Sunday, June 29, 2014

Carrying peace ….

©2014 Barry Smith - Peace Book pendants
As you can see from the photo above I have just completed a series of Peace Book pendants. Why Peace Books? Each pendant is unique: each has 4 leaves (eight pages); each leaf is made from different recycled metal - silver-plated copper or EPNS; some leaves are the ornate decorative edges of serving trays; each pendant has one page stamped with with the words "seek peace" or "imagine peace"; the leaves are held together by two jump rings which enable the leaves to be turned; and the pendants are on silver-plated chains that are 600mm in length. The tiny Peace Book pendant on the left centre in the photo above is about 30mm long and 14mm wide.

©2014 Barry Smith - Peace Book - imagine peace
The concept behind the Peace Book pendants is that the owner-wearer carries a bit of peace with them -  as a positive affirmation and goal; bringing a little peace and stillness. In our world it doesn't hurt to carry a reminder of peace.

Closer photos of each of the Peace Book pendants in this series are below.

©2014 Barry Smith - Peace Book pendant
©2014 Barry Smith - Peace Book pendant
©2014 Barry Smith - Peace Book pendant
©2014 Barry Smith - Peace Book pendant
©2014 Barry Smith - Peace Book pendant
©2014 Barry Smith - Peace Book pendant
©2014 Barry Smith - Peace Book pendant
When I make these pendants I imagine that they can take a little peace into the world.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Unpacking and using a Travellers' Shrine

I have been asked what is the purpose of my Travellers' Shrines; and how are they used - so I thought I would post on that since I have just completed making a series of the Shrines.

My Travellers' Shrines are small portable metal boxes used to carry personal objects that often form part of a personal sacred space. They can be used in the home to create a sacred space; but they are also meant to be packed and wrapped and taken on journeys to create a sacred still space wherever you are.

©2014 Fiona Dempster  -  Travellers' Shrines packed, wrapped and ready for the road
In this post I just wanted to share a few photos that shows the process of unpacking a Travellers Shrine. The shots in the hand below give a sense of the size of the Shrines

©2014 Fiona Dempster - View of the wrapped front
©2014 Fiona Dempster - View of the wrapped back
Untying the Shrine.

©2014 Fiona Dempster - View of the front - unwrapped 
©2014 Fiona Dempster - Base showing how the wrapping holds the bits in place
My Travellers' Shrines come with a standard set of inclusions: a small bundle of incense (longer lengths cut to fit the shrine - tied with silk); a small brass incense burner; a small hammered bowl; a fold formed inspirational leaf (with love or peace stamped on it); and a small square mat to lay the pieces on.

©2014 Fiona Dempster - Mat unfolded  - ready to unpack the other bits
©2014 Fiona Dempster - Standard bits unpacked
People who purchase my Travellers' Shrines usually add their own bits to the Shrine such as: medals, small cards with inspirational quotes, a crystal, a small stone, a feather, a shell etc. But because the Shrines are small there are limits on size and the amount one puts inn them. We all individualise our own sacred spaces.

©2014 Fiona Dempster - Incense burner in action
Once the traveller's meditation or prayer session is finished the Shrine can be left open to maintain a sacred space; or packed away for the next stage of the journey.

The top of the Travellers Shrines are made from recycled ornate silver-plated copper or EPNS; and are riveted in the corners. The bottoms are made from plain silver-plated copper or EPNS and are folded and lined with felt. Because the Shrines are made from recycled metal and are individually handmade they have a sense of age and history about them. Fiona took the photos - thanks to her.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Early light, bits for Travellers' Shrines and bits of rainbows

Today has been a day of small things; finishing the small pieces that will go into the Travellers's Shrines - inspirational leaf, offering bowl and incense burner-holder; capturing the fragments of rainbows on our stone kitchen bench; and capturing the exceptional light of an early morning on Treehaven Way.

First that early morning light…

©2014 Barry Smith - Wild light at dawn
And then the tiny bowls (about 30mm in diameter); and tiny inspirational (love and peace 40-60mm long) leaves; and brass incense burners.

©2014 Barry Smith - 8 micro hammered silver plated EPNS bowls
©2014 Barry Smith - 8 micro hammered silver plated EPNS inspirational leaves
©2014 Barry Smith - 7 incense burner-holders - formerly a brass window winder 
©2014 Barry Smith - A gathering of the micro bits for the small Travellers' Shrines
And those tiny rainbows on our kitchen bench - love the angles of the sun in winter through our kitchen louvres.

©2014 Barry Smith - Rainbow fragment on the kitchen bench
©2014 Barry Smith - Another rainbow fragment on the kitchen bench
©2014 Barry Smith - Yet another rainbow fragment on the kitchen bench
©2014 Barry Smith - A gathering of rainbow fragments on the kitchen bench
All in all a gorgeous day.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Unfinished but lots of progress...

I had hoped to finish my Travellers' Shrines over the weekend but did not get all the time I thought I might (including attending an official engagement on behalf of our neighbourhood centre - not really our thing). And of course I was doing 6 shrines together. Still as you can see from the photos below I did make quite a bit of progress.

But before the photos of the shrines I wanted to show the small brass anvil I made for bending the shrine edges - it is made from a brass weight we picked up at some time. I was going to 'bequeath' it to Fiona for her interesting bits display; but I had to tell her it is now part of my tool collection. It worked really well.

©2014 Barry Smith - Small brass anvil made from a brass weight

And on to the shrines.

©2014 Barry Smith - Small silver plated copper shrine lid (about 5x6cm) on the anvil
©2014 Barry Smith - Six folded lids on annealing pit
©2014 Barry Smith - Six Travellers' Shrines boxes
©2014 Barry Smith - Pair of 'Cherry Blossom' Travellers' Shrine boxes

©2014 Barry Smith - Shrines - lids and bottoms - ready for lining
So I'm now up to lining the bottoms of the shrines (this part holds all the bits); and then making the bowls, incense burners and leaf forms that go into the bottom; and then polishing. Will do this during the week I hope.

©2014 Barry Smith - Remembering NYC - Art deco earrings and pendant for Fiona
And because I was polishing bits I finished making the pendant and earrings above for Fiona as a memento of NYC - made from a fork and two teaspoons bought from an open air market stall.

A good weekend in all.

Friday, June 20, 2014

A return to travellers' shrines

It is quite a long time since I have made any of my small portable Travellers' Shrines even though I have a couple of folk who would like to purchase them. I was looking back at older posts and see that the last ones I made were back in November 2013.

The thing is I usually like to have interesting metal to make the lids out of the shrines; and I like to be in the right frame of mind - I like to give the shrines positive maker energy when I make them.  Well today those things came together and I made a start on a group of Travellers' Shrines.

©2013 Barry Smith - Travellers' Shrine bound  ready for a journey
Metal for the tops of the shrines all marked up ready for precise cutting in the guillotine.

©2014 Barry Smith - Metal for Travellers' Shrine lids
There are always off cuts - but these will become word leaves, peace pendants, for giving away to other folk etc.

©2014 Barry Smith - Glorious metal offcuts
And the pieces are cut into shape with the metal shears ready for folding and riveting.

©2014 - Shrines lids - ready for folding
©2014 - Shrines lids - ready for folding
The fold over for the rivets is about .75cm and the rivet is about 1.5mm in diameter. Quite a tiny piece to hold together and rivet - quick release clamps are very handy.

©2014 Barry Smith - The thumb gives a sense of the size of this piece
I had time to finish one lid up to rough fold and rivet stage. This shrines lid is about 5cm wide, 7cm long and 1.3cm deep - about the size of a standard matchbox. The pattern reminds me of Cherry Blossom.

©2014 Barry Smith - Shrine lid roughly finished - love the very soft copper Japanese mallet; and the anvil has seen a bit of work
I moved on to start making the bottom-inside section that holds the mini offering bowl, incense holder, inspirational word leaf etc.

©2014 Barry Smith - Made a start on the shrine base.
I was tied up all afternoon with meetings at our local neighbourhood centre - so I will do more work on the shrines over the weekend. Still a good feeling to start shrines that will take journeys with different people across and around the world. Roast pumpkin and blue cheese risotto for dinner - and yes of course accompanied by a red.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wednesday morning and other bits

©2014 Barry Smith - Detail of a fire hood
The title of this blog post is a little misleading.  I will share a couple of Wednesday iPhoneography photos; but the blog post is mainly about recycled gifts. But first an image of coffee husks from the husking effort of last evening - I just love the colour and texture of these husk - so crisp and like small egg shells.

©2014 Barry Smith - Crisp coffee bean husks
The recycled gifts included two sets of encyclopaedias - these will make a great seat for the organ down at the Mango trees.

©2014 Barry Smith - An organ seat - only needs assembling
And a huge copper fireplace hood - there will be many pieces created from this piece.

©2014 Barry Smith - Copper fireplace hood - about 1m wide
And the copper heat colours are delightful.

©2014 Barry Smith - Copper - heat coloured
©2014 Barry Smith - Copper - heat coloured
The sky was still dark when I headed out on the Wednesday walk - love the pixilation.

©2014 Barry Smith - Early morning mountain views with Port of Brisbane lights
©2014 Barry Smith - Early morning mountain views - altered
The rem ant of the moon was setting in a blue sky by the time I finished my exercises.

©2014 Barry Smith - Pale moon in a pale sky
Grand start to the day. All photos taken with the iPhone.