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.


  1. Beautiful designs, nature is the primary source of inspiration, I like those delicious shades and textures. In these great photos can be seen with rich detail. Good job.

  2. Well, I'm smitten, of course, spirals and seed pods, what more does one need?

    And the pods remind me of the snakey pods we have here of the catalpa tree. I used to live by some years ago and collected many a pod. I painted them to look like snakes and still have a few lying around. Happy clean-up, I'm waiting, waiting for my new studio to be finished so I can get building shelves, painting walls and getting ready to go into the artmaking cave for winter!

  3. Just beautiful Barry, I have to admit to a severe weakness when it comes to spirals...I'm embroidering one on a piece of natural dyed linen right now (well, obviously not RIGHT now, *chuckle*, but I was a couple of hours ago and will be going back to finish it in a minute or two!) There's something deeply moving about them, and I'm just a little obsessed with them.

  4. We have many acacia trees here and yes the pods are awesome. Plus I see the cleaning bug has it you as well. Although my table is trashed again with a new project. Love the copper leaf - especially the patina. Better make some more for the tree! :)

  5. what i love is how you got overtaken by the seed pod and had a need to interpret it in your own way... it is beautiful... causes me to reflect upon the fibonacci spiral found so often in nature - and how really everything is connected...
    and i whole-heartedly agree about walks...

  6. There's inspiration everywhere Barry, particularly in nature. As for distraction... that seems to be a common problem with creative minds.

  7. the patina, just awesome, and the spiral, as you said a very organic look, another beautiful piece.

  8. That seed pod would have grabbed me too. What a fantastic shape. I love your earthy interpretation of it - the patina is wonderful and I love the contrasting edge. A very strong piece.

  9. Stunning work. I love these organic shapes, especially the spirals. They make me think of the New Zealand green stone pendants, especially the last spiral.
    I'm pleased to have found your blogs and glad to know you are from Queensland. I lived in Brisbane for a few years and enjoyed the city and the art gallery there!
    I am now following your blog and will add your site to my blog list.

    All the best,

  10. barry, neat! i'm not sure if i like the finished piece or the unfinished piece best...but the wonderful contrast you picked up and polished makes for a fine piece.

  11. Fantastic shapes.
    Nature is always a great source of inspiration.

    Thanks for sharing

  12. P, L, VA, MIA, MD, JM, M, S/R, JMay, V & CES - obviously a lot of us love spiral or patina or both - but that is good. Thanks for feedback comments. VA - I knew the spiral would appeal to you. MD - it is so easy to be overtaken by a creative opportunity isn't it? JM - the eyes are always looking for natures gifts. S/R & V - whilst the original is good I always like to tweak it with a bit of contrast. JMay- interesting about the NZ jade. Go well. B

  13. B ... i was amazed at how alike the spiral pod and the metal piece are!! just amazing likeness ... one is metal, the other is organic. Makes me think that everything on earth is one and all the same ...

    Spiral is a beautiful piece of work. tho i do prefer it without the polished edge ... that's just me :) the patina is lovely!! it looks like a relic actually!!


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