Friday, August 31, 2012

Block 'creations' on Friday

Fiona and I are to host a wedding on our decks tomorrow - so we have felt we needed to finish a few bits of landscaping and tidy a few things on the 'block'; as well as doing the general clean.

©2012 Barry Smith - Rust in the Fire-pit
One thing I've wanted to do for sometime is to finish the terrace below the Peace Bell. It is finally done: the retaining wall has been finished and painted; the gravel has been hauled and raked; and a few pieces of timber have been added to creates steps and points of interest; and the large rusted fire-pit Fiona and I bought a long time ago has finally been installed. I think it has a bit a a zen sparseness to it. Pity about the big water tanks in the background - I guess the Camellias will eventually hide them.

The photos were rushed and don't really do the terrace justice.

©2012 Barry Smith - Peace Bell decks and terrace
©2012 Barry Smith - Timber block steps.
©2012 Barry Smith - Fire-pit and timber cubes on the Peace Bell terrace
As part of the general tidy up I couldn't resist adding a few more bits of rust to be discovered.

©2012 Barry Smith - Rusted hand mower
©2012 Barry Smith - Rust installation.

It has been a long and physically taxing Friday but satisfying both from a creativity and giving perspective.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Emerging from stone

After two days of tapping, scraping, sanding etc the local artists produced monoliths that will become the installation Peace in the Trees as part of the art4place's Creative Spaces 2012 placemaking art event.

©2012 Barry Smith - Hammer and stone
Noela M visited the sculpture workshop site yesterday, took some photos and did an art4place post (check it out here) so I won't repeat that.

We are all tired from our efforts but satisfied with the images we encouraged from the stone. So I thought I might just share a few of the fragments as they emerged; and when I'm less weary post on the finished pieces - and of course the pieces once they are installed with the trees.

©2012 Barry Smith - Ken creates stillnes
©2012 Barry Smith - Kim create textured flow
©2012 Barry Smith - Cathy brings forth a Platypus
©2012 Barry Smith - Judy's font and spirals take shape
©2012 Barry Smith - Carolyn's frond takes shape
©2012 Barry Smith - Vivienne's mother-goddees figure  emerges
©2012 Barry Smith - Roman's font grows
©2012 Barry Smith - A intricate vine by Sally
©2012 Barry Smith - Edith-Ann's delicate nest
©2012 Barry Smith - Katie's font and water fall get a test run
©2012 Barry Smith - The sun highlights Barry's peace
©2012 Barry Smith - James creates a centred piece
©2012 Barry Smith - Michael carves out peace
It was amazing what novice sculptors could draw out of the stone. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Give-away 'winners' & more on stone

The give-away draw was carried out today as promised. The names were put into the Singing Bowl and drawn out against each of the three give-aways.

Ersi M's name was drawn for the brass tube ring.

Gaby B's name came out for the two earring leaves.

And Helen I's name was drawn for the 'tadpole' spoon.

Thanks to all those who posted a comment. If the 'winners' can send me their postal address to me at my contact address on my website  I will get those give-aways in the mail.

Fiona and I have been away in Melbourne for a couple of days 'work-work'. We got back Saturday afternoon. I spent three hours this morning with Craig Medson (our workshop sculptor-teacher) helping him to break up a large slab of sandstone into five pieces. I learnt a lot about breaking stone with wedges etc. Craig was still there breaking stone and setting it up for us to carve - big thanks to him.

©2012 Barry Smith - Craig hammering wedges - stone splitting
©2012 Barry Smith - Wedges in place
©2012 Barry Smith - Wedges in place
 I just love the outcome - from a big slab weighing several tones to working pieces for the two-day workshop.

©2012 Barry Smith - Stone in workable pieces
©2012 Barry Smith - Stone has a 'mind' of its own - beautiful curves
When the stone broke in its own unique way Craig said, "you have to be flexible with stone". I loved that comment given the stone was so hard. I think we will have a lot of fun on next Tuesday-Wednesday doing this community sculpturing work for the Peace in the Trees installation as part of the Creative Spaces 2012 placemaking art. Should be some interesting photos regarding what 12 volunteer novice sculptors can produce.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The beauty of boulders

Art4place, a community based not-for-profit group of artists, is facilitating an event called Sunshine Coast Creative Spaces 2012. This will include six temporary placemaking art activities.

One of these activities is an installation of about 12 monoliths placed amongst a treelike at Maleny Retreat. This installation is called Peace in the Trees. To enable the installation to be created we have invited 12 local artists to participate in a two-day sandstone sculpture workshop to create the 12 monoliths with carvings related to peace and nature.

This is a real community artist activity. Most of the artists have not done any sandstone carving before. We will be taught and supervised by Craig Medson andFiona McCarron - both recognised internationally as sculptors.

Craig visited a sandstone quarry in Helidon and selected the sandstone; it has been delivered to the shed at Maleny Retreat; and Craig has begun to break it into the 12 or more pieces for artists to work on.

The pieces of stone are large (9 tonnes in all); but they do break down into beautiful blocks don't you think.

©2012 Barry Smith - Sandstone for Peace in the Trees

©2012 Barry Smith - Sandstone for Peace in the Trees

The workshop will be on 28-29 August so your can expect a post update on the activity on the two days as we turn this beautiful stone into meaningful monoliths.

And if you haven't already checked it out - you can join in my 500th post giveaway that is to be drawn on Sunday.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fire on the mountain & smoke in the valley

We have been having a long spell of dry weather  - in our area that means we have had no rain for about 4 weeks. One of the impacts of this is that there are quite a lot of bush fires occurring. Whilst they can be a bit threatening they can also make for some special sunsets.

Of course sunsets in winter mean that the cold keeps the smoke lower. In the photos below the smoke on the mountains has flattened; as has the smoke in the valley. And of course the light is fading so the scene is quite somber.

©2012 Barry Smith - Smoke on the mountains
©2012 Barry Smith - Smoke-drift in the valley
©2012 Barry Smith - Smoke enhanced dusk
I've played with a few of these smoke laden photos - some interesting outcomes.

©2012 Barry Smith - Smoke on the mountains - altered
©2012 Barry Smith - Smoke-drift in the valley - altered
©2012 Barry Smith - Smoke enhanced dusk - altered
And just because it is iPhoneography Wednesday I have added a before and after photo of a magpie launching itself from the wires; and one of Ken M's tree - it had two leafless fronds.

©2012 Barry Smith - Magpie liftoff
©2012 Barry Smith - Magpie liftoff - altered
©2012 Barry Smith - A tree?
©2012 Barry Smith - A strage alien?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Progressing the Peace Book

Early in July I started an artists' peace book to be exhibited at the Maleny Library as part of COMA's contribution to the Flags for Peace Project 2012 instigated by Mary Jane. Today Fiona was in Brisbane teaching one of her scripts, so after doing a bit of 'work-work' I got to do a little more on the artists' peace book.

The 'book' is in a way a cross between a horizontal prayer wheel and a four page book on a spindle (photo of pagers end on below).

©2012 Barry Smith - Peace book metal 'pages'
Anyway as you can see from the following photos I have: stamped the words on the slim metal pages; cut the grooves into a new wooden spindle; glued the pages in place (but not sanded away the excess); riveted hinges on the curved cover; and riveted the clasp on the front.

©2012 Barry Smith - Peace book pages with stamped words
©212 Barry Smith - Brass clasp riveted in place
©212 Barry Smith - One of two brass hinges riveted in place
©2012 Barry Smith - Brass spindle decoration and pump nut in place
The photo below of the piece roughly assembled gives and idea what it is going to look like.

©2012 Barry Smith - Peace book is a step closer to completion
Of course there is still trimming. sanding, polishing and glueing to be done yet - but it is edging closer.

And if you have not caught up yet - my last post offered a give-away to celebrate my 500th post - don't miss out on the opportunity to score a give-away gift.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Give-away and a splash of orchid colour

In an earlier post I indicated that this Friday's post would be my 500 post. To celebrate this milestone I want to give away three small gifts.

©2012 Barry Smith - 500th post giveaways
In the photo above you can see the three give-aways: a brass tube ring (approximately 5/8 inch internal diameter) - formerly part of a spirit camping stove; a pair of small leaves - formerly a nickel silver drink coaster and ready to be turned into earrings; and a small "tadpole" spoon.

And what do you have to do - just leave a comment. I will draw three names out of the Tibetan singing bowl on Sunday 26 September; and post the names of those who will receive the give-aways in a post that day.

Over the last few weeks Fiona and I have been looking after Fiona's dad's orchids - including one we have had to photograph for Fiona's mum at different stages of it opening. Below is a shot of it in full bloom - in our kitchen as we attempt to keep it going until Fiona's mum gets home in a few days time. Couple of close ups of the throats of the flowers. Photos taken with iPhone and not altered.

©2012 Barry Smith - G's orchid in full bloom
©212 Barry Smith - Glorious orchid colour 1
©212 Barry Smith - Glorious orchid colour 2
And though Fiona are not into growing orchids we do have a few natives and one of these bloomed despite our neglect.

©212 Barry Smith - Tiny but triumphant
We are attending the opening of the Arts Connect Open Studios artist's exhibition at Main Street Gallery in Montville this afternoon.