Sunday, October 31, 2010

Small Pleasures and Treasures at Main Street Gallery

Fiona, Noela and I have been working towards creating some of our smaller works for Main Street Gallery's Small Pleasures and Treasures stockroom exhibition for the Christmas and summer holiday season.

The good news as indicated on Fiona's blog from yesterday is that we now have three bodies of work in the gallery; and Noela is to also have her Small Gestures in the gallery in December. All of the pieces are now published on the Main Street website - just click the links below if you would like a virtual look at the works.

You can check out Barry's light catchers, bowls, leaves etc by clicking HERE.

You can see Fiona's journals, metal books and dream boats by clicking HERE.

And the Bazola-art to wear can seen by clicking HERE.
Hope you enjoy the tour - the three of us have enjoyed the work and collaboration with each other and Mark at Main Street.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday- fellow artists and finishing bowls

Art on Friday is one of the mantras in our household - though art comes in all forms. Today I met with a 'wood artisan' who contacted me and said he had a gift of rusted tools that had come from a friend who died recently. I spent sometime admiring his creativity and workshop - ended up with a severe case of equipment envy. I travelled to Montville with Noela and Fiona to deliver Fiona's metal books and dream boats and Bazola (Noela and I) pieces to Mark at Main Street Gallery. And after mowing the front of our block I did finish a couple of meditation bowls and a foldformed leaf. So a varied art Friday.

The bowl above is made from new copper and has a focus on the present - so the wording is Now, Be, Centred, Here. It can be read from any point and makes sense - live in the present.

The second bowl looks weary and worn as it is made from copper recycled from a laundry boiler. However is invites one to Live, Laugh and have Light in whatever moment we find ourselves - even when weary and worn.

The leaf is made from a silver plated tray. Something beautiful from something so utilitarian. I think it will be a gift for a friend.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Leaf for rust lovers

After three sessions of cutting, bending and tying wire the skeletal leaf is complete. I tested it out with a number of backgrounds.

Leaves and rust

Beige gravel and plants

Blue gravel

Bitumen driveway

And detail with leaves

The leaf is about 1.5m long by .4m wide - made from recycled rusted iron rod and barbed wire.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sigh of relief - art work delivered

Yesterday afternoon I delivered 25 pieces to the Main Street Gallery in Montville for the Small Pleasures and Treasures stockroom exhibition (Nov 2010- Jan 2011).
This included 10 Light Catchers such as the one above - I have titled this piece Lightly Twisted.

Four bowls similar to the foldformed bowl above.

Nine metal leaves including two of the above - boxed with my new BSA signage.

And two incense burners including the one above made from an old solid fuel cooker.
The pieces with photos and prices should be on the Main Street Gallery website later in the week. It is always a relief to get your work delivered on time, packaged, photographed and priced. As pieces sell the idea is to backfill the stock. Fiona, Noela and Bazola will also be represented in the exhibition. I delivered journals and artists books for Fiona as she is still not 100%.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Creating and giving away leaves

After a morning of community work with our local Neighbourhood Centre I managed to get down to the 'studio' for a few hours this afternoon. Given my commitment to selecting a 'leaf commenter' to send the 200th blog leaves to I decided to make a start on a piece I had planned for sometime - a skeletised leaf. I love how nature can take away the leaf matter and just leave the delicate framework of the leaf behind - I want to try to create this on a larger scale in iron.

As you can see from the photo above I did not get to finish the leaf but by sundown I had made a good start. The leaf is about 1.5m long and about 400mm wide.

I am making the leaf from some 12mm iron rod (part of a wrought iron gate) Jo (a neighbour) gave me and a bale of rusted barbed wire from Noela. I must say it was all a little bit hard on the fingers - twisting high tensile barbed wire around the iron took time and a lot of sharp and rusted barb avoidance.

On the giveaway front the names of those who made comments and contributed some great quotes on leaves - which I will use in the future - were placed in our Tibetan singing bowl and a name was drawn out by Fiona; and the name was artpropelled - so the beaten brass leaves will wing their way to KwaZulu Natal. Thanks to all who contributed; and thanks for celebrating my milestone.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Shine on

In my last post I indicated that I had cut up some small silver plated trays that Ken had given me - the going price was a silver bowl. Well as you can see from the photos below I have managed to create a couple of small bowls; a leaf and some Bazola bling as a test run on the cut up metal.

I am still a bit mystified about the EPNS plated metal - it is both heavy in gauge but is very hard even when annealed. I will have to investigate and find out if it a form of brass that has a lot more tin in it - does anyone know?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sunny day - good for catching light

We are really having some weird weather on the east side of Australia. Last night the wind howled, gusted and buffeted all night. Still a bit breezy today - but the clouds have gone and the sun shone all day. It meant I could get outside and fix up a few things on the block - including picking up about 30 avocados blown off during the night; putting the bird netting back over the nectarine tree; and moving a bit more gravel on the terraces.

On the art front I put the Hammered Light light catcher out in the sunshine to see how it worked. The photos below show the fractured light given off including personal rainbows. I think these pieces are going to work well for people.

On Thursday when we met for coffee Noela and Ken gave me some bits to recycle. Noela's bits, including a couple of long held and precious rollers, are for assemblages (I owe Noela a light catcher now); and Ken gave me worn silver plated dishes to cut up for bowls and bling (Ken to get a silver beaten bowl). You can see from the last photo I have 'dis-assembled' Ken's silverware.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fits and starts on Friday

Today has been one of those odd days where there just seemed to be many things going on and therefore a bit difficult to get into any thing big. Fiona has been a unwell and I have wanted to spend time with her and check how she is going. The morning was in the main also given over to community art and other people engagements. So whilst I did get down to the garage for most of the afternoon I did not feel really focused.
But having said that I did a reasonable amount of 'blacksmithing' this afternoon. I had bought a rusted 'wheat knife' - about 900mm in length - that I want to combine with a Huon Pine post to create an indoor sculptural piece. I reforged a couple of elements of the 'knife' to be able to attach it to the post. I also reforged an iron 'thingy' to include it into a new light catcher I have nicknamed Hammered Light. I also marked up some silver plated platters Ken M had given me to cut up with the angle grinder to create bowls and Bazola Jewellery bits. I didn't do the cutting as it has begun to rain again. But in the end I finished the last two light catchers for the upcoming mini exhibition.

I quite like the small light catcher (Hammered Light) - bit quirky - made from old ball hammers and the forged (hammered) piece I talked about earlier. I have posted about the second piece (Light Tower) in earlier posts but it is now polished and encrystalled.
By the way don't forget to check out the Leaf Form Giveaway post and enter the draw.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Celebration- leaf form giveaway

After doing my post last night I realised I had posted for the 200th time - not a big milestone for some but OK for me. It has made me reflect on why I blog; and why it is important to me.
I think it includes and goes something like this - it:
  • helps me further define and refine my art practice - it is like thinking out aloud about my work;
  • is a bit like a public diary of my art journey;
  • has enabled me to quietly and incrementally promote my work and build confidence in the quality and individuality of what I do;
  • has encouraged me to go online and seek out other artists for inspiration;
  • has enabled me to discovery and feel connected to some great people and artists who are are doing their thing in different parts of the globe;
  • helps me to continue to build an art community; and
  • helps me think about the next steps I will take to promote and sell my work online.
And I have found I enjoy it (lol) - that is funny for someone in whose former working life was not know for IT skills.

Anyway to mark the passing of 200 I am giving away the above pair of foldform leaves (each measures about 80mm long by 40mm wide). They will be given away as a single gift. To be in the draw I would like you to leave a reflection, or quote, or comment on what fallen leaves represent or mean to you. This needs to be done by Thursday 21 October. On Friday 22 Oct I will draw a name out of a bowl; and announce the recipient of the giveaway on my Friday post.
I hope you join me in this celebration; and I look forward to your reflections.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A bit of a polish and a few crystals

After all the 'work-work' and 'on the block' jobs were complete today I managed to get into the studio to put the finishing touches to eight of the pieces in my Light Catcher Series.

As you can see from the photos below I have decided to use chain to hang the crystals - I think it works with the mechanical-industrial nature of the pieces. The Light Catchers were photographed sitting on a shelf in my studio hence the shelf bracket appearing in the shots.

So the pieces are pretty well ready for market - I will probably take them to the gallery over the coming weekend. One additional quirky thing happened as I attached the crystals. In the piece that has the rusted steam gauge there was a circular concave about 25mm in diameter. I wondered if a crystal would fit into that space - no go with the first couple I tried but hey presto on the third go the crystal simply clicked into place like it was made for it. It really didn't even need fixing but to be sure I put four small dots of glue on corners. I think it adds a bit more mystery to the piece.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wet and windy but productive weekend

The weather in our neck of the woods has been a bit trying - we have had about 250mm rain over three days; constant cloud and mist; and quite a lot of gusty wind. The good news is that all the gravelling I have done on the block has been worth it as we have had no or little erosion on our slopes; and of course the tanks are all over flowing.

The elements have kept us inside and in our studios. I managed to create five light catcher sculptures from Friday until this afternoon. As you can see from the photos below there is an industrial-mechanical theme; but each is different.

I still have a bit more polishing, finessing and the crystals to add but do feel good about what I have achieved.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Finetuning on friday

We managed to get down into the studios for the whole afternoon - mind you we were not tempted to do anything outside as it has been raining on and off all day - it seems we are caught in a bit of a rain depression. Still the universe sometimes just says stay inside, keep to the plan and do creative stuff on Friday afternoon.

I focused on two things that are related: boxing up some leaf forms and bowls to go to Mainstreet Gallery's Mixed Stock-room Works - Featured Artists "Small Pleasures and Treasures" Mid Dec '10 - Jan '11; and creating more light catchers (another story).

The photos above show the 12 pieces I boxed ready to go to the Gallery. I am using my new BSA identity - clear stickers with my BSA chop on them are on the clear plastic lids of the boxes. Even with the flash off I still got a bit of reflection off the lids.
I managed to assemble two light catchers but they require quite a bit of polishing yet. The reason I have started to do more is the opportunity to do a small exhibition of a group of 8-12 of the light catchers on their own - more about that in a future post.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Updating art identity

As Fiona indicated in a post a couple of days ago that given the fact that we have a couple of upcoming exhibitions etc we are putting a bit more effort into our art identities and promotion.

We had our young designer friend Holly Webber design our new art business cards; and a splash page for our 'websites to be'. A photo of my cards is above - same fronts but three different images on the back. Square of course because I like squares and cubes.

Fiona's and my website will take a little longer to develop - we have to learn how to do it ourselves so that we can do our own updating. Still we have made a start.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

It is normal !!!!

I was talking to Fiona about my recent foraging for bits and the need to spread them out to look at them and see the connections between pieces so that I can envisage assemblages such as my light catchers and incense burners.

I commented that I hope she didn't mind my collections, such as the above, spread out in the garage in the space under the pumpkin hammock. Her response was "not at all - that is just normal" .. nice of her to say that but "normal"? I know that artists such as Donna, Robyn, Kim and many others have their 'collections' of bits - but I am not sure that makes it "normal". Still I am happy that I live with a fellow artist who does very different work to me but understands.
We went for a country drive today and course kept our eyes out for art galleries and 'collectable' shops and garage sales - we did manage to see a couple of 'collectable outlets' but the best was in fact a farm garage sale.

Most stuff was gone but the woman had 4 great solid heavy cast iron wheels for sale (600-700mm in diameter) - so we bought the four of them for a good price and carried them home in the VW Golf - must say it was nicely weighted in the rear on the trip home. These will become part of bigger works - circles within squares?? I just love the offset circle in the bigger toothed wheel. And great rust of course.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Foldform bits for Bazola

Noela, a friend and fellow artist, and I have decided to collaborate on a jewellery line called Bazola. Check out Noela's post for the background to the collaboration and the first pieces to be produced. Basically we are combining my foldforming of recycled metal scraps with her design skills and wabisabi approach to jewellery. The result is small wearable metal art pieces.

Today being Friday - apart from having to do some work-work and have friends over for wine and pizza I was fortunate to spend quite a lot of the day producing foldform pieces from copper, brass and we think some form of silver for Bazola.

The 'silver' pieces form a set for Noela to work with.

But there is also a group of brass; and another group of copper pieces. So plenty for Noela to use her design and jewellery magic on.