Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Production line - beaten metal bowls

I have been approached by a couple of galleries to show some of my smaller works -this will include leaves and bowls. Of course this means that one needs a reasonable amount of stock; and I need to create enough to keep the quality pieces and ditch the others.

As you can see from earlier posts I have made quite a few leaves - so now I have turned to the production of bowls.

One of the bowls that turned out from this afternoon's effort is this small incense burner. I used part of the lid of an old brass container that had a small brass draining hole and bolt. I thought the bolt could be used to hold an incense stick if it were drilled. So I made a two-fold bowl with the bolt on the side. The photo shows the bowl in the raw unpolished state with a test incense stick - I think it will work.

From the photo above you can see I started the afternoon with annealed disks of recycled brass and copper cut from various discarded containers etc.

From this material I made six fold formed bowls and 4 punched bowls (which will become simple meditation bowls). I tossed two foldformed bowls away as I attempted tri-bowls again but I just can't get the angles right - jaws of the vice are too wide - I have planned extended and slim line jaws but haven't had the time to make them yet.
As you can see from the photo all the bowls are in the raw state and will need further work - embellishments and polishing. But it at least proved to me that I can create a production process that still results in unique products. So I am on the way to creating some stock.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bounty of the block

Today has been gardening on the block day. Lime tree had borer so had to prune some branches off; the nectarine tree has tiny fruit forming but was getting leaf curl so it needed a bit of eco-oil; the gardenia had a bit of sooty mould so needed to be treated with soap suds; limes needed harvesting; and yucca plants needed big offshoots (16) cut off and planted to complete the line along the top driveway. All good; and Fiona and I got it all done in a few hours - though Fiona said it was more like 3.5 hours - I think she was counting.

But the bonus was being able to harvest our small potato crop; and dig up some of our edible ginger.

The collection bowl with about 2.5kilos of new potatoes.

The stash of fresh ginger

We have been harvesting broccoli for weeks now. We almost broccolied out one day - Fiona made broccoli soup for lunch and followed this up with a broccoli bake for dinner. But the bottom line is that we feel very lucky to be able to harvest such fresh organic produce from our garden.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fire on Friday

The day has been very full. Three hours of moving 6 cubic metres of gravel on the terraces; 4 hours of working with G&A to install slats on the side of their house; a half an hour of annealing and unfolding pieces I had folded and beaten during the week; and two hours of drinking bubbles with an artist friend and her daughter. So a big day really.
But what I wanted to share is the annealing and unfolding of the pieces and the results. During the week I have been experimenting with metal leaves; and micro foldform bowls.

I have formed four styles of leaves: double beaten along both edges; Romero fold; a new fold of my own where I have incorporated copper wire to create the centre stem (no soldering just enfolding); and a long leaf with drilled out areas to represent the eaten parts of the leaf.

Photo of the fire - annealing the pieces.

The photos above show the four leaves; and the leaf with the copper wire embedded in it.

The micro bowls experiment was to see how small a foldformed bowl I could create. As you can see from the photo above I made three bowls and got smaller as I went along. The final bowl is about the size of an Australian dollar piece or an American dime (about 25-30mm across).

None of the pieces have been polished yet. Shall share that later.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Attempting to imitate nature

Earlier I posted on a couple of photos taken during a walk along a friend's creek. One was a leaf floating on a black pool of water; and another was of fungi in the forest. I indicated these shapes often influence my beaten metal work. Both the pieces in the photos below have been made out of quite heavily marked and patinated brass so the past history shows through.

The leaf shape above reflects the floating leaf

The bowl reflects the small fungi 'bowls'. This is the first time I have attempted to create a small trifold palm sized meditation bowl. I wanted to do a trifold because of the spiritual significance that is often connected to the number 3 and the triangle; and the challenge of course. While the bowl is round(ish) there is a soft triangle in the base. I have added the words peace, joy and give on the three curved planes.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Creative Community weekend

Saturday and today have both been satisfying yet tiring days where we have done art stuff with our community. Yesterday Fiona and I were involved with other art4place artists in the launch of the Maleny Placemaking Art Map; and today we teamed up with Kim and Noela to create ephemeral and temporary art at the Birdwing Butterfly Walk at Mary Cairncross Park as part of the Festival of the Walks. We spent 7 hours at the park today doing art; and it was great.

I worked with parents and children to create the big Richmond Birdwing Butterfly 'sculpture' (including the smallest artist -photographed with parental permission).

Fiona stencilled with them using talcum powder.

Kim and the children created a butterfly of butterflies .

Fiona and Kim supervised the colouring and creation of a sea of sixty butterflies

Kim worked with them to make butterflies out of leaves

Noela created this fantasy butterfly.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Creativius Interruptus

It has been a wet, windy and somewhat miserable day on the mountain. The morning was given over to admin and community art related work. Fiona and I did manage to get down to the studios (me = garage) this afternoon.

The photo above indicates that I was reasonably productive - but all the pieces are in unpolished form; and why is that I hear you ask. Well a friend dropped in and needed to drink bubbles - well what can you do for a friend in need of bubbles - the polishing has been put aside for another day. However one thing I would like to point out is that I attempted a three fold bowl today (bottom middle); and I think it has turned out OK - the final results will be on another post.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Water reflections

As indicated in my last post Fiona and I had a walk along friends' creek last Sunday. I took a few photos of the sky and trees reflected in the glassy but flowing water. You never really know how these things will turn out until you down load them and look at them on a bigger screen.

This is one of the shots of the reflections.

These are two shots of the same reflection but zooming in on a segment. Very unusual outcome. I think it is a result of relatively slow shutter and the movement of the flowing creek.
Nature sure can provide some surprises. Fiona suggested we see how those photos come out if they were printed on water colour paper - will let you know if we do that.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Inspiration from nature

On Sunday Fiona and I visited a fellow artist and went for a walk along the stony creek that runs along the bottom of their land. There were so many lovely rock pools; and dappled light filtering through the trees and reflecting on the water surface.
I took a few photos for inspiration and will share a couple of these over a couple of posts. As you know leaf and bowl forms intrigue me and are a repeated theme in some aspects of my work particularly the beaten metal.
The photos below just show the elegance of a copper coloured leaf floating on a pool of black water; and the fungi cups are so like upright sacred bowls in the forest catching water and all sorts of other 'offerings'.

Whilst nature does it better is still encourages me to try to present this simple beauty.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Butterflies and Metal Bowls

Friday was Friday 13th wasn't it? But all was not lost on the mountain: as you may be aware there was selecting the person who was to receive the Hiroshima Peace Bowl (Cathy); I managed to do more work on the Bigish Butterfly for the ephemeral art for the Festival of the Walks; and did a bit of foldforming.

I experimented with a long foldform where I beat the metal on two different edges and therefore had the form curving in two directions with different characters - one a frilly edged leaf and the other a smooths curving leaf. I didn't like the final outcome - it looks like a deformed snake - but one needs to test these things.

I also did a couple of small bowls using metal I cut out of what I thought was an old brass plate fruit bowl. In the end I don't know what the metal is - looked like brass but I think it was steel. It was very hard to 'unfold' the bowls and beat them into the bowl shape; but I do like the dark burnt patina on the back and the inside polished up well.

The butterfly is now ready for action at Mary Cairncross. It has had several coats of flat white paint and has been marked up so that the public can glue coloured paper swatches similar to those in the detail photo.

Friday, August 13, 2010

And the Peace bowl goes to

As promised Fiona and randomly selected a person who had posted about peace in response to the Hiroshima Peace Day event. Thanks to those who took the time to record a peace statement or quote. I did not know the significance of the the date 13 August until Hiro posted his comment.

As you can see from the photos above we put the 8 names into our Tibetan Singing Bowl and drew one name out. And so the Hiroshima Peace Bowl will go to Cathy W in Tokyo Japan.

Go well all who commented - may we continue to send peace vibes around the globe.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Temporary placemaking art

As part of an art4place team Noela M, Kim S, Fiona and I have agreed to do various pieces of ephemeral, or maybe more correctly temporary art, at Mary Cairncross Park as part of the Festival of the Walks.

The theme of the work is the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly; and the work will be done on the 22 August on the Butterfly Walk. If you check out the art4place link you can see that we are doing 5 pieces of work. I have committed to do a Sea of Butterflies (really only a small pond of butterflies); and a Big(ish) Richmond Birdwing Butterfly.

The photo above shows that I am gradually getting a stock of butterflies printed, cut out and mounted on bamboo sticks. Children will be invited to colour these in with crayons; and stick them into the ground as part of an installation at the entrance and exit of the walk. Sometimes I feel I'm on a sweatshop production line with these - probably about 40-60 more to go.
I had decided to create the big butterfly out of split bamboo and paper. Couldn't get my hands on split bamboo and came up with 6 fibreglass fishing rods bought from our recycle shop ($2 each).
As you can see I scaled the butterfly up from A4 to 1.4m wide and about 1m deep; and formed it out of the rods lashed together through a roll of corrugated cardboard.
I tried covering the framework with tissue paper - big failure. So I have now covered it with cheese cloth - tacked in place with double sided tape and glued. I will cover this with tissue paper.
The aim is to invite park visitors to glue paper swatches (25mm square) to create the colour and texture of the male Richmond Birdwing Butterfly - under threat of extinction of course.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Finishing Friday's effort

As indicated on the Hiroshima post I used Friday afternoon to make a few pieces to show a gallery owner to see if they want to exhibit and sell my beaten metal work. The pieces I did fell into three categories - palm bowls including reflection-meditation bowls; leaf forms; and potential pendants.
All the work was done from copper and brass scraps out of my recycle bin. I managed to give the pieces a bit if a polish this afternoon so they don't look too bad. Of course I should have photographed the pieces with natural light to avoid the reflection; but hey what can you do on these short dark winter afternoons.

One of the 3 reflection -meditation bowls - Calm has been stamped into the edge.

Four leaf forms the longest it about 140mm and the shortest about 75mm.

And some potential pendants with raised ridges - yet to be shaped and embellished.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Hiroshima Peace - Giveaway

Today we celebrate the possibility of peace. It is Hiroshima day. On this day in Hiroshima the Peace Bell is gonged to send out peaceful vibrations and to remind us that bombs are not the answer.

I spent the afternoon at the outside work bench creating quite a few foldformed pieces that hopefully will be exhibited in a new gallery. However Fiona and I had agreed that we would gong our Japanese temple-peace bell at dusk to also send out peace vibes. This got me thinking about creating a small Hiroshima Peace bowl.

As you can see from the photos above I made a small foldform palm bowl with the message Peace - No Bombs. Because I think it has a Japanese temple look about it I think it creates another connection with Hiroshima. It is also a bit rustic and made from a piece of brass jardiniere.
I have decided to send this bowl into the world. So if you'd like to have it in your house then post a comment or quote about peace in response to this peace post. Next Friday I will randomly select one of the 'commenters'; announce the recipient; and send the bowl to them. We did gong our bell at dusk.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Local library, local book, local exhibition

A long long time ago I posted on the fact that our very creative Hinterland Business Centre (HBC) had produced a great book called Earth Dreams Magic that show cased the natural beauty, history, arts and artists of the Blackall Range hinterland.

Fiona, Noela and I and many other artists friends and colleagues are featured in the pages of the book.
HBC promote the book in many ways. Recently they decided to set up a small exhibition-display at our local Maleny Library. Ten artists were asked to participate in the exhibition to promote the book. Four artists on the wall of the library and six in the glass cabinets at the entrance to the library.Fiona, Noela and I were asked to contribute works for one of the glass cabinets.
Our art in the cabinet we share looks good; and hopefully will draw people's attention to the book and encourage them to buy it. Earth Dreams Magic is for sale from HBC for the small sum of AU$25.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Rusted metal leaves travel south

For the Sculpture on the Edge exhibition I did a piece called Leaves. The sculpture was fashioned out of rusted metal from the side of a steel plate fireplace I was given.

The photo above shows the piece (1.3m tall) sitting on a mound of gravel, which will make its way onto the terraces below, with the western view from our block in the background. I liked the simplicity of the piece. I carved it out of the 3mm steel with my angle grinder - in the end the leaf just fell out of the plate - like a leaf falling in the forest. However I liked the link between the leaf and the negative space left behind. I created the curl in the leaf using the side rail of our trailer.

The good news is that Leaves sold and after careful packing is making its way to Canberra. I understand from the new owners that it will stand as a feature in a corner of their garden. Should look good in the changing seasons - to see the falling leaves on and through it during autumn; and the new growth of spring.