Sunday, August 31, 2014

Completing commissions

©2014 Barry Smith - A few inspirational words on a timber block
Over the weekend I have completed the work on the Daily Words commission (30 bowls and 210 words). The main effort this weekend was the completion of the stamping and polishing inspirational words. In all  I have stamped and polished about 250 words as one needs a few extras of each words to choose from.

The stash of words and bowls seen below are now ready for packing and delivery - that is a good feeling.

©2014 Barry Smith - A heap of inspirational words on a timber block
©2014 Barry Smith - 30 Daily Words bowls and about 250 inspirational words
©2014 Barry Smith - 30 Daily Words bowls and about 250 inspirational words
In earlier posts I posted on the fish I was commissioned to do from large old jardineres provided by the client. I was not sure if they would be happy with the final product and price. The good news is that when they saw the  school of fish below they were very happy. The client will now install them on a deck wall.

©2014 Barry Smith - A school of brass and silver-plate fish (the largest fish is about 60cm long)
I have two other commissions ticking away. The most tedious thing about commissions is the process of actually arriving at what the client wants - this can take time and the goal posts can shift a bit too much some time. On the other hand it is great to have our work out there; and of course cash in the  bank. And it is good to see recycled metal looking so good.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Progressing on a number of fronts

As is usual on Wednesdays the day started with an early quiet morning quiet - accompanied of course by a gentle chorus of birds.

©2014 Barry Smith - Native Mynahs and Pied Currawong at sunrise 
And over the last couple of days I have been progressing work on a few commissions including sketching the Lomandras to scale for the cutouts on the ceiling panels in the local supermarket.

©2014 Barry Smith - Lomandra - scaled for cutout
And stamping many more words for the Daily Words commission.

©2014 Barry Smith - Metal blanks, stamps and words
©2014 Barry Smith - Daily work Words
Testing out a new tool - a shop press - to see how useful it will be to create pressed components for a job.

©2014 Barry Smith - 12 tonne press
©2014 Barry Smith - Pressed metal
So the creative life is never dull.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bit of Singapore Iphonegraphy

Recently Fiona and I stayed a couple of nights in Singapore on our way back from visiting friends Jeff and Evi in Jakarta.

Singapore provides a great opportunity to take many photos of flowers; but there are always other fragments that capture the eye. This was the first time Fiona and I visited the Gardens by the Bay - an amazing complex of gigantic steel trees and amazing huge hothouse and cloud structures.

A few such fragments were captured with the trusty iPhone as you can see from a few images below.
©2014 Barry Smith - Light on a large mask sculpture
©2014 Barry Smith - Fragment of a large glass tree sculpture
©2014 Barry Smith - Filaments and fine shadows in a window display
©2014 Barry Smith - Metal branches against a grey rain filled sky
2014 Barry Smith - Towering glass and suspended walkways
2014 Barry Smith - Towering glass and suspended walkways - altered
For me the fragment often hold the strongest memories.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Community art projects

Over the last couple of months Fiona and I have been involved with fellow artists (Edith-Ann and Noela) on a couple community art projects: one to re-locate and further develop the sandstone monolith installation Peace in the Trees; and the other to do big art works in a local supermarket.

Today was given over in the main to preparing for and attending a meeting with representatives of our local council to see what support there was for the Peace in the Trees relocation and development project. All the pieces were largish (1-2m tall) and heavy - hard sandstone.

©2014 Barry Smith - Preparing for the meeting
The original art work for Peace in the Trees was done two years ago as part of our Art4Place Creative Spaces 2012 project. Some images of the project follow.

©2012 Fiona Dempster - Catching still water
©2012 Fiona Dempster - Heart of nature 
©2012 Fiona Dempster - Moving and installing the 12 pieces
©2012 Fiona Dempster - Some pieces amongst the trees 
©2012 Barry Smith - Stone ready for work.
©2012 Barry Smith - A face appears
©2012 Wendy van der Drift - Artist at work?
Art4place (a local NFP art organisation) owns the Peace in the Trees works. We want to gift the installation to our local council so that the work can be installed in a public environment accessible to the public. And as part of the gifting we want to do further work on the pieces to refine them.

The supermarket art works includes:4 large panels 4.8mx3m; and one large panel 6mx4m; plus various story boards and inspirational words wall panels; and a 17mx1m long mountain wall feature. Much design, architectural and engineering work has been done. We are getting close to finalising plans.

©2014 Barry Smith - Big plans
Strange that sometimes out art is not what is done in our studios; but what is done with and in our communities.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Muted morning, moon, magpies and other matters

As usual I was out for an early morning walk as Fiona went to her women's workout. The mornings are finally getting lighter - spring must be heading our way. Still the morning was soft and muted this morning - with a fragment of moon clinging to the last of the nightlight.

©2014 Barry Smith - A fragment of moon at dawn
The valley of course was filled with soft pastel colours.

©2014 Barry Smith - The muted colours of dawn
©2014 Barry Smith - Soft morning light on the mountains
The early morning light seems to bring out the Magpies to feed; and sit on the power lines to run a song line.

©2014 Barry Smith - Magpie and moon
As the light grew in strength the blossoms showed off their colours.

©2014 Barry Smith - Blossom and brambles
©2014 Barry Smith - Pine blossoms catch early sunlight
©2014 Barry Smith - Sweetpea in our garden
And the last of Fiona's Peace weather grams contrasted with the valley light.

©2014 Barry Smith - Fragment of Peace weather gram
The day gave way to hard work as I'm working with a builder to strengthen and straighten the log retaining wall at the back of the house. It has  required me to move lots of gravel, dig lots of trenches - but now we are up to bolting heavy plates to the cement foundations of the house and tying the wall to the house with thick steel rods, posts and plates.

©2014 Barry Smith - Bolting the wall to the house
©2014 Barry Smith - Serious steel plates etc etc
One thing about living on a slope is that you get to enjoy the bliss of the valley and early morning light; but it also requires quite a bit of work to upkeep a house on an acre of sloping land.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Recycled metal brooches

On Friday completed a stash of brooches made from recycled silver-plated EPNS and silver-plated copper. As blog readers know when I cut up discarded and recycled silver-plated trays for making bigger works I set aside the smaller offcuts for assembled (usually fold-formed and/or riveted) jewellery and other small pieces.

©2014 Barry Smith - Brooches made from recycled metal
As you can see from the photo above I made 7 brooches. On Saturday morning I took into Maleny Additions to see if they were what they wanted to sell. The answer was yes so all 7 are on their way to Maleny Additions on Monday.

Photos of the individual brooches follow - as usual my photos leave a bit to be desired.

©2014 Barry Smith -  Recycled leaf form (9cm long)
©2014 Barry Smith - Recycled Bakelite tray handle (5-6cm long)
©2014 Barry Smith - Fan form from a tray (4cm squarish)
©2014 Barry Smith - Bit Gothic? - raised edge of a tray (5cm long)
©2014 Barry Smith - Foldformed brass on silver-plated EPNS (7-8cm long)
©2014 Barry Smith - Fold-formed brass on silver-plated copper (7-8cm long)
©2014 Barry Smith - Fold-formed silver plated EPNS on silver-plated copper (5cm long)
Fiona has completed and attached handmade swing tags - she kindly does the original calligraphy on each swing tag. And they have been packed in elegant black boxes. We will see if these appeal to the public and sell as lapel or scarf brooches.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Around the bend and other matters

Its Friday right? Well that means as much art as can be squeezed in. The day started with a 2-hour meeting regarding some serious community-placemaking art for our preferred local store - but more on that when it can be revealed.

As part of a commission I need to be able to hammer metal over rounded corners of boxes. The form needs to be segmented and come to a point. I tried a couple of approaches which at best were okay; so I turned to Fiona for help. She suggested we went to folk who made balls or globes out of paper and see how they did it.

©2014 Barry Smith - Testing globe sections
Well as you can see from the photo above Fiona tracked down a free online globe pattern which we began to experiment with. After a number of tests and measures we have worked out that I can use a segment of the globe pattern to create the form I want on the corner.

©2014 Barry Smith - I think we have found the right section
©2014 Barry Smith - Yes that looks like it will work
Next step is to create the perfectly rounded wooden corner of the box and test the template out in metal.

But I needed a break from all that intellectually demanding stuff; so I decided to go to the studio-garage and start a stash of brooches.

©2014 Barry Smith - Bits and pieces cut and punched etc
©2014 Barry Smith - A bowl of brooches
Why am I doing brooches? Well it is because the folk in Maleny Additions have now asked me 5 times to do this - and they will not be denied. So I have made a stash and will take them in to see if it is what they want. I will share photos when I have had time to take photos of each of the finished brooches. Fiona has just said the curry is ready so I must away and enjoy it with a soft red.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Recycling at its best

Back in 2010 I worked with folk at the Beerwah Resource and Recycling Centre to design and create a Christmas sculpture that was to hang on the wall of the Beerwah Library.

©2010 Barry Smith - Christmas wall sculpture fro recycled corrugated iron
The above piece was the result of our efforts. Quite a large (11mx4m) piece made up of a number of pieces. The sculpture was made from various types of corrugated iron from the recycling centre. The piece was about children celebrating the joy of Christmas and gift giving in the form of healthy recreational activity.  The piece as a whole was only meant to stay in place for the Christmas-New Year holiday period. What to do with it after that?

Well it was a pleasant surprise to see the children elements of the piece turn up on the entrance to a new children's park-playground. Some of the images of the children were supplemented by duplicating what was on the original piece. I had created templates of the children - guess they got recycled too.

©2014 Barry Smith - Children at play - elements of the 2010 Christmas sculpture from recycled corrugated iron at the entrance to a new children's park-playground
©2014 Barry Smith - Recycled art - children at play
So good to see that at least elements of the sculpture from recycled material were themselves recycled - the art of recycling.