Wednesday, February 27, 2013

When collections coalesce

Its one of those funny things - you have all these little collections of objects in draws and on the floor; and then suddenly they shout out to be together and for you to do something with them.

©2013 Barry Smith - Pocket watch bodies and gas burner ring
I have a number of delicious collections of found objects including: pocket watch bodies; clock bodies; switches; brass circles; clock chimes etc. And these, as you can see from the photo below, are now all gathered on my sorting table in the garage-studio.

©2013 Barry Smith - Stash of collections spread on the sorting table
There are some great shapes.

©2013 Barry Smith - Gear wheels

©2013 Barry Smith - A little rusted-patina assemblage in its own right
©2013 Barry Smith - The beauty of Time
©2013 Barry Smith - Stash of pocket watch bodies
©2013 Barry Smith - Brass back plates 
©2013 Barry Smith - Switches 
©2013 Barry Smith - Clock chimes
©2013 Barry Smith - Gas burners and other brass rings
And now I will ponder these and decide which will coalesce to form a small assemblage. I think they will become a small series in there own right - I'm thinking Time and Light as the working title. This series will reflect a little more Steampunk in the various pieces. This will be work for further rainy days.

On another note the Precious Pieces blurb book has already arrived.

©2013 Barry Smith - Publication - Precious Pieces

I'm pleased how it has worked out - looks just as good 'in-the-flesh' as it did on the screen.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Shards - a post installation

Some time ago I posted on the work I was doing on an installation of three posts that will be heading off to an art show. I have titled the piece Shards.

Apart from the wood post form; the other main element is long slender jagged slices of rusted metal. The shards are cut from offcuts of rusted 3mm thick sheet mild steel I had in my rust bank using an off-cut blade in a handheld side grinder. Each shard is unique in shape. The shards of rust gradually spiral up each post to give a sense of movement if one walks around the post.

©2013 Barry Smith - Rusted apex of Shards
We had fine weather for most of the day yesterday so it gave me the opportunity to cut the slots into the posts; and insert the rusted metal shards into their slots. Each post could be a sculpture in its own right as you can see from the shot below.

©2013 Barry Smith - Tallest of the three Shards posts
However the posts were conceived as an installation of three. The variation in the heights and the size of the shards and the shape of each shard presents shadows and negative spaces that are quite interesting.

©2013 Barry Smith - Shards  - an installation of three posts
The posts still require bases of 10mm thick rusted metal plate. This will enable the base of the posts ti be defined and can be used to peg the posts into the ground or stand stably if shown on concrete or a verandah. Below are a couple of close up shots of the rust and wood.

©2013 Barry Smith - Detail of rusted shard and post
©2013 Barry Smith - Detail of rusted metal and top of a post
I'm hoping to finish these posts during the week - weather permitting.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Few things on Friday

Today has been a bit of a mixed bag but there were a couple of art things going on: the 22 sheets Corten steel (3mx1m) for the placemaking path were delivered to the recycling centre where workers and volunteers will cut the 23 foliage motifs into the steel; and I continued some work on a couple of raised bowls.

I delivered the cutting template and talked the recycling folk through the cutting process - so many right and so many left cuts etc etc. It is now in their hands - I'm holding my breath - it will take about a week to cut all the sheets with a hand held plasma cutter.

But while I was there I spied 7 fencing foils and just could not resist buying them - I'm really sure they will make a great installation on the block - I'm sure Fiona agrees - hmmm!!!

©2013 Barry Smith - 7 recycled fencing foils in a recycled copper shower base
The bowl raising has come along quite well; but there will still be a session or two to complete the raising and polishing etc.

©2013 Barry Smith - Two silver-plate raised bowls on the annealing bed
©2013 Barry Smith - The larger of the two raised bowls in the rough on a rusted leaf form
©2013 Barry Smith - The larger of the two raised bowls in the rough on a rusted leaf form - starting to rain
©2013 Barry Smith - The beaten internal surface of the larger raised bowl
I just love the texture of the inside surface of the raised bowl - so many hammer marks. But I think it is time for me to head off and make a risotto; and of course break out a Friday glass of wine.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Clean air and new life

As you can see from an earlier post we have been shrouded in cloud and rain for over a week. And whist there have been a couple of times the sun tried to break through in the afternoon and created ethereal skies (including the pink-out as compared to our usual misty white-outs) shown in the photos below - we were hanging out for clear skies and sun.

©2013 Barry Smith - Pink clods and mist over the valley
©2013 Barry Smith - Sun struggles to shine through over the valley 
And this morning we woke to exactly that. At first Fiona thought we had left a light on but then realised that the light at 4.30am was just early morning pre-sunrise light seeping into the room.

Fiona headed off to her circuit training at 6am and I walked - with my iPhone so I share but a few of the images that caught my eye. All photos are naked shots including the Autostitched panoramas above. Mind you you can see my walk was more of a stroll given the number of photo stops - there goes the fitness program!!!

©2013 Barry Smith - Small leaf on rusted metal leaf
©2013 Barry Smith - An edge of copper patina
©2013 Barry Smith - Delicate almost transparent fungi
©2013 Barry Smith - Leaves in small pool on the road
©2013 Barry Smith - Newly preened feather on the road
©2013 Barry Smith - Weather and road beaten core of a Pine cone
©2013 Barry Smith - Delicate tiny blossom
©2013 Barry Smith - Small fungi beginnings
©2013 Barry Smith - Even the bees were active
©2013 Barry Smith - Droplets - clean and crisp
©2013 Barry Smith - New fresh growth
This afternoon has turned cloudy and rainy again but spirits have been lifted by the sun.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

New publication on a rainy day

As you can see from the photo below today has been a rainy, gloomy and overcast day - so best to do indoor tasks.

©2013 Barry Smith - Brooding valley - using Autostitch on the iPhone
Fiona was working on the Flags for Peace 2012 blurb publication yesterday and today, so I thought I'd use her companionable expertise to create a new blurb book on my metal work.

I have titled the 20 page book Precious Pieces as a reference to the pieces I create and the fact that they are made from recycled materials - saving precious metal from going into land fill or sold for scrap. A few screen shots show what I was up to.

I did manage to finish the book and it has  has now been published and will be delivered in the next few weeks.

If you want to check it out click here.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday fragments

There has been very little time for art play today. The day has been taken up in the main with work in our community.

I did manage to bring in a few fragments of iron (offcuts from leaves and shards) that I had stamped yesterday and put out in the rain to begin the curing process. Whilst the curing has not finished you can see some quite nice colours are appearing. I think I will just keep making these peace fragments until I have a really good stash. Fiona and I thought they could be installed on top of The Wall (of books) - we will see. Still it would be good to have a 100 or so of these fragments.

©2013 Barry Smith - Rusted on Peace
©2013 Barry Smith - Fragments of Peace
©2013 Barry Smith - Speak Peace Now
©2013 Barry Smith - Give Peace a Chance

©2013 Barry Smith - Rusted Peace Fragments
The stamping was done using 6mm plumbers letters, a 4lb hammer (small sledge hammer) and my larger anvil. Had to hold the letters with pliers as I was a little worried about my fingers. Photos are not great as the light was not good at the end of the day.

I was asked to stamp a few healing sayings on scrap metal - so I did manage those today. They will go on a keying and therefore be a reminder to the owner.

©2013 Barry Smith - Inspiration
As you know I made a stash of Peace Book pendants. Several of these have gone to new homes but a couple have made their way into my shop.

©2013 Barry Smith - a Conclave of Peace Book pendants
I think I hear a glass of red wine calling me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cutting and creating rust

At the moment because of the weather I am moving between indoor and outdoor art. If its raining then I'm indoors doing smaller pieces - mainly jewellery; and if it is fine I'm outdoors working on components of three larger pieces of work.

Yesterday I got a good run at cutting up rusted iron plate for my shards; a tryptic of rusted leaf-forms; and a circular pair of leaf-forms. The cutting is done with a side grinder with fibre cutting blades. Takes a bit of time and fiddling but there is a certain satisfaction in cutting the pieces out myself and by hand. Anyway I thought I'd share a few photos of the stash of cut rusted metal which is now out in the rain curing more before I get to do the assembling of the posts; and bending of the leaf forms.

To give a sense of scale - the larger leaf-form is about 1.3m long.

©2013 Barry Smith - Various shades of rust
©2013 Barry Smith - a Pair of curved rusted iron leaf-forms
©2013 Barry Smith - Rusted iron leaf forms 
©2013 Barry Smith - The different colours of rust - different ages and stages of rusting
©2013 Barry Smith - And even then there are still offcuts from the offcuts
I love it when I get to play with the rusted plate iron - the art is there before I start - nature creating gorgeous colours and patterns.