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.


  1. Hard to decide which I like best but maybe the 'Love without limits' bowl is my favourite of this lot. They are all very beautiful.

  2. Wonderful bowls - I love the highly textured surfaces - I can almost feel them under my fingers.

    Production dyeing can be like this, too - you can do the same thing to multiple pieces of fabric, dunk them in the same dye vat and still come up with distinct differences in each cloth.


  3. very nice! I like the folds in the metal - the last one pictured is especially delightful!

  4. the bottom right meditation bowl has two metals? anyway, it's intriguing! nice that you can get through several small pieces in a time block, but i bet you worked a good long time! no easy task!

  5. C - love without limits is not a bad concept to contemplate is it?
    V - hope you are feeling a little better and can bget back into production. Always the tension to find the balance between unique pieces and yet produce enough pieces to give buyers choice.
    R- as you say great texture - create by getting the temperature up high during the annealing and actually melting the zinc.

    V with the snow - there are actually three metals, two different types of brass and silver plate at the back - a sturdy bowl made from a lid off an old brass container - I think it could help the meditator focus on creating a new future from the old past??

    Go well. B

  6. now that is what i call productive!! 8 bowls!! i love them all but probably more drawn to the meditative ones ... they are softer in a sense and yea... like you say more organic. tho i do love the texture on the offering ones ...

    i see a pot of powder on your table ... what's that for? i've never really understood annealing ... it's one of those things that i guess i have to get "hands on" before i really understand it.

    it that how you got the texture on the offering bowl? annealing? you must show us pics of WIP of your work ... that would be so cool!

  7. I love the idea of offering bowls that you can hold in your hands. (I've done a series of them in the past.) There's just something about being able to hold them in your palm that is so tactile and connects you to the piece.

    I love the texture on the zinc plated brass bowl - so rough.

  8. LT, W and T - thanks for comments. T - clustered together they do look like a treasure trove. W- making the bowl able to be held in the palm of the hand seems to make them more personal and able to connect with. The lovely texture is the result of melting the zinc - buffs up well. LT - the white stuff in the large bowl is pumice - I use it to anneal my metal before and between working. And yes annealing can result in some great textures and colours that you can choose to keep or pickle or buff off. B


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.