that we can easily go one way of the other in response to the tensions and push of life. The piece also has a balance between triangles and squares, shapes and angles.

I think the finished product has gravitas yet simplicity. I imagine the ‘pocket’ created by the vee shaped wedge cut out of the face of the block, lined with brass and covered by the brass sheet could be used to hold cards or hand-made book with some inspirational text – might need to talk to Fiona about that.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Poles and stone

Last week our research work took Fiona and I to Caboolture for an interview. Not that I want to write about that. No - fortunately we arrived early for the interview and so we went in search of a coffee. We ended up at the Caboolture Campus of the Brisbane North Institute of TAFE – the coffee option was not looking good so we opted for tea. Anyway the point is that as we drank tea we were lucky to see this imposing public sculpture made up of three large poles (250mm square and 6-8m high) and three large reclining sand stone slabs - all recycled. Both the poles and the slabs had waves and grooves cut into them – these elements bound the different materials into one whole.

I think the artist has created a real presence with the piece. The multiple large pieces offer the viewer the opportunity to wander through them and become part of the piece. We have some lengths of Blackbutt timber (150mm sq and 4m long) – they are destined to become a pole installation on our block.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Meditation and metal

This week has again been one where life itself has had the upper hand. Research and writing work, the maintenance of the block, community and family have taken the time this week so beating metal and blogging has taken a bit of a back seat.

Still if you want it to happen there is always time to do a few bits and pieces. I have been working with Hiro inTatebayashi to get a new supply of copper rivets from the hardware store we visited five months ago now. Well the parcel of rivets arrived (thanks Hiro) and they are already being put to work as you can see in the mindfulness message bowl.

Fiona and I have been collaborating on the mindfulness message bowl for the November exhibition and it has finally come to fruition. Fiona had already completed the verb words in calligraphy using copper and patina gouache. I completed the bowl this afternoon and the turned block has been ready for some time. It is a good feeling when it all comes together.

The flat brass spiral bowl and small aluminium lotus petal bowl are just part of the ongoing experiment – seeing what can be achieved with the scraps of metal and recycled parts of objects.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Magic moss

I was given a little challenge by a ‘friend’ who indicated that yes it was easy to see that I had a love of patina (is that really metal moss?); but what about ordinary scruffy moss - the stuff of water ways, cracks and woodlands - did I have a love of that ordinary moss?

It got me thinking of a few of the moss shots I have taken over the years – and yes I have come to the conclusion that I also have a love of ordinary moss. I just love its sheer clean beauty, vibrant colour, tenacity and amazing ability to appear in such a variety of places:

In water ponds,

In the forest and on trees,

and give colour to drab environments such as a footpaths

and a headstone in a cemetery.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Japanese influence - 'temple post'

Whilst Fiona and I were in Japan for the sister city art-culture exchange with Tatebayshi we were fortunate to visit a few temples particularly in Kyoto and Tatebayshi. The use of large square timber, copper sheeting and decorations and the mystery of the kanji symbols (at least for me) exuded a sense of calm for me.

As earlier blog posts indicate I love to combine timber with inspirational words, symbols (peace) or haikus. For our own block I have made a several ‘message posts’ that are spread randomly around the place. I hope to continue to do this so that as we walk around the block we will come across these hidden treasures that can remind us to be peaceful as we go about our lives – probably particularly when we are weeding.
I want to do a couple of posts for our place that capture a bit of the temple calmness and mystery. Whilst I have produced the post featured in this blog for David Linton in a way it was a good opportunity for me to test features that could appear on our ‘temple posts’.

I used old patina copper from a laundry boiler, off cut timber salvaged from our house and new copper tacks from the hardware store in Tatebayshi.
The kanji on the four sides of the post spell out - peace, joy, happines and love.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Story board

Some time ago I reported that Edith-Ann (EA) and I have been collaborating on the construction of a piece of public art in the form of a large concrete, metal and paint pigment art path at the Hinterland Business Centre. Some early photos below.

The work on the six story panels is complete including sealing the whole work; and EA has been hard at work landscaping the edges of the path with a stone drain and stone garden with much assistance from Carol as ace stone fetcher and cleaner.

The finishing element of the art piece will be a story board that shares the meaning of the six panels. I agreed to cut down, join and sand and oil two large planks recycled from a huge heavy iron bark timber table that belonged to a friend of EA. In the photos you can see the story board is ready and it is big – 1.8m long by 600mm wide by 50mm thick. It seriously takes two people to move it. But you can see the timber is beautiful.

Fiona has been enticed (conned??) into writing the story in calligraphy. She will do six story panels. Her experience with the David Linton piece demonstrated it was possible to write with ink directly onto the timber as long as you allowed the timber preserving oil to sink into the timber and gave it a very very fine sand – it resulted in a surface that the ink could adhere to without bleeding into the timber grain. Of course you then have to do a couple more coats of the oil to preserve the ink. Fiona said the fine cracks in the timber and the surface totally wrecks the calligraphy nib - so it becomes one nib per timber work.
We will keep you posted on the finished piece as the official opening of the path is not too far off.