Friday, August 26, 2011

Art-craft on Friday

Fiona and I have used much of today to finish our preparations for the second round of the open studios on this coming Saturday and Sunday. This included cutting firewood as it looks like the days will be cold and wet - so the slow combustion fire will be burning. I annealed a heap of metal as last week people were keen to see some demonstrations of leaf forming and bowl making - giving away all my tricks?? I have moved a couple more sculptural pieces up onto the gravel terrace outside the shed. However, the main task was to create a few more 'a word a day' bowls and their words; and more Inspirations in the pocket.

Barry Smith © Word a day bowls & words on workbench
Whilst beating the bowls and cutting and stamping the work bits I was thinking is this art or craft - and does  it matter? I use technical skills to make the bowls and bits but they are a bit of a production item. However, the driver for me to make these bowls and word bits is that they might just add a little positive energy and focus in the lives of a few other people. A woman who bought a word a day bowl and words last weekend said she just wanted it for herself so that she could begin the day with positive thoughts and energy - good enough reason to continue making them really.

Barry Smith © Word a day bowls with words in place plus polishing wheels
Barry Smith © Detail - a word a day
Barry Smith © Word a day bowls with leaves
Barry Smith © Inspiration in the pocket bits
You can see from the photos above I have made a few bowls from silver plated drink coasters; and words from offcuts from various trays and fruit platters I have cut up to make personal shrines and bowls etc.

This weekend Noela and I are also going to show some of our Bazola jewellery.


  1. Like these too, perhaps one day! sent cheque today.

  2. I read for F's that last week was a blast ... i'm sure this week would be too! the bowls and words are really very nice things to have, if for nothing else, just holding the little cool tags in the palms is already calming enough :)

    Art or Craft ... i've always wondered about that about my stuff too ... so i just end up calling them my work, most of the time :)

    here's to another splendid open studio weekend!

  3. Barry, I imagine the people who own your 'word a day' bowls must feel uplifted every time they pass by.

  4. Reading my mind, Barry...was just pondering the art vs craft issue. I have a glassblowing friend who does artwork in glass and also does commissioned pieces that are more functional, like vases and globes for light fixtures - equally beautiful and requiring technical expertise, but he does not consider them to be art. So does it come down to function? And as you say, does it really matter? I've seen so-called art that was really craft, and so-called craft that was definitely art. Maybe it's as my friend once said when I asked him how he defined the difference - "I know it when I see it." And in your work, I definitely see art!

  5. I love your bowls and words, I find them to be lovely and handsome. Yes a sweet way to start a day. Wish I could attend your open house.

  6. Luvverly Barry. I see you have 'silver' leaves... I might have to come visit and get one of those too.

  7. P, L, R, TT, TL & JM - thanks for positive support. The Open Studios went well. Tired now. L - I like the idea of just saying 'my work'. R&TL - there must be something about the bowls and words - they just walked out the door - people wanted them in their lives - I'm pleased about that. TT- Thanks for your comment about seeing art in my stuff. Go well. B

  8. Love that rocking chair with leaf springs! Glad the studio is such a success ~ how could it not be with two talent artists at the wheel.

  9. What a neat idea. Your word bits and pieces are smashing.


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