Sunday, September 29, 2013

The beauty of orchids

I have spent various bits of the weekend working on more  Travellers' Shrines. I have all but finished the four of them including the mini bowls and the leaf that are part of the shrines. But they still need : polishing; lining; an incense holder and incense bundle to be added; and the leather tie to be cut and added. So they will be finished about mid week.

I thought I might share a creative form of Fiona's dad (Graham) - orchids. When we visited on Thursday there must have been 10-12 orchids in bloom - so many different shapes and colours - just a few of them are below (photographed with iPhone).

Creativity takes many forms - and orchid growing is not one of my strengths - but I do appreciate their beauty. The dry hot weather  we have had lately seems to have brought out such beauty in Graham's collection.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Return to Travellers' Shrines

A good Friday - couple of community meetings; planted some veggies; and got to do a solid afternoon of art.

Last time I blogged on the Travellers' Shrines I was doing for the Peace and Stillness exhibition I was asked if I had more available or was I going to make more. Well the answer is yes; and today was the day. I started 4 shrines today; and finished two to the pre-polishing stage. Why 4 shrines? They are a bit tricky to make as one is making metal boxes and fitting one metal box within another - I'm never convinced that they will always be of good enough quality to sell to folk - even though I personally like the simple handmade hammered nature of all of them.

Anyway, a few photos of the process are below. The photos are a bit blurred as I took them hurriedly with the iPhone.

Marking up the metal....

©2013 Barry Smith - Large silver plated EPNS placemat marked for cutting 
Shapes of the lids cut, drilled and ready for filing, bending and riveting..

©2013 Barry Smith - Lids - cut and drilled 
A couple of the shrines are completed to pre-polishing stage - and of course I need to make the bits and pieces that are carried in the shrines. This time I'm making a couple of small rectangular shrines - dictated by the available metal. These rectangular Travellers' Shrines are a little bigger than a match box (about 7cm long, 5cm wide and 1.5cm deep) - almost pocket size - certainly handbag size.

©2013 Barry Smith - Small rectangular Traveller's Shrine - silver plate lid and brass bottom
©2013 Barry Smith - Small rectangular shrine and larger square shrine
And of course they started life as trays etc.

©2013 Barry Smith - Metal for shrines
Fiona is cooking up a Friday dinner that will be accompanied by a red so I must away.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Of wind, leaves and a baby bird

Last night the wind howled and buffeted the house. We woke to leaves piled up along the walkway to the house....

©2013 Barry Smith - Pathway of leaves
and the Peace Tree with a bit of a lean to the south (easily righted - but amazed it moved given all the cement in the base) ...

©2013 Barry Smith - Peace leans to the south
and Fiona's Peace Flags still at right angles to the rope with many shreds fluttering away as the wind was down to a breeze ...

©2013 Barry Smith - Fiona's Peace Flags art full stretch
On my early morning walk (Fiona was doing circuits with her group) I decided to shoot a few shots of leaves scattered beside on the road.

©2013 Barry Smith - Leaf Litter
©2013 Barry Smith - Fresh green
©2013 Barry Smith - A beautiful curve
©2013 Barry Smith - Frayed edges
But I came across this bundle of feathers ... I was a bit sad because I realised it was a baby bird that had been blown out of its nest and crashed to the ground - nature can seem to be a bit cruel at times...

© 2013 Barry Smith - A sad little bundle of feathers
I saw a little movement as I walked away - so I returned and found the bird was still alive but in bad shape - so I picked it up in my cap and headed home to see if there was anything I could do to revive it

©2013 Barry Smith - There is hope yet
© @013 Barry Smith - A cap full of fragile life
Over about a half hour I gave it a bit of Rescue Remedy, some water, a few crushed grubs from the veggie garden and a little minced meat. By the time Fiona came home it had perked up a bit. We called wildlife rescue and one of the volunteers came around - and after checking it out and giving it a little more water we made a nesting box so the volunteer could take it back to the home tree as she said the parents would reunite with it and look after it now that we had got it over the critical stage.

We hope that when we walk tomorrow that the little bird I called Acka-Dacka, because of my cap, is making progress.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Peace Tree is complete

Fiona and I put the Peace Tree in place early this morning; but it was this afternoon before I got to attach all the leaves as Fiona and I were in the local library this morning working with children to create a children's Peace Tree. The children's Peace Tree will continue to grow as it will be a school holiday library activity for the coming week.

The photos below show the completed Peace Tree - hard to photograph because of the trees, power lines etc in the background and the dodgy light at the end of the day; but that does not stop the Peace Tree from sending out collective peace vibes.

©2013 Barry Smith - Top of the Peace Tree at sundown
©2013 Barry Smith - Top of the Peace Tree at sundown
©2013 Barry Smith - Top of the Peace Tree from the house as the sun goes down
The Peace Tree was made possible by the united effort and desire from quite a few people both in Australia and overseas. You could scroll through earlier posts on my FaceBook and see some of the Peace Leaves contributed and those who made the leaves. A big thank you to those who helped create this tree.

I hope that the creation of this Peace Tree might just send a few ripples of peace into the world. This tree adds to the energy that of the Flags for Peace Project coordinated by Mary Jane. The Flags for Peace Project was the inspiration for the Peace Tree.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Peace Tree nears completion

Today was a bit of an interrupted day - commitments to community meetings took quite a bit of time at both ends of the day - but I got time to compete the Peace Tree and begin hanging the Peace Leaves

©2013 Barry Smith - Peace Leaves on branchlets
As you can see from the photos below the tree is quite large given it was plaited by hand from 3 & 4mm thick fencing wire - I think it has ended having a very gentle organic form. I have set the tree into a recycled wastepaper bin with about 40kgs of cement - very stable.

©2013 Barry Smith - Peace Tree in need of more leaves
I have attached anodised aluminium leaves to the terminals of each branchlet - both to create a nice end and to deal with the sharpness of the wire ends.

©2013 Barry Smith - Peace Leaves on branchlets
©2013 Barry Smith - Peace Leaves on branchlets
And I have started attaching the Peace Leaves that have been sent to me both from overseas and Australia.

©2013 Barry Smith - Peace Leaves begin to adorn the tree
I did not move the tree into place at the entrance to the block as we used the last light of the day to put our Peace Flags in place. The tree will be put in place early tomorrow morning; and the rest of the leaves will be attached tomorrow afternoon as we are doing a children's peace activity in the local library in the morning. So I will share photos of the finished tree later.

I have breathed a bottle of red so that needs attention as we make our pizzas.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A bit of creativity whilst away

Fiona and I have spent a few days on Heron Island - Fiona posted on some of the magnificent blue of the water and sky. We immersed ourselves in nature, rest and reading.

©2013 Barry Smith - Intrepid explorer Fiona risks life and limb amidst the Stingrays to find the blue  of Heron.
But we also took a little time here and there to do a bit of creating.  This mainly took the form of rusting paper and in my case trying a couple of eco-leaf prints using the salt water of the reef.

©2013 Barry Smith - Soaking paper in a sea puddle
©2013 Barry Smith - A rust parcel
©2013 Barry Smith -  Fiona's rusted washer paper and my wee book pages
©2013 Barry Smith - Soaking paper and leaves in a coffee mug full of saltwater
©2013 Barry Smith - Unwrapping the leaf and paper
©2013 Barry Smith - After 2 days an eco leaf print inspired by Velma and Jennifer
And doing a linocut for the Maleny Printmakers exhibition in November.

©2013 Barry Smith - Lino shavings
©2013 Barry Smith - Lino cut bowl ready for proofing
We are back home on the mountain working on our Peace Flags; Peace Leaves ; and Peace Tree for 21 September.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

More Peace Book Pendants

The stash of Peace Book Pendants sold out in Fiona's and my Paths to Peace and Stillness exhibition. Maya, Rosebed Street Gallery Eudlo owner-manager, asked if I could make some more given they were popular.

©20132 Barry Smith - Peace Pendants
©20132 Barry Smith - Peace Book Pendant
©20132 Barry Smith - Peace Book Pendant
©20132 Barry Smith - Peace Book Pendant
©20132 Barry Smith - Peace Book Pendant
©20132 Barry Smith - Peace Book Pendant
©20132 Barry Smith - Peace Pendant

As you can see from the photos above I managed to make five more Peace Book Pendants and one Peace Pendant. I delivered them to Maya at Rosebed when Fiona and I went over to take part in the Eudlo street festival on Saturday. All the pendants are made from recycled silver-plated metal.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Plaiting a Peace Tree

I have started on making the 3m Peace Tree for the Peace Leaves for International Day of Peace on 21 September.

©2013 Barry Smith - Plaited wire
I'm plaiting the Peace Tree from coils of 3mm thick fencing wire as in the photo below.

©2013 Barry Smith - 3mm fencing wire
The process is:  create a core of two 3m strands twisting the top section together; and then progressively add more layers and more strands in each layer. The last layer of this particular tree will have 12 strands. A few progress photos follow.

©2013 Barry Smith - Plaiting sections - taped to stop eye injuries
©2013 Barry Smith - Plaited around the core
©2013 Barry Smith - The tree begins to take shape
I'm now about half way through the process - it will take about another 4 hours of cutting and plaiting. It is a fairly physical job plaiting the wire as the combined strands go from two to four. I will finish it in the week of the 16 September as Fiona and I are going away for a week.