Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Playing with colour and light

The moods and light of the valley and on Treehaven Way always gets me in - the natural soft tones and puddles of clouds. But I also get tempted to play with the light and colour - I think it provides the opportunity to draw out some details I might not see in the soft light. And sometimes it is just playing with the contrasts of flipping the light to a different solar spectrum.

A few days ago I realised I had a number of altered photos in my phone - so I thought I'd transfer them and a few others from today - and share a few.

©2014 Barry Smith - Bending the wires and the light on Treehaven Way at sunrise
©2014 Barry Smith - A fragment of morning moon at the top of our driveway 
©2014 Barry Smith - Same morning moon and the rainbow in the altered light - Treehaven Way
©2014 Barry Smith - Looking to the west
©2014 Barry Smith - Painting the full panorama of the valley
©2014 Barry Smith - Maybe a shower of rain?
 Below are softer naked photos of the first and last light of today.

©2014 Barry Smith - First light today
©2014 Barry Smith - Last light today
Where would I be without my iPhone and apps?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Box and bowls

I managed to finish the metal treasure box for Helen over the weekend; continued work on the shallow hammered bowls for the Daily Words commission; and just did a little work on a few Starburst Bowls in the making.

The metal treasure box is made from two recycled rectangular silver-plated EPNS trays with intricate designs on them - quiet a bit of metal - the lid measures 18x11.5x3.2cm. Both the lid and bottom are riveted with copper rivets. The bottom fits very snugly into the lid; and both are bound with a 25mm wide strip of soft grey leather.

©2014 Barry Smith - Larger metal treasure box - side
©2014 Barry Smith - Larger metal treasure box - top
©2014 Barry Smith - Larger metal treasure box - view of lid and bottom
The photos below show the next 10 bowls for the Daily Words commission - hammered with wooden mallet into the shallow bowl form; and then hammered on the anvil for texture and strength.

©2014 Barry Smith - Bowl on the anvil
©2014 Barry Smith - Bowls in front of the anvil
©2014 Barry Smith - Ready for another annealing and reshaping
And whilst working on the Daily Words bowls I continued the process of forming some small Starburst bowls.

©2014 Barry Smith - Starburst bowls under water in the rough in the quenching basin
The small Starburst bowls are being made from recycled bases off goblets, egg holders and vases.

All in all a good outcome for the weekend given we needed to fit in life, house and gardening. I think I'm tired now.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday projects

I got my teeth into a couple of things today: finishing off some wood covers for books-journals Fiona is working on; and starting the metal box Helen has commissioned.

©2014 Barry Smith - Small wood covers for books - raw
Fiona and I had sliced some thin timber pieces of wood months ago; but recently Fiona decided it was time to mark them up, trim, sand, drill and oil them so she could attach them to handmade books. Above shows the timber in the raw and below shows it polished, drilled and oiled.

©2014 Barry Smith - Small wood covers for books - oiled - they will soften off
I also started the metal box for Helen - it is to be about 17x11x3cm; made from recycled silver-plated EPNS trays; and have a lid and a base similar to the Travellers' Shrines only bigger. Below are photos of the marking up and cutting steps.

©2014 Barry Smith - Tray marked up for cutting
©2014 Barry Smith - Committed now?
The photo below shows the lid is complete but rough - needs a couple more rivets and corners and edges hammered at this stage - and grinding and polishing of course.

©2014 Barry Smith - Box lid in the rough
And then the magic happens - polished and shiny - sitting on the rust table again - can't really get too much rust.

©2014 Barry Smith - Box lid - polished
©2014 Barry Smith - Box lid - polished - and reflecting rust
I'm posting a bit earlier than usual - but we are about to head out to the opening of a printmakers exhibition.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Inspiration in the workplace

As you know from an earlier post I have started work on my commission of 30 sets of Daily words. What I didn't mention is that these will be given as corporate gifts to business people- that could be different for some folk.

Well they will getting bowls that go from dull, dirty and burnt…

©2014 Barry Smith - Daily Word bowls hammered but not ground and polished
©2014 Barry Smith - A stack of Daily Word bowls in the rough on the annealing pit
To shiny bowls that still have the marks of history and the maker…

©2014 Barry Smith - Shiny Daily Word bowls on the rust table - nice contrast
Most of the words for these sets of Daily Words are different - they are: authenticity, assertiveness, mindfulness, empathy, respect, peace and resilience - both motivational but also a balance of treating people well. The stamping of these longer words takes a bit more time; but hopefully they may add something to the lives and business of the owners.

©2014 Barry Smith - Daily Words for the workplace
I'm working on these in batches of 10 - and the first batch is well on the way.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunflower prototype

I'm thinking of doing an installation of metal sunflowers. I had a bit of free time this afternoon so I decided to make a rough prototype.

©2014 Barry Smith - Sunflower prototype - copper centre and tarnished silver-plated EPNS leaves
I searched for sunflowers on the web and found that they varied in the number of petals etc. I have decided to make mine with 36 petals. Because I will be making at least 21 flowers I need to be able to stream line the process.

The petals and leaves on the prototype are a bit rough and pointy; but this will be refined now that I know the process and the component parts. I still have to work out a secure way of attaching the leaves to the stem - I have a couple of ideas to try. At the moment they are attached by crimping the stems of the leaves to the stalk and glueing them in place.

©2014 Barry Smith - Sunflower prototype
©2014 Barry Smith - Sunflower prototype
©2014 Barry Smith - Sunflower prototype
The photos look good with the afternoon casting golden light and shadows. Lovely bits of rust of the rust bank in the background. All recycled materials; and no grinding or polishing.

Friday, July 18, 2014

A bit of a fishy Friday

©2014 Barry Smith - Small (250mm long) metal fish at sundown - looks like it is pretending to be a shark
Amidst other things I got to work on my fish installation commission today. I had started creating larger metal fish on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons - the biggest is 575mm long. Today the effort went into smaller metal fish - the smallest is 250mm long. Fiona asked what sort of fish they are - I said Barry-fish.

I make a series of components as seen below and then rivet the lot together.

©2014 Barry Smith - Looks like an Ikea fish
So the four small fish I made today are as follows.

©2014 Barry Smith - Four quirky metal fish
And a couple of shots of a small fish with a bit of body action.

©2014 Barry Smith - Fish with a twist
The bigger fish are made from the patterned section of a very large brass jardiniere.

©2014 Barry Smith - Big fish - just cruising
And the school of fish so far look like this.

©2014 Barry Smith - And the school of metal fish thus far
I am about to finish this very windy and cold day by making a couple of pizza (one is smoked salmon of course); and having a glass of red or two - just to warm up of course.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A stack of metal for Daily Words

Over the weekend I started a commission to make 30 Daily Words sets. Each of my  Daily Words set has a hammered bowl, 7 stamped metal words (one aspiration for each day of the week) and a small stand.

I have started cutting the metal discs for the bowls - I love the image of the edges of the  31 pieces of metal I cut.

©2014 Barry Smith - Metal edges - silver plated EPNS
©2014 Barry Smith - Metal discs for Daily Words bowls
©2014 Barry Smith - Metal discs for Daily Words bowls
And there are often interesting offcuts and patterns that emerge during the cutting process.

©2014 Barry Smith - Cutting up a silver plated EPNS drinks tray
©2014 Barry Smith - Spiral fragment from the central cut
And out of the off cuts I cut the strips for the stamped words. I need 210 strips in all - the photo below shows 130 pieces - still 80+ to cut from other offcuts.

©2014 Barry Smith - Metal blanks fror Daily Words words
I intend to make batches of 10 Daily Words sets at a time.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Peace 'prayer' wheel

Over the weekend I managed to finish my peace prayer wheel. This is my version of a Tibetan prayer wheel which when spun sends a prayer or aspiration into the ether.

©2014 Barry Smith - Section of Peace prayer wheel
My prayer wheel is has three levels of prayers or aspirations. On the lower level there is the saying "imagine peace"; on the upper level there are five prayers: seek peace, give peace, act peace, dream peace and be peace; and on the front panel is the saying "give peace a chance". Some images images follow:

©2014 Barry Smith - Peace prayer wheel at sunset yesterday
©2014 Barry Smith - Looking to peace and the sky
© 2014 Barry Smith - Prayer wheel at sunset
©2014 Barry Smith - Section of prayer wheel at sunset
My peace wheel is made from: a large pulley out of a washing machine; a three spoked piece out of an old lamp; 8 vanes made from an old fruit tray; a double bearing piece out of an old grinder; 2 exhaust clamps; 5 goblet bowls; and a new piece of aluminium pipe.

The wheel is meant to rotate with the breeze  - but it appears to be a bit heavy for the breezes we have had so far - I will see how it goes. Of course it can be spun by hand as prayer wheels usually are.   It will be installed at the top of our block in time for International Day of Peace as part of Flags for Peace.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Inspiration and adventure

I think these words Fiona and I picked to start our day were well reflected in this Friday. I had intended to do work on my Daily Word sets (bowls and words) and Flags for Peace prayer wheel - some of that happened.

But what really happened was: I got sidetracked finishing a Steampunk business card holder thingy; the owner of the spiral and pearl earrings and bracelet dropped in to pick them up; and we spent a frantic two hours work with artist friends making 20 environmental nesting-resting boxes for bats, feather tailed gliders and possums that our friends will at an environment display-talk tomorrow. So that is quite a bit of inspiration and adventure for this Friday.

©2014 - Pipe work - Steampunk business card holder
The Peace Prayer Wheel will be completed tomorrow. I thought I would share a few photos of the Steampunk business card holder.

The 'holder' is made up of two pieces: the base (wood, brass found objects, old ceramic fuses); and the card holder (scrap copper pipe, pipe sections from two spirit stoves, and other found objects including clock parts).

©2014 Barry Smith - Steampunk business card holder
©2014 Barry Smith - Steampunk business card holder
The base - a bit like a Steampunk recharging unit.

©2014 Barry Smith - Base of Steampunk business card holder
The holder - a bit like a steam charged energy rod - it has its own brass feet.

©2014 Barry Smith - Holder of the Steampunk business card holder
And I needed to share a couple of photos of the box making courtesy of Fiona who put her head up long enough to take a couple of photos on her iPhone - thanks.

©2014 Fiona Dempster - Yep that is the wood - just get on with it
©2014 Barry Smith - Feather tail glider boxes
©2014 Fiona Dempster - Tiny bat boxes
And as is the customer in out home - it is time for a glass of wine to celebrate our Friday.