Friday, October 30, 2009

More than beaten metal?

I made these three little beaten brass bowls as gifts with particular people in mind. I found it a bit interesting that in designing and executing each piece I reflected on an aspect of each person’s life and have built a thought or vibe into each bowl as part of the gift giving.

I wondered as I crafted each bowl whether we can imbue the metal with that thought or vibe and that it is somehow shared with the person when they handle or focus on the bowl. Hmm!! Maybe I should just get more rest.

Thought I'd share a bit of close up detail of a couple of the bowls.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Inspirational public art sculptors

Don’t you just love it when you have a bit of spare time to be able to dip into a book or two by other artists. Lately I have been discussing community public art with Edith-Ann as we think it would be useful if in Maleny and the Hinterland we could approach public art in a slightly more coordinated way. I will post on this at a later date as the ideas gel.

However the discussions have led me to get out our books by Andy Goldsworthy and Beverly Pepper and just be uplifted by the amazing things that such artists have created over the years.

Goldsworthy’s sculptures of course can be ephemeral but he also has many pieces that are going to be in place for a long time including his walls and stone cairns.

I am amazed by the sheer scale of many of Pepper’s works. I particularly love the form and rust of her Genesis altar.
Images scanned from : Passage by Andy Goldsworthy; and Beverley Pepper Sculpture in Place by Rosalind E. Krauss

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tis at an end

Well work on my pieces for Fiona and my In the Stillness Exhibition to be held at Maleny Artworks (28 Oct-18 Nov)is complete. I finished on a rather mixed note with three quite different pieces.

I created a small balanced cube with patina copper and horseshoe nails. In the small v shaped pocket formed by the timber and metal I have included five slips of different metal each with an inspirational word stamped on it.

I have produced a set of patina copper leaves – soft shapes and good colour.

And last of all a quirky piece. This is made from an old brass strainer out of the spray back pack I have cut to pieces for making bowls etc. Through the strainer holes I have dropped bead making wires and in the bowl itself these wires support glass and crystal beads. The strainer is supported by brass rods drilled and glued into the timber base. Bit weird but one can’t let a good bowl shape go to waste.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Water feature with a difference

As indicated in an earlier posting one of the categories of my work for Fiona and my 'In the stillness' exhibition focuses on water fonts or bowls for quiet places in the garden . In all I have created four water pieces. In an earlier posting I shared the ‘Wood and Water’ piece. Today I finished the last of the four pieces and was pleased how it turned out.

The piece called 'Balancing' is a shallow bowl, made from the top of a zinc coated steel water cylinder, offset on a 150mm square timber pillar 800mm high. Leaves cut out of the body of the cylinder spiral up the pillar.

Holes, left in the bowl after fixtures on the cylinder were removed and ground off, have been covered by riveted brass triangles. The centre of the bowl has a ruby glass stone set in brass. This glass ‘gemstone’ was recovered from an old small decorative brass door. And yes the rusty tube sticking up in the air was part of the original fittings inside the cylinder.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

For Noela

A while ago I mentioned that I had tried to take a piece of work too far and the metal split. My friend Noela keeps saying that I could use heat to enable the metal to be more pliable – I know this but at this stage I am just taking my first steps in the area of beating and forming metal and the cold metal approach is ok for me at the moment.

However she did offer me another challenge that I have taken up and that is to finish the broken piece but let the beauty of the damage show through. So you can see the final product in the uploaded photos.

Much beating and riveting has been done and patina copper has been added to fix the splits. I have turned this into one of my meditation bowls for the exhibition – the words are in sinc with the condition of the bowl - it suggestes that life can have a number of fractures etc. I think it is a bowl that could encourage someone to feel positive about reviewing and choosing to put life on a new path – could use it myself maybe?

Small beaten metal meditation bowls

Fiona and I are on the final leg of preparations for the Exhibition. It is funny how you begin to do the checks to see if you have quality pieces and also have the quantity to fill but not over-fill the exhibition space.

I’m pleased to say that the series of small hand held meditation bowls has come to fruition. I was aiming for six and as you can see from the photos I have achieved that goal.

The photo of one of the bowls in my hand shows how small they are. They are meant to be cupped in the palm of one’s hands whist meditating. Each has a word/s such as serenity, peace, joy stamped into it as a further aid to calm and focus the mind.

The bowls nestle well into the hand and being metal, adjust to the body temperature as you hold them.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Smoke and water

E-day, that is exhibition day (28 Oct.), is nearly upon Fiona and I so there is just that slight bit of mad panic emerging in the household. Not that we are not on track but rather we anticipate that the unexpected could, and usually does, happen and all the best plans go out the window.
Still the last few days have been productive.

I have continued to work on the water font pieces for the garden but also a few pieces that would be used as vessels for burning incense.

The grey piece below is a cut down recycled zinc coated water pressure cylinder. The leaf pattern was cut into the cylinder using an off-cut blade in the angle grinder. Rivets and patterns ground onto the metal finish the design. However it needs to cure outside – hopefully picking up a bit of rust over the next week or so on the edges of the pattern and other areas where the zinc has been ground off.

The tall thin piece is made from recycled timber and copper from and old water heater.

The incense burner is part of an old copper fuel tank and copper soldering irons – just a piece to keep the quirky dimension alive.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wood and water

As Fiona and I get closer to exhibition opening day our conversation has turned more and more to the themes that are running through our pieces. At the moment mine works are clustering into four loose categories: small beaten metal bowls that can be a point of focus; bowls that hold inspirational words; incense burning bowls and holders; and water features.

In regard to the later I have been testing the idea of bringing wood, metal and water together. So I want to create larger hard wood pieces that can sit in the garden and collect water in a turned bowl. Of course over time the timber will gather moss and the copper will continue to patina.

The piece in the photos is made from salvaged rose gum timber and recycled copper The piece is 800mm high and 200mm square – rose gum – very hard and very very heavy.

I like the idea that the ageing process will soften and incorporate the piece into the fabric of a garden setting. My vision is that the owner of such a piece would place it in a small courtyard or corner of the garden where the owner can sit, relax , reflect and let the garden and surrounds slow them down – meditating when you are not meditating?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Shining fragments

Part of my art work this week reflects the notion of 'stars'. The story goes that stars are the shining fragments in the fabric of the universe that are created by the souls of those who have moved to the spirit dimension; and there are billions of them. And why did my mind turn to stars?

This week has been one of much suffering and sadness on both a grand and small scale. The tsunamis, floods, typhoons and earthquakes are just so full of human loss and suffering for those who have lost people and those who are injured. But also there have been many small and individual deaths including that of Lucy Vodden - the inspiration for the song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Though it was not written to reflect such a message the song always reminds me of stars and therefore many shining spirits!

My beaten metal bowls this week have tried to capture a sense of stars and ‘diamonds’. It was one way of recognising the suffering of those who had lost family and friends.

I would like to think that people who might own these bowls might reflect on the possibility that we will all become stars or diamonds in the sky.