Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Brass letters

Today I spent my time tied to the computer until mid afternoon - artists really can't give up their day job!!! However I fitted in a couple of hours to do P and Q for the A Letter a Week 2010 creativity challenge; and to grind all the sharp edges off the rusted pieces I have created for the Lucas Parklands exhibition.

This will be a quick post just to share the brass letters. Because P and Q have curves they are beaten and stamped etc. rather than foldformed.

P has been created using an engraving tool; whereas the Q has been stamped and punched on the front and punched and beaten from the back. I like how I 'furred' the P out and left the contrasting original metal colour behind. The punching from the back of the Q has resulted in a fish scaled look - interesting!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Water feature for Figs in the Forest

Great weather again today so I managed to get the second water feature/font finished. Why do I call them font and not bird baths? As indicated at the time Fiona and I did our joint In the Stillness Exhibition I see fonts as quasi sacred water features located in quiet spots in the garden one can visit and peer into and find a bit of stillness.
As you can see from the photos below this font has a leaf motive that fits with the Figs in the Forest exhibition theme - growth and renewal.

The font is 1m high and the timber is 150mm square. The bowl is a cut down and re-worked brass pot plant holder. The plate it sits on is a rusted cut out from a welder's scrap heap; and the arms that hold the plate and bowl are off an old push lawn mower. The 'leaves' are cut from scraps of brass left over from making fold formed letters for the ALaW 2010 creativity challenge. Thick copper wire (courtesy of Noela) forms the vine for the leaves; and the leaves are held in place with copper nails (courtesy of Hiro).

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sculptural water feature made from recycled metal.

It has been a great day - the sun shone, it didn't rain; and Fiona and I were able to get into the studio and the outdoors and do a bit of creative work. Fiona was doing lots of work sanding and oiling blocks and boards for her Lucas Parklands pieces.

I managed to work on a couple of water features for outdoor settings. One was my tri-bowl piece; and the other is a wood and metal piece possibly for the Barung Figs in the Forest Exhibition to be held as part of the Wood Expo in Maleny.
I got the tri-bowl water feature/font finished - but it turned out a bit different from my early sketch which was to incorporate three posts. The piece is about 900mm high, 500mm wide and 6-700mm long - a good substantial piece. As you can see each bowl is different.
In the end I used a section of rectangular tubing that had been used as welding practice piece by Frenchman Joe from Treehaven Way; and a section of angle iron from the roadside collection out Witta way. The bowls started life as brass pot plant holders etc and have had significant modifications and additions.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Two sculptures - progress

The rain is back on the mountain - did someone mention that it had gone away? There is no doubt I am beginning to get a touch of cabin fever - it is hard to get outside to do work on the block; or to cut up and assemble the bigger pieces for the Lucas Parklands exhibition. All the photos in this post are wet as it was still raining when I took the shots.

Yesterday I did manage to get about four hours done when I could work under shelter of the carport at the shed.

I worked on two pieces: one is a post (300mm square and 1.2m high - rose gum, very hard and very heavy); and the second piece is a rusted metal leaf cut out of 3mm rust iron from the fireplace I cut up earlier.

I managed to cut the post into its length and shape; and to cut the pieces I will embellish the post with from 2mm sheet metal (the old rusted trailer floor James kindly donated). I am looking forward to this piece coming together - I think it will have gravitas - but will also tell a quiet story of water falling in the forest (that is how I will use the rusted plugs Kim gave me).

The metal leaf is about 750mm long and 300mm wide. I cut it out of the sheet metal with a fibre cutoff blade in my angle grinder. I have yet to grind all the sharp edges off it yet - but already the rain is bringing out some nice new rust. I bent the leaf using the tie down rail on the trailer. I think the negative space leaf also looks pretty good - but again needs a bit of grinding to make it safe.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Glittering metal letter and much more

Creativity this weekend has taken different forms:
* attended the launch of the Earth, Dreams Magic publication (130 artists are featured in it including Fiona and myself);
* cleaning up my work space in the garage (it needed it - I could no longer find a clear spot to work in and tools seemed to be disappearing);
* catching up with a fellow artist to get some jewelers blades and borrow a saw;
* visiting a couple of trash and treasure shops to check out metal and metal pots etc that can be given a new life (purchased 3 medium sized brass pot plant pots);
* worked on an old washing mangle that will find a new life as a printing press;
*planted out some winter veggies (onions, leeks, broccoli, silver beet); and
* created the letter O for the ALaW 2010 art challenge.
So all in all a creativity was fairly varied this weekend.

As you can see from the photo above the letter O has worked out quite well. After outlining the letter with an O letter stamp I have beaten it from the back to create the O in relief. This has give the letter the extra shine that can be achieved by polishing the outward beaten surface.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Rust in the north west

Fiona and I have just returned home today after travelling more than 3000klms by car over the last 8 days. We flew back from Townsville today so that we could be home to attend the launch of the Earth, Dreams, Magic publication.

As indicated in an earlier post we went to Mackay for the artists' book exhibition; and then out to Longreach where Fiona was teaching a couple of evening calligraphy classes.
We stopped off in Hughenden and Winton on the way to Longreach. As always we were on the look out for bits and pieces we can use in our art work - this included gathering rusted stuff.

The railway line between Hughenden and Winton is being dismantled so I was lucky to gather a good stash of railway spikes. And in contrast to the rail spikes I also found a few rusted metal leaves. The railway spikes are quite weighty so my backpack ended up marked as heavy by the airline.
I think the railway spikes will featured in a piece for the Lucas Park exhibition.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mackay Labyrinth

Recently Fiona and I travelled to Mackay to check out the Libris Awards for artists' books - Fiona had an artist book accepted for exhibition. Any way we also wanted to check out the Artspace gallery as well.

As you may have picked up lately I have been involved in setting up ArtSite and placemaking in Maleny. Because of this I am more and more on the look out for what artists are doing in their communities to tell the stories of community or add new stories to the spaces in the community.

In the grounds just adjacent to the entry to Artspace there is a placemaking piece called The Elemental Labyrinth by Jill Chism. She says the labyrinth with its 8 elements is a metaphor for life.

As you can see from the photos above the piece evokes a sense of peace. The photos below show some of the words representing the elements - great use of materials to draw the observer in.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ceremonial fundraising tea pot

As indicated in an earlier post I have been working on a mini sculptural tea pot for Kim's Australia's Biggest Morning Tea auction to raise finds for cancer research and support. It is a good thing when the local art community can both create and contribute to an important cause.

Whilst the finished tea pot doesn't look a lot different from the rough assembled pot quite a lot of effort has gone into cleaning, grinding and refining the piece. It now only needs that last bit of polish.

Hopefully in its current form it will appeal and attract a reasonable bid and so add to the fundraising coffers. At this stage I am calling the piece Sacred Healing Tea.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Foldformed Letter N

This letter is a perfect example of what A Letter a Week 2010 is all about. Often I just do not have enough time to do the bigger creative things because life, work and weeding take over; but I can squeeze in a little creativity - such as a beaten metal letter.

This letter N took about three quarters of an hour to do: from cutting the metal blank from the side of the pot plant holder; through the foldforming of the letter; and finishing with a polish.

At the end of the process I felt at least I had done a little bit of art rather than none at all. So I will persist with my letters as they give me the chance to stop, do a little creative stuff and practice metal beating techniques.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Simple triangle sculptures

I did a post about two weeks ago on the fact that I was able to cut the rusted fireplace up into the pieces I wanted to use to create two simple sculptures for the garden. These sculptures are based on pairs of triangles that are joined by right angle welds which were part of the original fireplace construction.

Fiona and I moved the pieces of the two sculptures around to see how they would look in different configurations on the bone coloured stone below the retaining wall out the front of our house. One sculpture has four pieces that are about the same size; whereas the other has three pieces in descending size.

At the moment we have settled on the configurations in the photos. We like the rusted planes and the contrast with the stone. As you know I have been doing these as part of the body of work I am doing for the Lucas Parklands -Open Garden exhibition in June. Fiona however keeps saying how much she likes them on our block - guess we will wait and see.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Lazy pumpkins - update

I threatened in an earlier blog that I would give a pumpkin update so here it is.
The good news is that there are still heaps of pumpkins developing. Fiona and I counted (yes I know quite tragic) over 40 pumpkins that have developed in this second wave; and we picked 6 ripe ones yesterday. And the vines are still growing and heading downhill through the coffee bushes.

Anyway I thought I would share a few photos about quirky things that are going on. The first photo is 'the hanging pumpkin' of the not so great wall of Maleny; the second is 'pumpkin at rest' - developed on top of one of the posts of the retaining wall; the third is the 'rocking pumpkin' - growing on the rocking chair sculpture at the shed; and the fourth is 'the twins'.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Tea pot for fundraising morning tea

Fellow artist Kim Schoenberger has invited a bunch of us to develop art works on the theme of tea for the Cancer Council's Australian Biggest Morning Tea. This event is to raise funds for cancer research and support etc.

All the pieces of art donated will be auctioned to raise funds. The auction is going to take place at Main Street Gallery in Montville. The art pieces will be exhibited for a week or so before the auction.
I have decided to do one of my small skinny tea pots along the line of my spikey skinny tea pot. Though this one will not have the spikes etc.

As you can see from the photos of progress so far the tea pot has a slightly sacred, temple ceremony look about it. Maybe you could suggest a name for it???
I started the assemblage and grinding of it today as part of my Friday art hit. I hope to finish it this weekend.