Friday, February 27, 2015

Wings tips, mountains - travel and home

©2015 Barry Smith - Detail of wood and aluminium sculpture
I have finished one of my small sculptural pieces for the next COMA exhibition. This one tells a story of travel that gives joy and inspiration; but also returning home for the views of the mountains in the valley below and also the place to create and be nurtured by nature.

One side of the triptych is representative of the wings of and aircraft.

©2015 Barry Smith - Wing tips - wood and aluminium sculpture
©2015 Barry Smith - Wing tips - wood and aluminium sculpture 
©2015 Barry Smith - Wing tips - wood and aluminium sculpture
The other side suggests mountains and valleys.

©2015 Barry Smith - Coming home - mountains and valleys
And of course the three objects are just beautiful forms.
©2015 Barry Smith - The beauty of form - wood and aluminium
©2015 Barry Smith - The beauty of form - wood and aluminium
©2015 Barry Smith - The beauty of form - wood and aluminium
©2015 Barry Smith - The beauty of form - wood and aluminium
A few for the photos are a bit grainy - all about rushing. This Friday has been a full art day: photographing finished work; making bowls for ladles; discussing quotes for a community installation; and installing the book bench (more on that later). It is time to stop, have a single malt and eat a little risotto.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Like walking through water

This morning's walk was through mist and misty rain. A bit on the damp side from a walking perspective.

©2015 Barry Smith - Looks like a blue valley this morning
©2015 Barry Smith - Hazy entrance to the house
©2015 Barry Smith - Disappearing into the mist at the end of the driveway
But there were droplets and fungi delights to be had.

©2015 Barry Smith - Fragile translucent fungi - about 40mm in diameter - beautiful
©2015 Barry Smith - Delicate edge
©2015 Barry Smith - Fungi full of water
And colour of course and droplets.

©2015 Barry Smith - A few pumpkin flowers still unfolding
So it was worth braving the day after all.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Making a start

On Saturday I made a start on one of the small 3D pieces I'm hoping to do for the Collaboration of Maleny Artists (COMA) exhibition that is to be held from 21 May-18 June.

©2015 Barry Smith - Detail of stainless steel screws set 20mm apart.
I want to do at least one piece that relates to flight and travel - possibly called Fragments of Flight. The idea is to make three small wing tips from wood and partly clad them in polished aluminium. The idea is that they will stand as a group; and reflect travel to inspirational and salubrious destinations.

The task started with some Camphor Laurel timber - an environmental pest.

©2015 Barry Smith - Slices of Camphor Laurel
I cut and roughly formed the three wooden wing tips. The tallest is about 220mm high and the shortest about 150mm high.
©2015 Barry Smith - Wing tips or shark finss?
They were sanded into shape; and I gave the top of the wing tips an oil as this will be exposed in the design.

©2015 Barry Smith - Polished wing tip - you can make out the wing shape - going from a rounded front edge to a fine trailing edge
And then I began the gladding process. I'm using small stainless steel screws as imitation aircraft rivets. Drilling and screwing takes quite a while as there will be at test 100 screws in each of the wing tips.

©2015 Barry Smith - The cladding process well under way on one of the wing tips.
I think the finished group of three wing tips of polished wood and polished aluminium will look quite intriguing. But there is still quite a bit of work yet to be done.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Discovery regarding book stacks

©2015 Barry Smith - Detail of timber from large book stack bench seat
My word for today was discovery; and discover I did.

I had two commissions for book stacks - one a set of three; and another a triple stack bench seat. As you know my book stack in the main are made from hard covered books, such as encyclopaedias and year books that are on their way to the rubbish tip. The woman who wanted the set of three stacks has provided her own encyclopaedias that had been in the family for a long time; and she wanted to repurpose them for sentimental reasons.

I tend to just let the stacks quietly degrade over about 5+ years. But both people who commissioned the stacks were not keen on the natural degrading process. They wanted to keep the books looking more in their original state for longer. I suggested we could spray them with a sealant (yuk); or we could coat them with pure beeswax. They went for the latter. The trick was I had not done that before. So after making the stacks I decided to paint them with molten wax. Fiona lent me her wax wok; and some of the wax we bought recently from a garage sale.

©2015 Barry Smith - Wax melting in the wok
©2015 Barry Smith - Large (900mm long, 500mm high) book stack bench about to get a coat of wax
The painting process left a rough wax texture - I wasn't keen on that. I asked Fiona if I could borrow her heat gun so I could melt the wax onto the books like one does with some encaustic work. As you can see from the photo below the heat gun worked a treat.

©2015 Barry Smith - Painted wax on books
©2015 Barry Smith - Nice smooth melted wax on books
So after a few hours I had painted and melted and ended up with all the stacks coated in wax - hopefully preserved for a while.

©2015 Barry Smith - Large bench seat, rose gum timber - waxed and ready
©2015 Barry Smith - Large bench seat, rose gum timber - waxed and ready
©2015 Barry Smith - Rose gum timber top 
©2015 Barry Smith - Side view of the stacks and rods
©2015 Barry Smith - Three smaller stacks 
©2015 Barry Smith - Three smaller stacks
I must say it was a good learning for me; and I will use the technique again - when folk want stacks that don't degrade so quickly. And you can see the wax brings out the colour and detail of the encyclopaedias. I also went for a modified design with these stacks. Instead of drilling holes through the books I put the rods external to the books - hoping to maintain the integrity of the books; and I think it looks a bit finer. These smaller stacks can be used inside the house or in the garden

Enough of that - it is time for a red wine.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The difference a couple of days makes

My morning walk on Monday was after overnight rain - a clear crisp morning as you can see from the photo below. But this morning was not for walking - misty and rain showers as you can see from photos at the end of the post.

©2015 Barry Smith - Morning rays
Monday was the day for capturing some fragments of the beauty of nature on the walk. Some colour for those currently in winter snow.

©2015 Barry Smith - Small eco system on the base of a tree on the driveway
©2015 Barry Smith - Unfolding
©2015 Barry Smith - Blossom dropped on the road by feeding lorikeets
©2015 Barry Smith - Contrasts
©2015 Barry Smith - Delicate fungi shattered by the rain
©2015 Barry Smith - Crystal clear
©2015 Barry Smith - Same droplet - different background - just for fun
©2015 Barry Smith - A flock of Rainbow Lorikeets feeding on eucalyptus blossom
©2015 Barry Smith - A chorus of Kookaburras
Today was for capturing the white-out and the webs.

©2015 Barry Smith - This morning's white-out
©2015 Barry Smith - Small bell with web and white-out
We believe that the next few days are going to be filled with torrential rain and wind - not looking forward to that part of nature.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Leaf Sculptures finished

©2015 Barry Smith -  Rust wall, copper patina and leaf forms
As indicated on Friday I intended to finish the leaf sculpture (Bending 3) for Fiona made from the recycled leaves fro the Leaf Spiral post sculpture; and also finish a new version of this sculpture - Bending 4.

A few photos of Bending 3 installed at the entrance to our house. It looks like it just belongs there. I can see why Fiona was not so keen to sell the last version (Bending 2).

©2015 Barry Smith - Bending 3 installed at the entrance to the house
If you look closely you can see the nail holes where the leaves were attached to the post.

And we have installed three leaves on the right hand side of the entrance - connects well to the set of 14 on the left hand (as you enter).

©2015 Barry Smith - Bending 3 installed at the entrance to the house
©2015 Barry Smith - Three outriders from Bending 3 - elegant I think
The new version (Bending 4) has 15 leaves in all. The leaves are slightly smaller (about 220mm long). Bending 4 will stay out in the open curing - it has no sealant over the patina.

©2015 Barry Smith - Bending 4 - curing

©2015 Barry Smith - Bending 4 - detail - shadow play
©2015 Barry Smith - Leaf shadows
It takes a bit of time to make these installations - not only the forming and working and applying the patina to the leaf forms; but also cutting and forming the rods and then riveting the leaves onto the rods with solid copper rivets. I was pleased with this as a weekend outcome.