Friday, August 30, 2013

Back by popular demand

Well - back by popular demand - not so sure about that - however I have been asked to do more functional pieces for Shannon's functional art stall at the Real Food Festival.

So I'm doing Leaf Spoons (teaspoons) - today I made 6 - and don't they just look like a shoal of fish or tadpoles?
©2-13 Barry Smith - Leaf Spoons - about 12-13cm long
©2-13 Barry Smith - Silver plate over copper Leaf Spoon - about 12-13cm long
And a stash of ladles - I made a few a week or so ago - but I have made another 6 over the last couple of days - ranging from a big soup ladle to a small chocolate sauce ladle.

©2013 Barry Smith - A stash of ladles
©2013 Barry Smith - Large soup ladle - bowl about 10cm wide & 4-5cm deep
©2013 Barry Smith - Pair of shallow ladles - about 7cm wide
©2013 Barry Smith - Three small ladles - chocolate anyone?
I have also experimented with creating a Leaf Pate Knife - the prototype turned out well

©2013 Barry Smith - Pate leaf knife - heavy gauge silver plated EPNS - about 20cm long
©2013 Barry Smith - Pate leaf knife - heavy gauge silver plated EPNS
But when I went into production the three I made just fell to pieces - the recycled metal was just beautiful on the outside but very brittle underneath as you can see from the breaks in the photo below. Always a risk of recycling metal.

©2013 Barry Smith - Supposedly A1 quality silver-plated EPNS - couldn't handle the heat or the hammer
This is a short post as Fiona need to get our 'glad rags' on and head to Eudlo for the official opening of our Paths to Peace and Stillness exhibition at Rosebed Street Gallery

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wednesday's Walk

One of the good things about the gradual move out of winter to spring is that there is a little more light around at 5.30am when we awake to get Fiona on the road for her circuit training and me off for a Wednesday walk with my iPhone.

©2013 Barry Smith - Soft morning light
Came across this unusual grow in the bushes as I cut through to Treehaven Way.

©2013 Barry Smith - Balloon hiding in the bushes
And by the time I got to Treehaven Way there was a soft sunrise on show - because there is no cloud the light tends to be defused.

©2013 Barry Smith - Fence line at sunrise
And spring is showing it is competing with winter as new colours and growth are bursting out.

And on the home front the next lot of coffee is ripening and calling to be harvested.

©2013 Barry Smith - Coffee - yellow variety
©2013 Barry Smith - Coffee - red variety
Couple of altered photos for the fun of it.

©2013 Barry Smith - Altered dawn
©2013 Barry Smith - Another  altered dawn
Soft clear mornings are so restorative. All photos curtesy of the iPhone.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Visitors hammer up a storm of Peace Leaves

Fiona and I have had five visitor friends staying with us for the weekend - they left today to head different points of of the country - a great catch up.

However there is no such thing as getting off scot-free on the mountain - no drinks before leaf making - tough hosts.??? Four agreed to spend 1.5 hours on Saturday afternoon creating anodised aluminium autumn coloured Peace Leaves. The aluminium was cut from recycled saucepan lids.

As you can see from the photos below a good little stash was created.

©2013 Barry Smith - Peace (leaves) created through friendship
©2013 Barry Smith - Peace (leaves) created through friendship
We had 3 work stations which you might be able to make out - Bron and John worked on their own and Coralie and Gwen teamed up.

©2013 Fiona Dempster - Intrepid group of metal workers - Gwen, Coralie, Bron and John
And a couple of shots of people stamping letters and hammering away.

©2013 Fiona Dempster - Coralie (front) and Bron in action on their anvils
©2013 Fiona Dempster - Gwen hammers a fold
Coralie had also made four fabric and cork leaves stitched with the word Peace of peace symbols.

©2013 Barry Smith - The hand of the maker - Coralie's leaves
John had made a large bark leaf to add to the growing collection - you might be able to see it under Coralie's leaves.

©2013 Barry Smith - Coralie's leaves with John's big bark number underneath
So the collection of leaves is growing - and what a good thing for friends to share - learning the technique of making leaves together - a bit of competitive peace fun was enjoyed.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Punkish blackboard

Ann from Rosetta Books coffee shop asked if I could give her blackboard a Steampunkish make over; and similar to the display board I did earlier for my Steampunk jewellery that will be sold through her coffee shop.

I cut up and polished another couple of pushbike gear cassettes to give me something to work with - I love the great images these pieces create when stacked on the floor. The cassettes were made of two different hard metals - one titanium and the other hardened stainless steel - suffice to say the common metal drill bits were had it by the time I drilled out the holding rivets.

©2013 Barry Smith - Beautiful shiny chopped bike gears
©2013 Barry Smith - Beautiful shiny chopped bike gears
And the 1m high by 700mm wide blackboard got the makeover. I have used recycled copper from a discarded copper shower base; clock parts; some pieces of foldformed brass from old jardinieres; the bike gears; and new copper and brass nails and tacks. A few rushed photos of the blackboard taken with the iPhone follow.
©2013 Barry Smith - Corner of the board - gears and foldformed bits
©2013 Barry Smith - Odd angle photo of the blackboard

©2013 Barry Smith - Clock parts along the lower edge
©2013 Barry Smith - Clock parts and gears
I delivered the board to Ann today - I'm looking forward to seeing both the blackboard and display board mounted on the wall.

Fiona thought it was a bubbles kind of Friday night given that our exhibition unofficially opened today and we have done almost all the riveting on our 11 commission pieces.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Setting up Peace and Stillness Exhibition

Much of today was given over to packing the car; travelling down to and back from Rosebed Street Gallery in Eudlo; and setting up Fiona and my joint exhibition - Paths to Peace and Stillness.

We were happy with the outcome - we are in a quiet white room and our works complement each other and make quiet statements about peace and stillness.

The few random photos below were hurriedly taken with the iPhone and don't do justice to the body of work or how it is set out in the room - but they at least show the works are on walls and plinths.

©2013 Barry Smith - A case full of goodies - Peace Book Pendants, Peace Leaves and Daily Words
©2013 Barry Smith - A plinth of Leaf Incense Burners
©2013 Barry Smith - Peace and Stillness - two book cover personal shrines with leaves and bowls
©2013 - Plints full of Fiona quiet pieces and our bowls of scrolls.
©2013 Barry Smith - one of many of Fiona's wall pieces and her Peace Mends the World book
It was a big weight off our minds and hands given the works have been delivered - sigh of relief!!! The exhibition will softly open on Friday 23 August; and will officially open (more boisterously with 'musos' and bubbles) at 7pm on Friday 30 August. The exhibition will remain open until 6 October.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Functional pieces for food

Shannon called me a few days ago and asked if I would join her stand at the Real Food Festival (Maleny 7-8 September). Last year I made ladles and leaf-spoons for the festival stand.

More recently I have been selling my ladles through one of our local gift type stores. In fact they have sold the 6 ladles I provided; and I was in the process of making more.

Though Fiona and I have been flat out working on the 11 commission pieces, I did get around to finishing 3 of the ladles-severing spoons over the weekend.

As you can see from the photos below the serving spoon is quite larger - the spoon part is about 10-12 cm long and 7.5 cm wide. This could be used for serving spaghetti or curries etc. The smaller ladles are for sauces or melted chocolate.

©2013 Barry Smith - Back of large serving spoon - sunburst hammer pattern
©2013 - Barry Smith - Two sauce ladles and one large serving spoon
©2013 - Barry Smith - Two sauce ladles and one large serving spoon 
©2013 - Barry Smith - Two sauce ladles and one large serving spoon - backs of spoon and ladle bowls
At this stage I'm not sure if these pieces are destined for the festival or the shop. Bowls of the ladles and serving spoon are made from recycled metal. Handles are new copper and brass rod. As you can see all handles are riveted to the bowls. The large serving spoon had five copper rivets.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Peace on Friday

I sit here with a glass of red and Fiona after a full day of Friday art and community commitments - a good way to end the week after a full week which included a quick trip to Melbourne to say farewell to a good friend and to support his partner.

For much of the day Fiona has worked on exhibition pieces and I have worked with her on our 'secret commission' - all will be revealed when it is possible. But what I want to share is the Peace stuff that has happened  yesterday and today.

First I received a parcel from someone I did not know - strange. Through a friend connection Nikki and her very young daughters had heard about the Peace Tree and the request for Peace Leaves. She and her daughters have created 28 autumn coloured leaves with peace in many languages and sent them to me in time for installation on the Peace Tree for International Day of Peace (21 September). You can see from the photos below what an exquisite job they did.

©2013 Barry Smith - Leaves of Peace for the Peace Tree
©2013 Barry Smith - Leaves of Peace for the Peace Tree
And given the crazy killings that have occurred in so many places in the last week this personal effort by Nikki and her daughters gave me a little hope in a sad week - I salute them and thank them.

I was encouraged by their work to begin the task of stringing my Peace Flags as part of the Flags for Peace initiative. I got about half way before rushing out the door to take part in a meeting on a disaster management plan for Maleny. The photos below, taken by Fiona, show that my string of metal peace flags will fly and send some peace vibes into this sometimes crazy world.

©2013 Fiona Dempster - A string of peace
©2013 Fiona Dempster - A metal peace 'flag'
©2013 Fiona Dempster - A metal peace dove
©2013 Fiona Dempster - A tangle of peace
I have used bright green string-rope so folk won't run into it; and because peace should be bright and shine. Fiona gave me the metal peace doves - she brought them back as a gift for me after her Melbourne get-together with her 'bestie' Sue.  An uplifting way to end the day. And the wine is also helping.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sand and shadows

Last week Fiona and I were on the beach catching up with Rina a Japanese exchange student, her foster family and Merv who went to Tatebayashi as part of the art-culture exchange earlier this year.

It was getting towards sundown - I was very taken by the shadows created by objects that had been stranded on the sand - lovely riverlets created by the receding water.

©2013 Barry Smith - Micro jelly-fish (less than 1cm in diameter)
©2013 Barry Smith - Stone and shadow
©2013 Barry Smith _ Shadow and shell
©2013 Barry Smith - Heart stone
©2013 Barry Smith - Remnants of a sea urchin
©2013 Barry Smith - Tea bag in the sand
©2013 Barry Smith - Feather
And of course there was the setting sun.

©2013 Barry Smith - Our group walks the sunset
Just love it how nature creates such simple beauty.