Friday, January 30, 2015

Treasures transformed

©2015 Barry Smith - Detail of one of the bowls and leaves from the family treasures
Sometime ago I indicated that I was asked to transform some family treasures into art and jewellery. Meg C said that the 5 small trays she was giving me to work with were her grandmother's.

©2015 Barry Smith - The five small silver-plated trays handed down from Meg's grandmother 
Her mother had handed them down to her and she wanted to hand them down to her 2 daughters. But like most silver-plated trays etc few people want to clean them and there are often not the occasions to use them - so they were just stored away.

My brief was:

  • to make as many pieces as I could minimising the waste of metal; 
  • using only the metal from the trays; 
  • keeping in mind that there were three adult women who would share in the pieces produced; and 
  • that the pieces would have forms or functions that would encourage the family members to use the pieces and so continue to treasure the energy and pieces handed down in the family from Meg C's grandmother.

The transformation process always starts with cutting up the objects for their respective uses.

©2015 Barry Smith - Strips cut for pate knives and disks for bowls
©2015 Barry Smith - Offcuts for leaf words, brooches and pendants
©2015 Barry Smith - Handles and feet for bracelets 
In the the end, with a bit of planning and judicious cutting, I created the treasure trove of pieces below. In all there are 52 pieces counting all the leaf forms - including a leaf form from a broken pate knife.

©2015 Barry Smith - Five trays transformed in living family treasure trove
Where possible I made sets of three - not always exactly the same as metal features etc. Sometimes I only had two matching offcuts from a tray to incorporate into pieces.

So there are three sets of Daily Word Leaves.

©2015 Barry Smith - Daily Word Leaf sets
©2015 Barry Smith - Daily Word Leaf set
Three flip pendants.

©2015 Barry Smith - Pendants from tray edges
Three brooches.

©2015 Barry Smith Brooches from tray handles,  edges and feet (compressed into buttons)
Three sets of earrings.

©2015 Barry Smith Earrings from tray handle and edges
Three spiral bracelets.

©2015 Barry Smith - Spiral bracelets from tray handles
Five starburst bowls and five fragment bowls.

©2015 Barry Smith - Starburst bowls from base of trays - some metal split and so was repaired using rivets
©2015 Barry Smith - Five fragment bowls pressed from the rounded edges of a thick metal tray
Four pate knives.

©2015 Barry Smith - Pate knives from edge of thick metal tray - there were five but one snapped in the forming process and had to be recycled into other bits.
And an extra pendant out of the metal remnants.

©2015 Barry Smith - Couldn't waste that last foot from the tray
Quite a number a variety of daily pieces to be treasured and used for a variety of purposes in a variety situations. Many more ways to honour a grandmother and a great grandmother on a daily basis. And the smaller pieces are easier to maintain and hopefully hand on.



  1. WOW!!!

    (thanks all I'm capable of saying at the!)

  2. Such an amazing transformation B - and so wonderful to see how much joy it all brought!

  3. You have such talent... not only can you see the potential but you have the skills in your hands to bring your vision to reality. This is the only value added recycling in my mind..... remaking, returning to service, refashioning items into things of beauty. I read somewhere today.... "there is nothing in the caterpillar that it is going to be a butterfly".... this is how I feel about the originality of your work. I never imagine at the beginning the beauty you give us in the end.

  4. How wonderful.. what a transformation... the past transformed into the present and on into the future... beauty and function combined. You are so creative.

  5. These will be treasured by many members of this family. What a clever idea to turn those trays into this treasure trove. Beautifully done, B!

  6. H J, F, M, D, V & C - I can't believe that I have not responded to generous folk who not only visited but also comment - sorry about that as every comment is appreciated. J & V - wow is good. F - always good to witness the transformation first hand and experience the clutter on the dining table. M - love the quote - and the transformation is also a joy to me as the maker. D - it is all a cycle ink its own way - and my pieces will also be transformed or are already being so. C - already treasured and I have already been given another box of their silver-plate to work on - and a list of possibilities as well. All - go well and transform. B


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.