Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sidetracked on Saturday and Sunday

I had a few things on my list for the weekend including finishing the piece for the COMA food festival exhibition. But I also wanted to repaint the front steps and the entry decking. A few small jobs that offered balance and diversity.

However in the process of finishing the 'condiment' bowls (bit more beating, trimming and re-polishing)   a couple of other bits of metal whispered to me - a couple of silver-plated goblets I had cut down and some 6 gauge (about 3mm thick) copper wire I had bought in NYC. The section of the goblet was re-beaten into a small bowl; and the copper wire became the handle (see below) of another ladle. But more on that later.

©2012 Barry Smith - Copper handle
As you can see from the photo below I made a small shelf from a camphor laurel slab and attached it to the 12X12inch canvas I had painted black. I made small indentations in the timber for the bowls to sit in; and cut a hole in the canvas to hold the fourth bowl. I might add a few pepper seeds to give the impression they are spilling out of the bowl imbedded in the canvas. The bowl will need to be tilted a bit more - it is only held in with blutack so it can be moved around.

©2012 Barry Smith - Display shelf for COMA condiment bowls
©2012 Barry Smith - Detail - small beaten condiment bowls
Back to the ladle. This one is finer and more finished than earlier examples. I hammer hardened the copper shaft of the handle on the anvil - it has some lovely beaten marks on it. The bowl for the ladle is beaten in a textured hammered pattern on the outside but it results in lively texture inside where it has been beaten on the panel beater's form. The bowl is attached to the handle with three small copper rivets made from 1/16inch thick copper nails. The ladle bowl is about 7.5cm wide and 1.5 cm deep. The handle is about 20cm long.

©2012 Barry Smith - Silver-plated ladle with copper handle
©2012 Barry Smith - Silver-plated ladle with copper handle
©2012 Barry Smith - Detail - Silver-plated ladle with copper rivets
When I measured the length of the handle I found I needed to cut off about 7cm of the copper wire. So as not to waste it I thought I would see if I could make a small salt spoon from the off cut. I think it worked out ok. The little spoon handle is about 5.5cm long; the spoon bowl is about 1.5cm long and 1cm wide.

©2012 Barry Smith - Small (7cm) solid beaten copper salt spoon
The photo below shows the contrast in size between the ladle and the salt spoon.

©2012 Barry Smith - The ladle and the spoon

I did manage to get the steps and deck done. I was able to beat and polish metal when the different coats of paint were drying.


  1. What a stunning image of contrasts the display shelf for COMA condiment bowls is! Just wonderful.

  2. Ahhh, your work is whispering to you too these days...
    Love the slab wood with the metal bowls against the black, the contrasts are beautiful.

  3. The bowls are gorgeous. Sitting on that piece of wood truly sets off their beauty. Something about hammered metal and wood always gets me! Enjoying all the different sizes and shapes of spoons also.

  4. Love those bowls and the little salt/mustard spoon is magic.
    I have a foul cold and it has done nothng but rain and be freezing cold for days. Miserabe!

  5. These are beautiful, Barry. I love it when something practical is also made beautifully and lovingly.

  6. oh my, it all looks so wonderful!

  7. everything you have "hammered" out here are all very lovely... the glimmer and glow of reflected light.. swoon.

  8. That first image looks like a needle and thread the way it falls so fluidly. Love the resulting canvas with the bowls. The spoons are delicious ......

  9. Exceedingly beautiful, Barry! Breathtaking!

  10. T, VA, SZQ, P, MIA, TL, D, SB & S/R - looks like the combo of silver, timber and black background works for all of us. SZQ - metal and wood - something natural that calls with that combo. P - glad you like the tiny spoons - sorry to hear as bout you foul weather. MIA - good when form and function both work. D - it is grand to be hammering again - I do have to make up for lost time!!! SB- lovely word - delicious. S/R - great compliment coming from you. All go well. B


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