Friday, October 31, 2014

Gifts and giving

It must be the time of the year - my Leafspoons, Leaf Letter Openers and Ladles in Maleny Additions are selling like hot metal - so much so that I have had to go into production mode. I think it is the lead up to Christmas - metal is good to send overseas as gifts - it doesn't crush or break; and not being wood customs deal with it a lot better.

©2014 Barry Smith - Tagged and ready for Maleny Additions
So a bunch of Leafspoons and Leaf Letter Openers have been made; tagged and delivered to Maleny additions. Great swing tags by Fiona.

©2014 Barry Smith  - Six Leafspoons ready for tags
©2014 Barry Smith - Six Leaf Letter Openers - ready for tags
©2014 Barry Smith - Looking much better with the tags
And a stash of Ladles have been started - but more on that on Sunday. But I also wanted to share the photos below.

That is the art journal I won in Jennifer C Q's giveaway - such a perfect little journal - it will sit on my shelf of inspirational stuff and not be marred by my scrawl. Big thanks to Jennifer for her generosity.

Must away - it is Friday - I'm sure there are things to be done in the kitchen and a single malt to be enjoyed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

By the roadside

We have had sweltering weather over the last few days; and so this week's early morning Wednesday walk was such a contrast to last week which was full of raindrops and clean plants.

Today was dry and dusty - but that could not suppress the colour and vibrance of the plants - flowers in roadside gardens and weed flowers on the verges.

Some were fully unfolded.

Some were well on their way


And others had just started the journey.

The variety and detail call one to pause. I love that the iPhone can capture some of the fine detail - still can't justify an upgrade yet.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Bell at the end of a working weekend

Whilst Fiona has been in NZ I took the opportunity to sand and paint her folks back and entry decks. Big job but the outcome looks good.

©2014 Barry Smith - Metal particles from cutting cylinder
But I scheduled in a couple of hours today to start a project that has been in the back of my mind for quite a long time - to make a bell from a discarded gas cylinder. Fortunately I picked up such a cylinder from a garage sale a little while ago. The cylinder was about 600mm long and 180mm in diameter. I checked it had no remaining gas, took the value out, and half filled it with water before I started to cut it with my side grinder and thin cutting blade - wanted to make sure there was no chance of explosions.

©2014 Barry Smith - Discarded cylinder marked up for cutting
©2014 Barry Smith - Cut
It took a bit of cutting. I have done some rudimentary grinding, made a brass hanging top and a hook. I hung it on the bell deck - it is tiny compared to our Japanese Peace (temple) bell. And I gave it a test gong. Bit soft and a bit tinny but it works. Not sure if the video will work - but blogger won't let me delete it either.

Still quite a bit of work to be done on the bell; but it was good to have done a little creative work just for its own sake.

Below are some before and after photos of the decks.

I think I should sleep well tonight.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Deputy Book Celebrator

A very early morning in our household as we had to get up to get Fiona on her way to NZ with Susan B to present the work on their artists' book collaboration at the international conference in Auckland.

One of the outcomes of Fiona being over there and I being over here is that I get to deputise for her in a couple of Celebration of the Books things - such as helping hang Swap Tree signs; and best of all attend the official launch of the weekend (food and wine - thanks Fiona).

The group of volunteers who put on this event/s does a lot of good and unrecognised work - so I thought I might offer the key folk a small book gift - a micro metal book brooch at the launch - quiet like.

©2014 Barry Smith - Micro books packed in Fiona's gift pockets made from old book pages
I didn't have a lot of time today as I had committed to sanding and painting Fiona's folks decks whilst they also are away for the weekend - which I started earlier today. I had cut covers for the metal books yesterday afternoon; and this afternoon hurriedly stamped, drilled, ground, polished and riveted 5 brooches and 2 micro books - didn't have enough clasps.

©2014 Barry Smith - Each micro book is stored separately to ensure the 3 pieces match later
©2014 Barry Smith - Five micro book brooches  (25mm wide, 35mm long and 10mm across)
©2014 Barry Smith - Two micro books (25mm wide, 35mm long and 10mm across) 
©2014 Barry Smith - Bit of metal detail
The photos above are a bit blurry as again it was a rushed job so I could do this post before rushing out the door.  I like that I thought to take the brooches and other two books along in Fiona's wrapping - makes her a little more present at the event.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Droplets after rain

Last night we had a light shower of rain - much appreciated by the garden and plants in general. On my early morning walk I was taken by the number of shining points of light caused by the bright sun low in the sky and the rain droplets still clinging to flowers and leaves.

©2014 Barry Smith - Droplet clinging to a Jacaranda branch
So what could one do but pause, appreciate and take the odd photo - some of which follow.

©2014 Barry Smith - Grevillea
©2014 Barry Smith - Passionfruit
©2014 Barry Smith - Scarlet bottlebrush
©2014 Barry Smith - Hmmm!! Bright yellow flower?
©2014 Barry Smith - Jacaranda - starting to bloom
©2014 Barry Smith - Coral tree - yet to bloom
©2014 Barry Smith - Pink trumpet flower?
©2014 Barry Smith - Tiny white flower?
©2014 Barry Smith - Section of a pink bottlebrush - a riot of droplets
©2014 Barry Smith - Tibouchina
©2014 Barry Smith - Sweet pea - waiting to unfold in the morning sun
©2014 Barry Smith - Agave leaf
©2014 Barry Smith - Tiny stamen flower of bougainvillea
It almost seemed like the flowers and plants were breathing, cleansed and full of life. All photos were taken with the iPhone.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Over the weekend Fiona and I spent most of our art time on a commission - polishing, drilling, riveting etc.

But I did find an hour or so here and there to continue some of my Friday effort. I finished the 35 small inspirational word leaves I started to work on.

©2014 Barry Smith - Thirty-five silver-plated ELNS leaf forms - after forming and first unfolding
I always love the progress from raw discarded metal to beautiful leaf forms. These small leaf forms are quiet difficult to make as the size is small and the EPNS metal is hard.

©2014 Barry Smith - Thirty-five silver-plated ELNS leaf forms - unfolded fully on the anvil
©2014 Barry Smith - Thirty-five silver-plated ELNS leaf forms - rough edges ground off
©2014 Barry Smith - Thirty-five silver-plated ELNS leaf forms - polished with steel wire wheel 
©2014 Barry Smith - Thirty-five silver-plated ELNS leaf forms - polished with cloth wheel
And when combined with a bowl made on Friday you can see the beauty of the Daily Leaf Words.

©2014 Barry Smith - Daily Leaf Word set
©2014 Barry Smith - Daily Leaf Word set
I plan to take a few photos of the four sets I have made and put them in my online shop during the week. A great feeling to complete these simple but beautiful inspiration sets.