Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A 'Burst' of Bazola bits

We had Fiona's best friend Sue visiting last weekend - it is always a good to have her visit - amongst other things she helps us to see our world in refreshed or new ways including spending more time on the southern deck watching the sun go down with a glass of white wine in the hand.

But Sue is also an admirer and buyer of Bazola jewellery. Noela had dropped off a few pieces she had 'in stock' for Sue to check out. She bought a few sets of earrings - so it made me realise I needed to make Noela another stash. So the burst of Bazola bits below was beaten and polished.

Barry Smith © Burst of Bazola bits
Just for fun and friendship I made the simple copper earrings below for Sue as she had admired the forms. They are very light - almost like stiff old crinkled copper paper.

Barry Smith © For Sue
Below are some shots of some of the Bazola burst bits up closer.

Barry Smith © Silver plated Bazola bits
Barry Smith © Copper Bazola bits
Barry Smith © Brass Bazola bits
Barry Smith © Yet more EPNS Bazola bits
Barry Smith © Burnt copper Bazola bit
Barry Smith © Copper fan Bazola bit
Barry Smith © Copper double foldformed Bazola bit

I never tire of what I can make from the scraps of recycled metal. The red colour on the silver plate was a reflection of my t-shirt - indicates the high polish on the bits.  I delivered the bits to Noela on Monday when we hung the COMA exhibition in a local coffee shop. So I guess we will await some more finished Bazola creations.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Carpets of blossoms

Whilst we have many flowering tress in our area two of the most stunning are the Jacaranda and the Coral. After the Friday walk after the rain Fiona and I went into town for a coffee. On the way home we were just mesmerised by the beauty of the fallen blossom on the roadside near our 'show grounds' - carpets of mauve and red. We just had to go home get the cameras and return to record some of the beauty and share the visual feast.

So here are a few images.

Barry Smith © Jacaranda blossom caught on barbed wire fence
Barry Smith© Pathway of red and mauve
Barry Smith © Fragments - red, mauve and leaf
Barry Smith © Blossoms caught in bark
Barry Smith © Blossoms piled at the base of the tree
Barry Smith © Jacaranda blossoms suspended in spider's web on the tree trunk: 1
Barry Smith © Jacaranda blossoms suspended in spider's web on the tree trunk: 2
Barry Smith © Jacaranda blossoms suspended in the tree
Nature is so generous. These photos were taken with my compact Canon IXUS - it has a rudimentary macro lens so I could take some better shots of the suspended blossoms - particularly those caught on the barbed wire and in the spider's webs. No manipulation of nature in these shots.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

After rain

We had about 25mm (1inch) of gentle soaking rain on Thursday - during the day and night. But we woke to cloudy gentle skies and no rain. Fiona headed off to exercise group and I headed off on a walk with my eye and iPhone.

I felt that the world would look fresh and clean with droplets of water clinging to leaves and small clear puddles. And I was not disappointed.

Barry Smith © Rain drop on Agave
Barry Smith © Coral tree blossom against leaden sky
Barry Smith © Fresh Frangipani
Barry Smith © Morning moss
Barry Smith © Leaf with clear water
Barry Smith © New shoots
Barry Smith © Protected and full of light
Barry Smith © Jacaranda blossom carpet
Barry Smith © Blown, beaten beautiful - leaf on the road
Looking back over the photos I can almost breath the fresh air.  One has to be so thankful for that.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fruitful Friday but in balance

I don't know why I go on about the variety of things that happen on Fridays - that is what always happens - so it is not really all that new for me to say that the day has been 'chockers' with activity and variety: walk, coffee, work-work, community follow up stuff, fellow artist  Jo Murray visiting the studio with friends, doing art, mowing the grass and weeds and Fiona's best friend arrived for the weekend - so we had to do drinks on the deck etc etc.

Jo's visit was good on two levels: it is good to share studio time with fellow artists and it is closer to Christmas so people might want to buy stuff. In fact several bowls, leaves and Bazola earrings went 'out the studio door'. Big thanks to Jo. To keep the balance I used some time last night and my Friday afternoon to create 3 bowls and a couple of leaves.

Barry Smith © Bowls and leaves - keeping things in balance
It always fascinates me that the annealed and beaten metal can start out so scaly and burnt.

Barry Smith © Silver plated-copper bowl - in the rough
Barry Smith © Small brass palm bowl  - in the rough
But with a bit of buffing and polishing they can turn into things of beauty.

Barry Smith © Silver plated-copper bowl - polished with copper showing through
Barry Smith © Silver plated-copper bowl - spooky how the bowl merges with the timber 
Barry Smith © Small brass palm bowl - polished
Couldn't resist photographing the leaves on our wood chopping block and with a bit of foliage in the background.
Barry Smith © Silver plated leaf and wood
Barry Smith © Silver plated leaf and foliage background
Barry Smith ©Brass leaf and wood
Barry Smith ©Brass leaf and foliage
So 'all in all' the day was in balance - three bowls sold - three bowls made.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Inspired by nature yet again

I think walking is underrated - it offers so many opportunities to slowly take in the beauty nature offers; or at least that how it is walking early in the morning on our 'mountain'.  On our walk there are many trees including Acacias. One such tree produces the most amazing and bizarre seed pods as you can see from the photo below.

Barry Smith © Acacia seed pod and rusted plate
Barry Smith © Bizarre Acacia seed pods and gum leaf
Barry Smith © Spiral Acacia seed pod - inspiration
But I was particularly taken by the symmetry of the single spiral pod - I planned to see if I could reproduce something like it using foldforming techniques.

Over the weekend Fiona and I had a massive clean up - reclaiming of our house and studios after all the work-work travel - given other posts I have read recently this 'need to tidy' seems to be in the air at the moment. On Sunday as I was cleaning my bench of heaps of metal offcuts (some images for another post??) when I discovered a 'finger' of 1mm thick copper plate (about 100x8mm) - I got distracted of course and launched into creating my spiral inspired by the Acacia seed pod. I finished the spiral yesterday. So some images follow regarding the copper spiral's progress follow.

Barry Smith © Spiral - roughly beaten
Barry Smith © Spiral plus 'hardened' copper wire jump rings
Barry Smith © Spiral - patina treatment and coating of shellac
Barry Smith © Spiral - with jump ring
Barry Smith © Spiral - with jump ring
Finished product - edge polished and with jump ring attached. The finished piece is about 40-50mm (2inches) in diameter. Not quite like the Acacia seed pod; but I like the contrast of the patina and the brightly polished edge; and the texture of the piece - quite organic.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Backyard orchids

Fiona's dad, Graham,  has got into orchids in a balanced backyard way. Whilst he has stacks of orchids and is always on the look out for another he is not fanatical about them - well not really fanatical.

A couple of his goals are: to always have a couple of orchids in bloom so that they can become living flower arrangements in the house; and to have orchids not only growing in a protected environment (shade house) but also throughout the garden. In the 18 months of living in Maleny he has achieve both these goals.

Below are a but a few orchids Graham has blooming at the moment.  I photographed them inexpertly in passing with the iPhone to just share the beauty of his efforts. And I don't know their names.

And the following is a good example of the success in the great outdoors.

Graham tries to encourage Fiona and I to take up growing orchids; but after several failures where we have had to return sick plants to his orchid hospital I think he has given up and now just shares the fruits of his labour with us. On the other hand I do try to encourage Graham to start a blog on his orchids as he has much beauty to share.

We do have a few Australian native orchids scattered about our place but they thrive on tough love. The motto of our block for any plants is - "you've got to be tough to live on the block".