Friday, May 3, 2013

Metal harvest

Fiona and I are going to hold an exhibition in late August and most of September - so the planning and preparation is well underway. The twin themes will be stillness and peace - that is a surprise!! We both basically know what we want to create and the volume of pieces to go on wall, on plinths and in cabinets. The planning made me realise I needed a bit more metal. So last weekend we supplemented my stash by going on a run to recycling centres and and op-shop.

Today I did about 2.5 hours of cutting and sorting of much of the new metal stashes. It fell into two categories: large trays (stainless and EPNS) for large bits of flat metal for personal shrines: and small EPNS trays, coasters and bowl surrounds for bowls, leaves and peace books etc.

The photos below show the large tray; and the recovered metal.

©2013 Barry Smith - Large trays 
©2013 Barry Smith - Harvest of flat sheets of metal
©2013 Barry Smith - Harvest of flat sheets of metal
Some pretty interesting patterns on the metal.

One of the trays must have been over 50 years old as I found part of a 1959 newspaper used as packing between the metal and the timber backing.

The second set of photos are of: the EPNS stash; the mangled mess of cut up ENPS bits; and then the sorted EPNS metal.

©2013 Barry Smith - EPNS stash ready for cutting
©2013 Barry Smith - A tangled mess of metal
©2013 Barry Smith - EPNS metal - cut and sorted
No excuses - plenty of metal to work on. But by way of a change before getting out on the block and finishing the weeding and veggie garden digging I started beating a number of small bowls out of bowl lids and goblet bases. I will do more work on these over the weekend.


  1. What a wonderful haul! It's good to be reminded of the raw materials and the work involved in the process.

    My beautiful Seek Peace leaf arrived safely - and quickly (I am continually surprised at the speed of the postal service here, in South Africa it was a gesture of faith to put something special in the mail)

    Thank you again for the treasure - it's been much admired by my students.

    1. Hi CLB - I'm always on the lookout for material. Glad that the peace leaf arrived safely - even being admired by students gives it the chance to inspire peace. Go well. B

  2. love the idea of "harvesting" metal!! Of course that's what you do!

  3. It's inspiring to see your stash and even more so to see the end results.

  4. Awesome stash. Love the tray sheets ! You've given me a new view of that shelf of plated metal at the thrift store.

  5. What a stash! You must've covered some ground to find all that.

  6. Perfect inspiration for my stash which looks a bit like your before photos. I just need to get up the courage to cut them up. I know you'll do miraculous things with them, B.

  7. VA, AA, PnM, JM & C - the recycling brings the true believers out of the woodwork - glad you enjoyed the stash or two I have put together. VA - can't really think of any other word - bit like hunting and gathering. AA - as a worker of metal you can imagine where this lot is going. PnM - off the shelves with your trays and on the side cutter - result lovely sheets of metal at a fraction of the cost. JM - we were lucky - good stash at three places including the two recycling centres. C - I'm waiting for your to get into cutting and beating mode. All - go well & collect well. B

  8. It's always a joy for me to go out looking for stash to include in artworks so I'm reliving that familiar thrill of discovery while reading your post. Stillness and peace.... a lovely meditative theme for your exhibition.

  9. Hi R - I know you can so relate to stashes - and vicariously can experience the anticipation of creating with the bits. The theme helps the focus. Go well. B


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