Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My letters for ALaW

Wow! The time to upload my letters for the A Letter a Week 2010 challenge has come around pretty quickly. The month of March offered the opportunity to do 5 letters.

As you can see from the photo I am continuing my beaten metal letters - foldformed for the straight letters and beaten heavier brass for the round letters. This month J was the only round letter.

I think the challenge has helped me improve my technique of doing folds that have a start and stop point inside the perimeter of the metal. This applies to L and M in particular. Not perfect but getting cleaner.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Cherry blossoms in Japan- Camelias in Maleny

I was reading over the weekend that the Cherry Blossom wave has started in Japan. The cherry blossom phenomenom unfolds from Kagoshima in the south and gradually moves through to Hokkaido in the north.
However this natural cherry blossom exhibition is being matched by the Camelia blooms on the mountains of Maleny at this very moment.

We planted about 40-50 Camelia bushes two years ago on the terraces below our house. The warmer weather after the recent rain has resulted in a rush of blooms.
In the photo below you might be able to make out another connection with Japan - our temple peace bell can be seen in the background through the Camelia bush.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Book stacks - ephemeral assemblages

As planned I managed to get time to complete the book stacks. These stacks will most likely become part of the Lucas Parklands forest walk exhibition.

Though I call them book stacks it is not just a matter of stacking a heap of books together.

As you can see from the photo above each stack has its own water-rot resistant ply base and top; and a continuous metal thread through the centre. I attempted a few stacks about 12 months ago and found that to get the rigidity I wanted it was necessary to compress the book in lots of 5-7 using the top piece of timber, a large square washer and a nut to pull it all together. And to stop the books swivelling I glue them together as I go. The stacks below are strong and are freestanding units.

The three assembled stacks form one ephemeral sculptural piece I have called " Quiet Transition".

The idea is the stacks will stay out in the open and be subjected to the vagaries of the weather; and over time, maybe 2-5 years, will quietly breakdown and once again become part of the forest floor.

Friday, March 26, 2010

It must be Friday

Well what a great day - the sun shone and there was no rain. It must be Friday because after getting the "work-work" at the computer out of the way in the morning it meant I could spend the afternoon on art and garden maintenance (that is a euphemism for weeding).

I have finished a couple of letters for ALaW; and I started doing three book stacks for the Lucas Parklands Open Garden exhibition in June.

The photos show K and L created using the foldforming approach. I think this time I got the folds to stop with out crossing so as to create crisper letters.

I have also taken a cluster shot of all the letters I have done to date.
I hope to complete the book stack over the weekend and so post on them on Sunday.

For those waiting for another pumpkin update one is one the way. We have some very creative pumpkins on the way including the "hanging pumpkin of the not so great wall of Maleny" and the "old rocking pumpkin" - hmmmm!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

And the give-away winner is

As you know I have organised a give-away to celebrate the fact that I had reached the milestone of 100 blog posts. I offered a small beaten metal meditation-reflection bowl as a give-away.

I asked those interested in being included in the give-away offer to post a comment on stillness-quietness. If you check the blog 10 comments were received. I used a random number generator to decide who would get the meditation-reflection bowl that was on offer.

And the person whose number came up is Wendy van der Drift - congratulations Wendy. Wendy's winning quote was :

in quietness
and in confidence
shall be your strength

Thanks to those who participated.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cut and grind - start on a couple of sculptural pieces

The weather was finally kind for about a half of the day today. Clear, sun shining and blue sky - a good time for cutting the rusted fireplace into some component parts - with sheets of rusted iron left over for other pieces.

I marked the whole fireplace into the triangles I wanted - lots of different sizes; and as you can see started cutting from the top down.

The whole process took 9 fibre cutting disks (a couple simply disintegrated); and about 2-3 hours cutting. The metal is 3mm thick.

The end products look interesting. When placed together they look as little like a herd. Over the next little while I will play with them. Fiona wants them left as they are - she already has plans for one group in a rock garden out the front of our house. Of course they are to go into the Open Garden exhibition first.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sculptures in the forest

Through Arts Connect sculptors have been invited to create pieces for display-sale in a new private garden and forest walk as part of Open Gardens in June.

As you can see from the photos a few of us went to have a look at the site and check out some possible display locations along the circular forest walk.
The forest provided some great inspiration for pieces; but will also act as a great backdrop. I will keep you posted as this project-exhibition unfolds.
Also for those who missed my earlier post there is a give-away prize to be won. Check out the give-away. Only a couple of days to go.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

One hundreth post give-away

A bit of a milestone - this current post will be my 100th. I would like to mark it by giving away one of my small meditation-reflection bowls - the one in the photo below. This bowl was one I made for the Super Bowl Challenge 2010.

On one of its wings it has Peace stamped into it and on another Joy. You may be aware that I make these bowls to be held in the palm of the hand and used as an aid or focus for meditation; or simply as something that might enable the person holding it might reflect on to pick up the energy of the words.

What do you have to do to be part of the give-away? In the comments section at the end of this post I would simply like you to write your favourite quote or haiku on quietness or stillness. You would need make your comment by Tuesday 23 March. I will use a random number generator to chose the winner; and announce the winner in a post on Wednesday 24 March.

I look forward to your quote or haiku. Have fun. You can enter more than once. Tell your friends they can enter.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Steampunk art movement - learnt something new

Wendy Edsall-Kirwin in a recent blog post posed the question "Am I a Steampunk (artist)?" Quite a few people create art objects using polished brass, iron,and wood with design elements that reflected the early era of steam and mechanical objects. I like many aspects of such work because I like rivets, mechanical bits, brass and copper etc. But I was not aware there was a movement called Steampunk.

My own metal work is in the main based on recycled copper and brass from found objects including mechanical ones such as clocks, pumps, pressure and fuel cylinders and stoves. And copper rivets play a big part both to join bits and as decoration. So I guess a little of the steampunk influence is there.

The photos below are some of the pieces that I think have a bit of steampunk influence; and a photo of my stash of objects that are used top create such pieces.

The bowl is made from the base of a pressure stove and clock parts; the spikey pot includes parts from a spray pump and copper tubing; the incense burner has the corner of a fuel cell and legs of copper soldering irons; and the edgy bowl is rivetted scrap triangles from many objects.

When I checked out some of the work of Steampunk artists and jewelers I quietly rejoiced in the fact that we humans find niches and create tribes and movements which result in interesting art and objects and also create identity.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Back to beating - letters that is

This past week has been a bit too full of computer work and not enough art. I didn't get down to the studio-garage to do a little bit of Friday afternoon art therapy. Anyway enough of the moans I hear you say.

Well today after talking to a couple of fellow ALaWers I was energised to do an I and J. I was experimenting with a couple of things.

With the I the folds have to be made so that they do not go right to the edge each time. You can see I was partially successful - with the centre fold I was able to get a nice crisp fold that had a beginning and an end away from the edge - not so good with the cross bars - more practice.

With the J I wanted to get a raised J form by marking the front and then beating the letter from the back. This worked reasonably well - a bright and joyful J stands out.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bringing 'gifts' together

As you know people kindly keep an eye out for rusted iron and other metal for me - I posted on a heap of rusted iron that I got recently. Now and then I also get given salvaged timber. Recently I had a great mossy plank given to me (3.6m long 200mm wide).

As you can see from the photos I have been toying with creating a door to no-where for a garden - a stile or portal maybe - from the mossy plank and rusted iron. Anyway whatever it might be called I want it to have this door like piece that brings the beauty of the degrading timber and rusting metal together.

I'm currently playing with circles of rusted metal tumbling down the upright planks. Hmm!!!! still a work in progress - sometimes we just need to let these things sit an walk past them a few times before they come together. At the moment too many circles and different textures.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pumpkin saga continues

Pumpkin harvest time has arrived. We have already picked some 15 pumpkins all about the size of the ones in the photos (3-4 kilos). Friends, family and a local cafe have benefited from the bounty. And there are still about another 15 getting close to harvesting.

As you can see from the second photo the vines over at the shed have now gone ballistic; and are now cascading down the hill through our mini coffee plantation. Of course I draw a line when they try to use the coffee bushes as a trellis after all coffee is more important in our household than pumpkins. By the way the coffee bushes have been in about 18 months and we will get a small crop this year.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Big beaten bowl

As you know I have been moaning about not being able to get outside to cut things up etc so today was the day to take it out on a bits of unsuspecting brass and copper.

At the moment the bowl pictured is meant to be one of three in my tri-bowl font – but you never know I could change my mind depending how it looks when finished.

The bowl started life as the bottom of a brass cylindrical pot plant holder – had a tear in the bottom as well. The copper is from the bottom of a badly damaged copper boiler. The band around the top of the bowl is flattened 12mm copper pipe.

The bowl is quite large for me – about 270mm wide and 60mm high. It has taken quite a lot of beating and repair. The triangles used to make up the six pointed star are actually also functional – to repair the tear in the brass. The 'star' is also a bit off centre as the tear was on the bottom and side of the bowl.

I have used patina solution on the copper star but the two triangles of copper have reacted differently – we will see how it goes as it cures.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The frustration of rain

In my last blog I mentioned that we were in the midst of the blue – blue for rain. Well it has just kept going - I think we are over it just for now.

Over the last week I have been trying to get outside to cut up my rusted fireplace.

As you can see from the photo above I have roughly sketched a series of 4 folded (90 degree) triangles I want to cut out of the fireplace to form a garden sculpture where three triangles are step out from the biggest (about 1.5m tall with the two sides of about .75m). The fourth folded triangle faces towards the other three creating a square negative space out the front. This last folded triangle will only be about .5m tall. I imagine the whole piece will sit on a bed of white or bone gravel.

But you can see from the above photos I took of the fireplace from the western deck the rain keeps coming down and there will be no cutting for quite a while. The photo shows how the rain is sheeting down at an angle.

I have managed to get down into the garage and start modifying the bowls that will become the tri-bowl garden font. Hmmm!! Seem to have a 3 thing going at the moment.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

In the blue

Recently I posted on a great blue sunset. But over the last few days as we check out the meteorology site the familiar vision is blue - that means rain and lots of it. Maleny is in the deep blue in the top centre of the second photo.

Mind you we are thankful for the fact that it is not yellow or brown because that means big buckets of rain.

The reason I post on this is that over the last few days I have been trying to get outside and cut up the fireplace into a sculpture that I have planned - but more on that when we have a fine day.