Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bits and bowls

If I had to describe the weekend I would say it was 'a rainy people weekend' in that we have had about 100mm of rain and much of our time was given to people activities and events. Still slices of time were found for other activities including a little creativity.

Recently Noela M had given me copper shim and indicated that maybe I could use some to create rippled bits for her to use in Bazola jewellery. Well if you going to do bits for Bazola you might as well do a stash. So as you can see from the photos below that is what I did with some slices of time.

©2012 Barry Smith - Rippled copper for Bazola
©2012 Barry Smith - Foldformed reticulated zinc on brass  for Bazola (former life - weed pump-pack)
©2012 Barry Smith - Foldformed ENPNS - inspired by Japanese folded paper - for Bazola (former life cake-biscuit tray)
©2012 Barry Smith - Stash of Bazola bits - (recycled trays and jardinieres)
But I thought I would see how the copper shim worked in my punched-bowl form. I wanted to create a bowl that had multiple sheets - almost like sheets of paper formed into the bowl. I like the way the three layered bowl worked - ragged and layers.

©2012 Barry Smith - Three layered copper bowl (Noela's shim)
©2012 Barry Smith - Three layered copper bowl (Noela's shim)
©2012 Barry Smith - Three layered copper bowl plus stash of Bazola bits
Recently I purchased a steel form for beating small bowls - so I also gave that a go and made a small EPNS bowl - about 90mm in diameter and about 25mm deep. I had cut the circle of ENPS out of a small old cake-biscuit tray with a cut-off blade in my angle-grinder - this left a ragged edge to the circle. I left it just as it was a I felt it gave the bowl a little more organic look.

©2012 Barry Smith - Simple beaten EPNS bowl - top (former life cake-biscuit tray) 
©2012 Barry Smith - Simple beaten EPNS bowl - bottom
So in the end all the people stuff got done; and I am now in a position to deliver a stash of Bazola bits to Noela in the near future.

BTW - the clock does actually work; and keeps good time - so form and function!!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Time flies on Friday

Fiona and I started the day thinking that we did not have many commitments in our diary; and therefore most of the day would be dedicated to art - it was not to be. The morning was given over to doing paperwork for a community organisation; and then after lunch it all went a little pear shaped as they say in the classics.

In the afternoon I planned to plant some winter veggie seedlings, cover the new bunch of bananas in their protective 'sock' and then get into art - after all it is Friday. Well I got the first two done and then we got a call from Fiona's folks that there were some good books and metal to be had 'for a price' at their local church where they were sorting for a 'garage sale' tomorrow. Some hours later we returned home with some book and metal booty after helping to sort, box and label books for the book sale part of the 'garage sale'.

But I did manage to take a few shots of some bits and pieces we had 'installed' on the block as interesting things to discover as one walks around. These included the rusted peace symbol SooZeQue had generously cut and sent to me; the cutting section of a post hole augur that had gone past its useful date; and a small assemblage I put together out of stuff as I was cleaning up yesterday.

©2012 Barry Smith - SooZeQue's Rusted peace symbol on a blue stone rock wall
©2012 Barry Smith - SooZeQue's Rusted peace symbol on a blue stone rock wall
©2012 Barry Smith - Whirligig assemblage 
©2012 Barry Smith - Top of whirligig assemblage 
©2012 Barry Smith - Post hole augur crown atop old power pole
But I must admit I did get a little time to do the rough cutting, drilling, riveting and assembling of a clock I have had in my mind for a little while.

©2012 Barry Smith - Folded rusted metal clock
©2012 Barry Smith - Folded rusted metal clock
As you can see it is pretty rough and I did learn a few lessons on the speedy way through - buying a better mechanism for a start. Does it work? I don't know. I will install a battery and check that out tomorrow. Now it is time to head off for a glass of red and a little dinner.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Remembering pain and peace

Today Fiona and I attended the ANZAC dawn service in our town (Maleny) to remember the pain and suffering that is war; and join with others in striving for peace and peaceful ways to deal with disagreements and conflicts.

©2012 Barry Smith - Eternal flame of remembrance - Maleny RSL - (altered - white and green for hope and peace)
Yesterday I was thinking about the the dawn service - what it meant to me, the futility of war, those who don't return home, the fact that they don't enter home again etc. I was doing this as I sorted a few box loads of stuff a person up the road gave me on Sunday - they had come to our Open Studio last year and said they had stuff for me. Amongst the different bits were boards with blank keys hanging on nails.

© 2012 Barry Smith - Blank keys
A number of thought flashed through my mind as I looked at the blank keys. They reminded me of military identity dog tags. But they also said to me they are blank and have no serrations because those who died are not going to come home and are not going to open any doors and don't need keys to the family home. The nails reminded me of the painting of the souls walking to the Menin Gate - some upright some bent over. And the stacks of keys tended to look like coffins.
© 2012 - Barry Smith - Not returning home
©2012 Barry Smith - Heads bent, coffins - pain and sorrow 1
©2012 Barry Smith - Heads bent, coffins - pain and sorrow 2
©2012 Barry Smith - Souls marching 1
©2012 Barry Smith - Souls and coffins 1
©2012 Barry Smith - Souls and coffins 2
All a bit weird I know - but it is amazing what the eye and mind makes of ordinary things when subconsciously one is contemplating issues.

ANZAC day reminds me of a Martin Luther King quote: "Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows." So ending on a positive note - today did provide another opportunity to vibe for peace in our world.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earrings for an 18 year old

Fiona and I are in the main fortunate with our neighbours - we look out for each other, communicate, keep an eye on each others' property when people are absent - but we also have our personal space.

One of our elderly neighbours phoned us on Friday with a request - "would Barry have some earrings to show her that might be suitable as a gift for her granddaughter's 18 birthday?" Of course the answer was yes - but it did require the completion of a number of pairs of earrings that might be attractive to a young woman. In the end I went with the five pairs below - some are 'found earrings'; and some are 'leaf form earrings'.

©2012 Barry Smith - Found and formed earrings for an 18 year old
We visited our neighbour this afternoon and Fiona kindly lent an ear to model various earrings. In the end the pair of leaf earrings pictured below were selected. As you can see they have a good length (leaf is about 55mm), some curl action is happening in the leaf, and some silver and copper chain has been added to give a bit of movement. Hopefully the young woman will find them attractive and feel the love that her grandmother put into the request and choice.

©2012 Barry Smith - Leaf forms with chains (former life - wine goblet)
The 'found earrings' below are simple but bit dainty (found section is about 35mm long)?

©2012 Barry Smith - Found bow earrings (former life handle of a bowl)
The formed earrings below (about 50mm long) are a little more on the structured - a bit 'old' for a younger person!!
©2012 Barry Smith - Riveted silver and brass earrings (former life EPNS tray and brass stove)
It always feels good to be able to respond in a creative way to a request that is based on a personal relationship - there is a different energy to the creative act and the choice.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fungi, flowers friends and info on Friday

The day has been full and fruitful. The morning was clear and crisp and even though we are heading closer to winter the flowers and fungi seem confused. The Strelitzia below was one of a bursting clump.

©2012 Barry Smith - Strelitza
And the tiny (25mm) fragile almost see-through fungi populated a side lawn.

©2012 Barry Smith - Tiny fragile fungi
©2012 Barry Smith - Almost like crystal
And the fungi below had found a nice home on small logs under a tree.

©2012 Barry Smith - Fungi bowls
I attended a 4 hour information session on public art and grants available for different categories of public art - this is of great interest to us at our neighbourhood centre and to our art4place group.

We got our power pole replaced on our block today as the old one was in danger of crashing down - so there was clean up after the tradespeople to do; cut the old pole up - some beautiful fungi on that; and collect the lemons from the have of the lemon tree they had demolished in the process of installing the new pole.

But then I got a bit of time to create a pair of earrings for the grandchild of one of our elderly neighbours - but more on that on a later day. We are now off to have a red wine and a pumpkin and blue cheese risotto and maybe watch the rugby union football -  not a bad way to end the day.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Work in progress - light catcher

OK - so recently it has been leaves, leaves, more leaves and leaf bowls. For sometime I have been looking longingly at my stash of brass and rusty bits that I tend to keep aside for light-cathcher assemblages. Well I have given myself permission to create a small light-catcher I have had the bits set aside for. The photo below shows a very dirty crystal in a dirty but beautiful perforated  brass ring.

©2012 Barry Smith - Encircled crystal
And the photos below are of the piece bolted together but yet to have the finishing touches. The crystal and perforated ring swing.

©2012 Barry Smith - Light- catcher - Swing lightly??
©2012 Barry Smith - Detail of perforated brass ring
©2012 Barry Smith -  Ring, crystal and cogs.
This light-cather doesn't have a name yet - but that will come to me.

It is pretty amazing the bits that have come together in this one small piece: cogs courtesy of Kim; a door knob purchased in Bangalow; a fluted brass tube from an old soldering pressure lamp; a brass rod from a pump; recycled bolts to hold it together - internal threading done by me; perforated ring from ???; silver hangers from an old tray; a temple door brass nut; and a crystal from Christine's mum's chandelier. A lot of bits are given a new life.

In the next little while all will be polished and be ready to reflect and refract light.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Trilogy of leaf form bowls

I did manage to get a few short sessions in the studio-garage on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; and therefore managed to finish the three leaf form bowls I had planned to do. I wanted to create another three of the multi leaf form bowls as a gallery manager thought these bowls would sell as a gallery line and would want 5-6 to create a presence. You can see them in the rough sitting on the wet rusting-curing big leaf.

©2012 Barry Smith - Trilogy of leaf bowls in the rough
The bowls were all made out of stuff that people have given me: a copper plate from Jo, a EPNS tray from Jo and a shallow copper fruit bowl from Edith-Ann and Carol. All the bowls are a little bigger than earlier bowls - they are about 160mm in diameter and about 60mm high. I beat an addition hollow depression in the EPNS bowl. As usual the EPNS was the hardest to fold form because of the being nickel-silver.

©2012 Barry Smith - Copper eight leaf bowl - former life 250mm copper plate
©2012 Barry Smith - Silver-plated EPNS eight leaf bowl - former life drink tray
©2012 Barry Smith - Copper twelve leaf bowl - former life 230mm fruit bowl
The 8 and 12 leaf bowls are quite time consuming and at times tricky to create because: the metal needs to be pretty flat so recycled bowls, tray and plates usually need to be annealed and beaten flat; the leaf points and lengths need to be measured reasonably accurate; shapes need to be cut; for each fold there is a folding, beating, annealing and opening; and of course there is the sanding of sharp edges and polishing. But I think the effort is worth it. I think my favourite is the 8 leaf bowl - enough interest without being too cluttered - and it reminds me of a lotus flower - so maybe it could be called a lotus bowl rather than a leaf bowl?

©2012 Barry Smith - Raindrops on spider's web
Thought I'd add the photo of the spider's web for fun. We have had a lot of drizzling rain over the weekend so all the cobwebs are holding little water gems. This web was outside the shed and I noticed it when I went to polish the bowls.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Giving keeps creating

Given that I try to use recycled material and objects in my work when and wherever I can,  I am ever appreciative of the fact that family, friends, fellow artists, acquaintances and even strangers are on the look out for materials for me and give me stuff.

©2012 Barry Smith - Centre of Sam's large brass tray
©2012 Barry Smith - Stainless steel tray in letter box from mystery giver
I was going to post on a few larger and more complex leaf bowls that I worked on today; but the sight of a stainless steel tray sticking out of our roadside letter box not only made Fiona and I smile but also prompted me to show a just a few of the bits that have come my way over the last few weeks.

©2012 Barry Smith - Sheets of copper shim from Noela - to become Bazola?
©2012 Barry Smith - Goblets from Jo (posted on these a few weeks ago)
©2012 Barry Smith - Large (6-700mm diameter) and small brass trays from Sam
©2012 Barry Smith - Heavy steel work bench from Carolyn
©2012 Barry Smith - Larger copper laundry boiler-tubs from Edith-Ann and Carol
©2012 Barry Smith - Sam's champagne goblets - still in original wrapping after 25 years
©2012 Barry Smith -  A box of small brass jardinières from my brother Neil
And you can see from the photo below that it doesn't take me long to chop pieces up and use them in work - after cutting the folded edge off the copper plate it was annealed, flattened and began the journey to become a leaf bowl.

©2012 Barry Smith - Copper plate from Jo gets the chop
So a big thanks to all those folk and the others who give me stuff - thanks for the stuff but also thanks for enabling me to recycle. And don't you just love the patina that is on the inside of one of the copper washing boiler-tubs.
©2012 Barry Smith - Copper patina in laundry boiler-tub