Sunday, February 27, 2011

More sculpture on the block

Recently I posted on the fact that we owned Kim Schoenberger's square rusted ceramic piece. One of the comments suggested that Fiona and I were lucky to have such lovely pieces as part of our block and lives.

I responded to the comment by saying that over the last 3.5 years we have been working hard to landscape our sloping block (lots of terracing and lots of gravel); and have been gradually putting sculptures in place. We buy some, exchange our art for some and just create some. I thought I would share some of the pieces that are in place.

Barry Smith © Entry sentinels by F & B
Barry Smith © Another Kim piece
Barry Smit © Cube by Ken Munsie
Barry Smith  © Pod people

Barry Smith © Font by Barry

Barry Smith © Chair by Tom Skeehan
Barry Smith © Structured rust by Barry
Barry Smith © Forms by Barry

Well that is a sample of the growing collection. We would like to create a place where as you walk around you discover bits and pieces tucked away.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Choosing a Path is finished

I guess if you had seen the progress report on the piece I am calling Choosing a Path you might ask well what is different.

In fact in substance not a lot. In terms of finishing quite a bit of elbow work; oil and steel wool polishing; and curing (rusting) outside.

Barry Smith © Choosing a path
Barry Smith © Choosing a path
I spent about another two hours sanding the Huon Pine pole to get a sharp clear timber to contrast with the rusted metal.

Barry Smith © Choosing a path - fins
I worked out that I needed to have the bent fins at about 30-45 degrees to give a balanced look - so adjusted the bends; and after grinding the sharp bits off the fins it went out into the rain and wind to re-rust.
Barry Smith © Choosing a path - top
Then of course it was all put together - glued in place. Ready for the exhibition. Another tick off the list.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Library as a gallery

Our local library has a couple of external display alcoves and one internal wall that are made available for displays or mini exhibition by local artists or groups at not cost.

I had booked one of the display alcoves for two weeks (19 Feb - 5 March). I thought it was a good opportunity to promote my beaten metal work.

In all it took Fiona and I about an hour to choose pieces, drive to town, set up the display, and return home.
Barry Smith © Maleny Library Mini Exhibition
Barry Smith © Maleny Library Mini Exhibition 
Barry Smith © Leaves with reflections
Barry Smithy © Finding the Balance
Barry Smith © Incense burners
Barry Smith © Small offering bowls
Barry Smith © Palmsized meditation bowls
The glass shelving and lighting is quite good for polished metal. You might recognise all these pieces as those going into the Studio 4 Gallery exhibition - two outings for these pieces.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Studio 4 Gallery preparations - bowls

Fiona and I are now coming to the pointy end of our preparations for the Studio 4 Gallery exhibition that has its official opening on 12 March. But because we are in Canberra, Melbourne and Alice Springs for work-work over the next little while we really need to have almost everything prepared now.

All my meditation and offering/incense bowls are complete so I have cut perspex tuibe stands to present them one.
Barry Smith © Stash of bowls
The photo above shows a stash of the bowls at the back of my glass store-display case.

Barry Smith © Bowls for Studio 4 
The above photo shows all the bowls and perspex stands ready to go.

Barry Smith © Meditation and offering bowls
Shot of bowls looking down when I did a trial run of them on the stands.

Barry Smith © Tubular stands
And I couldn't resist photographing the perspex tubes on the white background - bit etherial?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Finding balance in our daily lives

Like most artists I tend to create series of works - well if you think you are onto a good thing why not stick to it for a while at least. I have decided to do a series called Finding Balance. Basically it is about pausing each day and reflecting on a word that might help to give a focus to the day.

Barry Smith © Finding Balance 1
The pieces are cubes of timber that are balanced on a trimmed point. I have created a triangular pocket in the front face by cutting a vee into the balanced cube and covering it with metal.  The piece above is a 200mm cube of Rose Gum.

Barry Smith © Daily reflection words
Barry Smith © Daily reflection words
Words that have been stamped into recycled fingers of metal are placed into the pocket - 7 in all - one for each day of the week.

Barry Smith © Finding balance 2-4
Barry Smith © Finding balance 2-2
The pieces above are 90mm cubes of Blackbutt and 110mm cubes of River Oak. Copper nails and tacks courtesy of Hiro, Tatebayashi, Japan.

In an ideal situation I would envisage that the owner of one of these pieces would put it in a place that is calming and inspirational. In the morning before things get too busy they would visit the quiet place draw out a word for the day and reflect on it for a moment before going about the daily chores and business. Hopefully the word and its influence could stay with the person for the day.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sculpture on the block

Recently Fiona pointed out to me a photo of one of Kim Schoenberger's  ceramic and rusted iron sculptures that had appeared on Tumblr.

What was interesting is that the piece in question sits on a small cantilevered platform near our bronze Lena sculpture (by Phillip Piperides) and surrounded by bamboo, ferns and orchids.

Barry Smith© Ceramic and rust by Kim Schoenberger
Barry Smith © Lena and rust in the garden

The sculpture is ageing nicely - the rusted metal based is getting some nice colours about it. Good contrast against the grey-blue rendered wall.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Shrine of reflection

Some time ago I posted on the Shrine of Reflection as a work in progress.  It is now ready for the Studio 4 Gallery exhibition.
Barry Smith © Shrine of reflection - detail
As you can see from the photo above the centre piece of this personal shrine is a crystal with the word reflection under it (calligraphy courtesy of Fiona).

Barry Smith © Shrine of reflection - detail
The crystal (recycled from a quality vintage chandelier) creates multiple fragments of the word, yet also draws it all to central point - a little like reflection and meditation does.

Barry Smith © Shrine of reflection - detail
Like all my personal shrines this one has an offering or incense bowl.

Barry Smith © Shrine of reflection
The shrine is made from: vintage crystal; a tooled leather cover that had become detached from a photo album; silver plate as the ledge from an old cake silver plated tray; the detailed silver decoration from an old fruit bowl; and the offering bowl and leaf beaten from the same silver plated cake tray. The shrine is about 250-300mm high and 200mm wide.

Friday, February 11, 2011

New work in progress

As with all our Fridays today has been hectic but had had a great balance: work-work, painting the shed, coffee, community, and art.

I am making one other larger piece for the Studio 4 Gallery exhibition. This piece is about choosing a path (thru life?).
Barry Smith © Choosing a path
As you can see from the photo above the piece will be another combination of Huon Pine and rusted iron.
Barry Smith © Detail Choosing a path
Again I want to keep it simple and have sharp lines. After cutting the 160mm square timber to 900mm length, I have ripped a 50mm channel the full length of the piece - the rusted iron fits well. Over the next couple of days I will do more sanding and polishing and generally finesse the piece. I will have to put the rusted iron back out in the elements to re-cured the edges that are shiny from cutting and grinding. I'm not sure about the length of the iron sticking out of the post - will look at it again tomorrow. Off now to have dinner with friends and drink Friday bubbles.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bowl production

Two series that I am showing in  the exhibition at Studio 4 Gallery are my punched meditation palm sized bowls; and fold formed offering bowls. I intend to exhibit 6 of each.

Barry Smith © Serenity meditation bowl
I had 3 of each so one of the things I was to achieve art-wise over the weekend was to create at least 3 more of each. I thought I might share the production process.

As you can see from the photo above I cut a stash of recycled metal (on the right of the work bench) for annealing.

After punching and foldforming I had 8 rough bowls.

Barry Smith © Meditation Bowls
Barry Smith © Offering bowls
Further beating, stamping and polishing resulted in the 4 meditation bowls and 4 offering bowls above.

Barry Smith © Love without limits bowl
Meditation bowls tend to be more organic and rounded to fit in the palm of a hand; and have stamped words for focus.

Barry Smith © Zinc plated brass offering bowl
Offering bowls tend to have a slightly more temple look - four fold bowls. These could also be used for incense burning.

Even though the bowls are part of a production process each is unique.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Something a bit different

Over the last couple of days I have been making quite a number of meditation and offering bowls for the Studio 4 Gallery exhibition. When doing metal beating that has a slight production line feel to it I like to go off on a tangent and make something unrelated.

When I did my foldforming course about 9 months ago we learnt how to create simple cuff-like bracelets. I wanted to experiment to see if I could make a bracelet and ring. If these turned out OK I might consider purchasing some silver plate to see if I can make something finer.

Anyway as you can see from the photo of the pieces on the model's hand (Fiona) - both ring and bracelet turned out pretty well.

Barry Smith© Foldformed Brass bracelet and ring
Couple more photos without the model.

Barry Smith© Foldformed Brass bracelet
Barry Smith© Foldformed Brass bracelet and ring
Barry Smith© Foldformed Brass bracelet and ring
The pieces were made from the zinc plated brass from the old backpack spray-pack I made the two fonts out of. I like how the ends of the bracelet are a bit leaflike

Saturday, February 5, 2011

"Wood and Water" returns home

About a year ago I created an outdoor font called Wood and Water. It was named this because basically it is just a very heavy piece of salvaged rose gum that I had milled and a cone shaped 'bowl' turned into to collect water as it sat in the landscape. I created this piece because I liked the idea of having it on our block - gently collecting water. When creating it I was influenced by poles and fonts in Japanese temple gardens.

The local timber art gallery wanted some of my pieces to sell so Wood and Water has been in that gallery for about a year. Whilst I sold other pieces through the gallery no one fell in love with this piece.
Barry Smith © Wood and Water
Barry Smith © Wood and Water
So Fiona and I have bought it home; and it now resides on the deck off our dining room - it is now home and will remain part of the art on our block.

Barry Smith © Detail Wood and Water font
The turned 'bowl' is already catching rain from a couple of light showers today.

Barry Smith © Detail Wood and Water font
Fiona loves the patinated copper on the piece. The copper was cut from an old copper laundry boiler.  The copper 'tacks' are courtesy of Hiro from Tatebayashi, Japan. Wood and Water is about 800mm high, 200mm square and weighs about 30kgs - very dense heavy timber.