Saturday, January 30, 2010

Amazing blue in the sunset

About a week ago we were sitting on the southern deck sipping a few bubbles watching the sun setting. Of course it would be boring to take photos of all the sunsets but this one just had some unusual blues that became more visible as the sky became darker – so yes I did take a couple of shots that I thought were worth sharing; and to prove it wasn't just the bubbles distorting the eye. No photo shopping – just nature.

So while I’m posting on photos I guess I might as well give a pumpkin update. At last count the four original vines have now produced over 20 largish pumpkins. I just loved the light and colour of this little cluster under the leaves - the secret lives of pumpkins? Of course we are hoping it all stops soon – only so much you can do with a barrow full of pumpkins.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Beaten metal bowls 4 Super Bowl 2010

As indicated in earlier posts I have been working on two bowls for the Super Bowl 2010 challenge organised by jeweller and metal worker Wendy Edsall-Kirwin. I have completed a spiky bowl that includes sharp quills which I now call Spike; and a bowl that includes clock and computer parts that I call Time Machine.

Spike as you can see is made from beaten and polished recycled aluminium and patinated copper plate; plus echidna quills and copper wire. The copper wire has been used to sew the quills into place. The finely textured wire was plaited by Fiona.

Time Machine has been made from brass from and old pot-plant holder, recycled patinated copper, parts from a clock and brass nuts from computers (salvaged by Noela from our local computer store).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

More metal letters

After looking at the ALaW blog I realised I needed to get my skates on and hammer out a couple more letters to be able to make the publishing deadline challenge of four letters by 3 February.

As you can see I have been able to produce my ‘C’ and ‘D’. As it turns out all letters will be done in recycled brass.

Letters with curves in them (e.g. B, C and D) will be hammered and punched; and the plate itself will end up slightly curved (as you can see in the above photos). The heavier brass I’m using for these curved letters comes from the side of an old brass pot plant holder. When I cut it up the sheet just sprung out flatish but with a definite twist to the metal – over stretched in the manufacturing process I think. So I am working with the twist rather than heating the metal and returning it to flat.
Letters that are made up of straight lines will be done using the foldforming approach I used in the first ‘A’ I produced. This metal also comes from plant holders but is much thinner.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Art imitates nature - tri-bowl garden font

On our morning walk today we came across these seed pods – great shape with three joined portions; and just gorgeous colours.

The pods reminded me of a font that I have been thinking about – a triple bowl affair where the water collected in the upper bowl can cascade progressive to the lowest bowl.

As you can see from the sketch the bowls would be mounted on tall square pillars of timber that are connected by 12mm continuous thread and all bolted together. The bowls would overlap; and the upper two would be slightly tilted so that the water collected from the rain can trickle from one to the other. Of course all bowls will be full at the same time but there will be a sense of flow – I don’t intend to connect a pump to it. As a font it is simply meant to sit in a quiet part of a garden to give a sense of peace and stillness.

You can see I have gathered three different sized and types of bowls that have been cut from salvaged plant pots. Two of the bowls are brass and one copper. One bowl has a lot of stamped markings on it. I don’t intend to work the bowls too much – just try to bring out their existing character.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Time Machine – beaten metal bowl

The last few days have been given over mainly to sanding and repainting rails on the southern deck; and giving a friend a hand to dismantle a couple of sheds to salvage the iron sheeting and timber.

But today is Friday and one must do a little art on Friday – so I have just about completed the second of my two Super Bowl 2010 challenge bowls.

This bowl is called Time Machine because its central pieces and the legs are parts of the clock workings Noela gave me. The rest is recycled brass and copper. Hm!! and yes the two little bits hanging off the side are the hammers for the clock’s chime.

All in all it is developing well. Needs a bit of extra polishing; and the legs need to be levelled and ground smooth.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Nature modifies sculptures!!!!

I'm sorry but I just have to do a post on pumpkins again. The pumpkin vines over at the shed have now decided to take off – vines running in all directions – next year only one plant???
Anyway – on the terrace at the shed there are a couple of pieces of sculpture – one by Ken Munsie (ceramic 'cube with blue top'; and the ‘rocking chair’ by Tom from Canberra.

The before shot of the chair gives and idea how it looked before the vine attack.

The vines just think the pieces are there to support them. Though the vine draped 'rocking chair' sculpture is looking good.

And you can see we are getting pumpkins – under the chair.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Letter ‘B’ and Bowl Bits

There is nothing better for the creative spirit than to have a few things on the go at once. I still haven’t finished the Spiky bowl yet but because I was in the garage hammering out a ‘B’ for the ALaW challenge. Whilst there I thought I might as well make a start on a second bowl that might end up in the Super Bowl 2010 challenge.

It all did get a bit exciting at one point. Noela had given me the workings of a largish wind up clock and I was keen to get a few parts out of it for my next bowl – well after removing a few screws the whole thing just let go and shot springs and gear wheels all over the bench. The noise was such that Fiona came down stairs to insure I had not done myself a bit of damage – but no it was all good – just found a quick way to dismantle the beast.

The ‘B’ was hammered out of a piece waste brass. I used a delicate little hammer I made out of a hand held chisel. It required hundreds of hammer strokes to create the contrast and get the frayed edges.

I thought I would also just post a couple of photos of the bits that will be used in the next bowl including some of the exploding clock parts. The basic bowl shape of the larger bowl element has been beaten into shape.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Spiky bowl or dangerous flower?

Don’t you just love Friday afternoon – one has a ‘reasonable’ excuse for bunking off and going down to the garage-studio to do something with the right side of the brain. Anyway enough of that! Given that I have committed myself to the Super Bowl 2010 challenge I thought I might start playing with a few ideas this afternoon.

The bowl that is taking shape is made out of dirty aluminium from a baking tray that was discarded by the roadside, brass from a pot plant pot, copper from a discarded water heater and Echidna quills. The quills I’m sorry to say came from an Echidna that was dead by the roadside.

As you can see from the photos I have picked up an earlier interest of combining Echidna quills with metal (the spiky teapot).

When I showed Fiona the progress I was making she thought it looked like a dangerous flower; whereas I thought it was spiky bowl that had a tension between soft flowing form and spikes.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Rainy day tasks

It continues to rain on the mountain – not as heavy but lots of scudding showers. This means not a lot of outdoor work gets done.

However today between showers we went to a block of land in town that is about to be cleared to make way for a new medical centre-complex. We were told we could remove fence posts – a lot of these are old and have very interesting cut-outs and lots of rusty nails and bolts in them. Fiona and I ‘harvested’ 6 solid posts that have ‘installation’ written all over them. In the process we managed also to pick up a few scrub ticks – Fiona had one and I had three. But with our trusty tick remover they were all dispatched.

Other good news from my perspective is that I finally got around to putting vents into the walls of Fiona’s paper studio. This task has been on the list for about 12-18 months. I cut the vents out of the stainless surround of a rusted out BBQ that was thrown out as part of the roadside rubbish collection. The vents will help keep moisture down and therefore reduce mould attack – at least that is the theory.

Since I was using metal cut-off disks in the side grinder to cut out the vents I took the opportunity to cut up a heap of brass pot plant pots – so I now have a really good stash of metal for bowls - including the Super Bowl Challenge 2010; and the A Letter a Week challenge.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Foldformed letter

Fiona, Gemma and Pam (calligraphic friends) have undertaken the challenge to do A Letter a Week. This will result in 52 letters – 2 alphabets by the end of 2010. The only real rule is that the letter must be on a piece of any type of material that measures 7cm X 7cm.

I am definitely not a calligrapher – but I thought it would be interesting to take up the challenge for at least the first half of the year; and create one alphabet out of recycled metal. So far I am off to an OK start – I have cut up quite a few 7cm squares of flat brass, aluminium, copper and rusty iron.

I have created my first letter – a rudimentary foldformed A. (Photos show back and front views.)

This piece is made out of light weight brass cut from the side of an old plant pot.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Rain, rain and more rain

We could see it coming but who would have thought there was so much water in it.

We have just had 65mm of rain in an hour. As you can see it bucketed down.
And the tanks (2x10,000gals) were just gushing over.
The sun has just begun to shine again.

Feral pumpkins

It’s a pumpkin takeover. Can you imagine about a month ago we transplanted two pumpkin vines that grew out of compost we had spread on the veggie garden? Now with the rain and hot weather they have just gone ballistically feral.

As you can see runners are going off in every direction: taking over the dichondra hillside; along the retaining wall; and trying to cascade over the rest of the veggie garden.

What is amazing there is so much growth for so little return – out of all that green we have three pumpkins at this point – but maybe more to come???

Friday, January 1, 2010

Creative beginnings

I liked the idea of starting the 2010 with a of bit creativity. So once Fiona and I had done the necessary things around the block including mow the grass and finish and install more shelves in Fiona's paper cupboard I got stuck into a piece of scrap copper and did a quick punched new year bowl.

Like most of my hand held reflection or meditation bowls this has focus or aspirational words (Beginning, Inspiration and Create) stamped into it. The triangles in the centre unite the words.

In a sense those words collectively form an aspiration for 2010 - that we can start the year positively looking to be inspired and to create beautiful art that brings joy.