Friday, June 29, 2012

Fiddling on Friday

It is Friday after all - so it was time to give metal beating a go. But in the spirit of gently going forward I decided to do a few small bits and only take them to the raw beaten stage. And because I was restarting I just wanted to do something that did not require too much thought and manipulation therefore it had to be about bowls and leaves.

A close inspection of the bowl photos show that it still has its fire scale and rough edges etc - but beautiful in its own right. The bowl is 60mm in diameter and 35mm deep.

©2012 Barry Smith  - Small EPNS bowl in the rough.
©2012 Barry Smith  - Small EPNS bowl in the rough.
I had a go at making a very slender and longish set of earring leaves cut from a light gauge nickel silver drink coaster. I wanted to retain the coaster design on the insides and hammer marks on the outside. The annealing to open the leaf forms has resulted in beautiful rainbow colours - not sure how to deal with these in the polishing stage - be great to preserve them. The leaf forms are about 60mm long and 10mm wide at the top.
©2012 Barry Smith - Rainbow nickel silver leaf forms
And just for something different I wanted to have a go at creating a spiral form. I started with the idea that the spiral might hint at a lilly pad form. The test spiral is below. I think I have worked out the beating sequence. I will have a go at a few others in different sizes. Once I have perfected the technique I would give silver or nickel silver a go. I think the spirals could be just beautiful forms in their own right; or small versions could make their way onto ears. The spiral form is 50mm long and 42mm wide and high.

©2012 Barry Smith - Copper spiral form in the rough
©2012 Barry Smith - Copper spiral form in the rough
©2012 Barry Smith - Copper spiral form in the rough
It was good to fiddle with metal on Friday. Over the weekend I will polish the bits; and also see how I pull up muscle wise. All pieces are made from recycled metal.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Paper, shadows and words

 On Sunday I was given a 'leave-pass' from home to visit the Tread Lightly Exhibition in which Fiona is a featured artist.

©2012 Barry Smith - Sunburst Paper Art by Robyn Woodrow (altered)
Paper is a very strong element in the exhibition - especially recycled and reused books. The exhibition is one of the most coherent ones I have seen given the number of artists who contributed. The exhibition is well curated with good lighting. One of the benefits of the lighting is the play of shadows around and in the paper works; and how it highlights the texture and text of the pieces. I captured some of the texture, text and shadows as you can see below. All photos courtesy of the iPhone.

©2012 Barry Smith - Detail of Old Directions by Rosie Miller 
©2012 Barry Smith - Detail of Folded star book by Fiona Dempster
©2012 Barry Smith - Detail of Folded  book by Fiona Dempster
©2012 Barry Smith - Sunburst Paper Art by Robyn Woodrow
©2012 Barry Smith - Sunburst Paper Art by Robyn Woodrow
And I just knew that some of the shots would lend themselves to a little manipulation with the iPhone apps.

©2012 Barry Smith - Detail of Old Directions by Rosie Miller  (altered)
©2012 Barry Smith - Detail of Folded star book by Fiona Dempster (altered - )
©2012 Barry Smith - Detail of Folded book by Fiona Dempster (altered)
©2012 Barry Smith - Sunburst Paper Art by Robyn Woodrow (altered)
©2012 Barry Smith - Sunburst Paper Art by Robyn Woodrow (altered)
I think I can add the stamped words below into this post - there is a connection between words and books? Cutting, stamping and polishing these words is another of those little milestones - I did them yesterday as a person rang to say they wanted words but had some specific requests like beauty, grace and obscure. Anyway these and a bunch of other Inspiration in your pocket words were purchased today.

©2012 Barry Smith - Inspiration in you pocket words
Bit of a mixed post on a cold and wet day on the mountain.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Take one broken umbrella ....

Pushed along by Mary Jane and inspired by Fiona I have made a start on creating my Peace Flags for the flags for peace project - 2012. As you can see from the photo below in keeping with my desire to recycle I started with a broken 'rainbow' umbrella'.

©2012 Barry Smith - Potential flags for peace????
Having cut all the ties I ended up with a circle of rainbow and a broken down metal frame.

©2012  Barry Smith - 'Rainbow' fabric
©2012 Barry Smith - Umbrella skeleton
Then came the testing part - cutting the rainbow circle into pennants and hanging cords.

©2012 Barry Smith - From rainbow circle to flags
But that paid dividends as I was rewarded with a colourful string of pennants and strings.

©2012 Barry Smith - Peace flags in the making
©2012 Barry Smith - Once was an umbrella - a splash of colour
The next part of course is to reinforce the top and print on the individual flags. But it was a good project for wintery wet days on our mountain. And it didn't involve hammering metal.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A little creativity on Friday

Those "who must be obeyed" indicated that beating metal was not yet wise - however it was agreed that maybe a little bit of rescue and assemblage was in order. Over three shortish sessions today I managed to create two pendants from found metal objects. The base of the piece in the photo below started life as the screw cap on an old brass hand pump.

©2012 Barry Smith - Fragments of light - former life hand pump screw cap
In the photo below you can see the condition of the found metal before the process starts.

©2012 Barry Smith - Found metal - brass screw cap and handle
And then after a bit of cutting, drilling, straightening and polishing they are ready for assembling. Both pieces retain some of their original form and patina.

©2012 Barry Smith - Droplet - former brass handle
©2012 Barry Smith - Brass Screw cap - reformed
Today was a bright and warm sunny day so I have incorporated Swarovski crystals and bright stirling silver wire into both pieces to reflect and capture the light of the day.  The crystals are free to slide and spin on the stirling silver wires. Droplet is about 50-60mm long; and Fragments of light is about 30mm in diameter.

©2012 Barry Smith - Droplet with square crystals
©2012 Barry Smith - Fragments of light with crystals
©2012 Barry Smith - Back of Fragments of light with clear crystals ref acting the light
©2012 Barry Smith - Droplet with clear crystals - refracting the light
It has been a good feeling to be back in the studio even doing a small thing or two. I think these two pendants will make their way into the shop.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Morning, magpies, mandalas and the magic of rainbows

OK - so I have tried to combine a whole heap of disparate subjects into the one post using 'M' words - but then again that what today has been about.

Fiona headed off in the dark to go exercising with her group - but I decided to stay in the warmth of the bed and get up and go for a stroll when the sun was up. I have 'strolled' on a few mornings with Fiona so I knew what I could do. I was rewarded with this beautiful pre-sunrise dawn sky - just magic.

©2012 Barry Smith - Soft dawn light to the west
On my Treehaven Way walk the birds were out sitting on the wires doing their morning chorus. The iPhone telephoto lens is not great for bird shots but I like the photo of the Magpie on the wire in the early morning sun and clear blue sky.

©2012 Barry Smith - Magpie on the wire
The walk was very peaceful and a bit like a mobile meditation. Which leads me to Brian Sylvester's mandala cards which arrived in the mail a couple of days ago; and were accompanied by an inspired little book from Gabriella. The cards are excellent quality and I think not only make a great gift but can be used as a portable aid to meditation. You can check Brian's art cards out here.

©2012 Barry Smith - Selection of Brian's mandala cards
©2012 Barry Smith - Healing vibes from Gabriella
And it must be the middle of winter as the morning sun is very much to the north and low on the horizon so we are once again having a flood of rainbows throughout the house.

©2012 Barry Smith - Rainbow on the kitchen bench
Life is good. All photos taken with the iPhone and surprise - unaltered.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Last rose of summer and other iPhoneography bits

Not being able to get down into the studio and hammer metal etc has provided me with the opportunity to clean out photos that were still residing on my camera card and iPhone. This in turn provided the opportunity to finish altering a few photos I thought could result in interesting outcomes

But first a photo of a beautiful red rose that bloomed on one of our extremely neglected rose bushes.

©2012 Barry Smith - A rose in winter
Obviously the rose bush was confused and didn't know we are in the middle of winter. The perfume of the flower is just exquisite. It has sat as a single stem beside Fiona's computer subtly injecting rose perfume into our work area.

Below are a couple of the shots that were still saved in the iPhone camera roll.

©2012 Barry Smith - Frozen lake in Central Park NYC
©2012 Barry Smith - Heart in the bark
And some altered photos.

©2012 Barry Smith - White Noguchi paper lamps - Noguchi Museum - Queens NY - altered
©2012 Barry Smith - Tiny translucent toadstools in the grass - altered
©2012 Barry Smith - Storm in the valley - altered
©2012 Barry Smith - Frozen lake Central Park NYC - altered
©2012 Barry Smith - X-ray heart (Heart in the bark - altered)
©2012 Barry Smith - Heart of glass -  (Heart in the bark - altered)
I quite like the frosted over photo of the heart imprint in the bark of a local tree - it reminds me of Blondie's track Heart of Glass.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Nature reclaiming its own

In an earlier post I indicated that my encyclopaedia stacks (Quiet Transition); and Ken Munsie and my collaborative piece made from the 200 Year Book (Flowing Words) were going to be part of the Tread Lightly exhibition.

On Tuesday I managed to drive to the gallery with Fiona to deliver her exhibition pieces. I was not up to it again on Wednesday so Fiona and Ken took the stacks and the flowing words down and installed them.

©2012 Fiona Dempster - Detail of Quiet Transition
Over the last couple of years the Quiet Transition stacks have aged nicely and there are some amazing colours, shapes and textures occurring. So Fiona and Ken decided to set the stacks up with the textured page views facing the viewer. - it has worked well.

©2012 Fiona Dempster - Quiet Transition - quiet decaying stacks
©2012 Fiona Dempster - Detail of Quiet Transition
In all the Flowing Words work is made from over 20 books. Ken and Fiona speed them around the outside of the exhibition space - some along the entry path and others in garden plots.

©2012 Fiona Dempster - Part of Flowing Words along the pathway
©2012 Fiona Dempster - Part of Flowing Words in the garden
My favourite though is the book that now has a little plant growing in it and the paper is beginning to breakdown - I think this will be the last outing for this work - it will now just have to rest at Ken or our place and gradually be reclaimed by the earth worms and plants.

©2012 Fiona Dempster - Nature reclaims its own
The Quiet Transition stacks will last a couple more years yet.

The exhibition opened last night (Thursday) but the journey and crowd would have been too much for me so Fiona was supported by her folks, our friend Liz, Ken and Noela and other Maleny artists.