Sunday, May 31, 2015


©2015 Barry Smith - Lovely patina on this lamp
Actually I was going to spend the creative part of my weekend finishing the grinding and sorting of the pieces from 20 goblets I disassembled on Friday but instead: I went to a collectable fair on Saturday and bought more bits and pieces; bought 15 trees and planted them down the back; and got stuck into finishing the Steampunk Lamps. Guess the grinding etc can wait another day.

Fiona and I had talked about the floor lamp requiring a solid wooden base to increase the balance of the design. I decided that I would put wooden bases on all four of the lamps - using an off cut of ironbark timber that has been sitting on the wood pile. The floor lamp is hard to photograph  because of its hight but you get the idea from the photos below.

©2015 Barry Smith - Steampunk-Industrial floor lamp (about  1.4m tall) 
©2015 Barry Smith - Steampunk-Industrial floor lamp
I think the timber bases on the three small table top or bedside lamps have been given a bit more gravitas by adding the timber.

©2015 Barry Smith - Steampunk lamp - once a pump and candle stick etc - about 50cm tall
©2015 Barry Smith - Steampunk lamp - once a pump and candle stick etc
©2015 Barry Smith - Steampunk lamp - an assemblage of many bits
©2015 Barry Smith - Steampunk lamp - an assemblage of many bits - lamp shade made from base of a silver-plated bowl
©2015 Barry Smith - Steampunk lamp - main component was a brass stop-cock tap
©2015 Barry Smith - Steampunk lamp - main component was a brass stop-cock tap
©2015 Barry Smith - A cluster of lamps on the wooden stairwell to the garage-studio
I will live with the lamps for a while to see if I will add or subtract shades. At this time I'm using a bunch of vintage brass bayonet  light fittings I bought a couple of weeks ago - this restricts the globe type a bit. I'm waiting for some vintage look brass light fittings that I bought on eBay to arrive - I might change some of the fittings so I can use more screw in Edison type globes. I'm happy with the outcome of my weekend sidetrack.

Friday, May 29, 2015

A lot goes into the preparation

©2015 Barry Smith - Once was the base of a candlestick
As most artists know there is a lot of work that goes into the preparation before creation. Today was one of those days: this morning  - disassembling 20 silver-plated wine goblets (more on that on Sunday); and this afternoon - lots of polishing of the pieces for the Steampunk-Industrial lamps.

But as you can see the end result is worth all the grinding etc when you check out a photo of the floor lamp before I started.

©2015 Barry Smith - Floor lamp roughly assembled
And the pile of shiny bits after I finished - now ready for assembling.

©2015 Barry Smith - Floor lamp - disassembled and polished - ready for reconstruction
And the polished bits for three smaller lamps.

©2015 Barry Smith - Shiny bits for three small lamps
©2015 Barry Smith - Patina, polished brass and rust - got to love that
I used the polishing time as an opportunity to sharpen and clean some of my metal scribes.

©2015 Barry Smith - Bunch of sharpened metal scribes and 1 centre punch.
A good day's work that will lead to good creations. Now off to make pizza; and drink a little red.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


It is the season for rainbows in the house so I thought I would just share a few of new rainbows; and a couple from last year.

Can't have too many rainbows in one's life.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Progress on lamps and the bazaar

I had a bit of time on Saturday to progress a few more lamps - including a floor lamp. Not a lot to show really; but the tray of bits represents the main bits for 3 small lamps.

©2015 Barry Smith - Bits for three Steampunk lamps
The floor lamp has been designed; and roughly assembled to see that it will all work.

©2015 Barry Smith - Floor lamp - roughly assembled
And of course the process causes chaos - pulling things out all over the place - so I had to do a major putting things away job.

©2015 Barry Smith - Head lamps, light fittings and trays of brass and copper goodies
On Sunday Fiona and I headed to Mt Cootha Botanic Gardens to pick up the pieces that didn't sell in the Botanique Bazaar. Couple of photos of the set up we left there on Monday.

Art takes many forms doesn't it?

Friday, May 22, 2015

A trio of lamps

©2015 Barry Smith - Mystery object - but destined to become a Steampunk lamp
During the week I have been dis-assembling and sorting some brass objects I purchased on Tuesday - including the carburettor above (a brass and steel Holley carburettor about 100 years old); and a set of broken head lamps from a vintage car. And I cleared my sorting table - put lots of small bits into categories and trays - wonders will never cease!!!!!

I further developed my assemblages for lamps including a couple of floor lamps.

©2015 Barry Smith - A clean work table with potential lamps partly assembled
Today I decided to complete three if I could. I achieved my goal - just - still a few finishing bits to do on the lamps.

©2015 Barry Smith - Bit a contrast between the shiny end products and the other possible lamps.
A small lamp with a industrial look about it.

©2015 Barry Smith - Small lamp (about 18cm high) - formally - brass gas pipe, section from a broken jeweller's lathe and a vintage brass lamp fitting
A slightly quirky lamp with a pointed top.

©2015 Barry Smith - Quirky - formerly plunger from a brass pump, solid copper peak from a wine stopper,  brass plumbing fitting and vintage brass lamp fitting.
And a more standard Steampunkish lamp.

©2015 Barry Smith - Steampunk lamp - formerly - gas welding unit, brass pressure valve, brass tap and base and vintage brass lamp fitting
I have wired and tested them all; and the electrics work; but I did not have time to photograph them turned on. All the photos in this blog are a bit rushed. We have guests tonight so buzzing around doing chores - but that will soon give way to relaxation, good conversation and a wine or two.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Early morning fragments

You will see from the last few valley photos that the sun has not really risen by the time I walk on Mondays and Wednesdays now - sunrise 6.25am: walk 6.00am.

But by the time I get to Treehaven Way there is: soft light; and contrasts; and dew drop to light the day.

©2015 Barry Smith - Vibrant colour on the road
©2015 Barry Smith - Soft bird silhouette on the road sign
©2015 Barry Smith - Unusual flower form - gradually unfolding and reaching for the sky 
©2015 Barry Smith - Dew drops - holding light
©2015 Barry Smith - Covered in crystals
And by the time I get home sun has risen and is lighting the western hills and cloud rolling over those mountains into the valley

©2015 Barry Smith - Valley before I head off for the walk
©2015 Barry Smith - Sunrise lighting up the clouds on the western hills.
©2015 Barry Smith - Light and cloud lakes in the valley as I arrive back home.
We are close to winter - but I feel one can walk early as long as there is light to see the delights of nature.
©2015 Barry Smith - Rainbows enter the house 
And of course winter means the sun is in the north - so rainbows in the house.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

This and that over the weekend

It has been a grey and drizzly-wet weekend; not a lot of opportunity to do outside work like shovelling gravel. So I used it to advance a few projects:

  • trialling etching of letters and leaves on heavy gauge aluminium for some panels for posts I'm working on; 
  • finishing the first design-assemblage phase of another series of Steampunk Lamps I'm working on; and 
  • finishing the Daily Leaf Words and Daily Words sets I started a couple of weeks ago.

©2015 Fiona Dempster - Etched plate showing shellac as the resist.
I got to trial the etching as Fiona had planned to do the etching of a cover for her fragile gains artists book. The etching was done using the salt and copper sulphate method - a lot less toxic.

The leaves and letters turned out OK given I was using corroded old aluminium sheet for the trial. I think it will work well on new metal; and if I give it more time in the solution to bite deeper - good lessons learnt. The panels are going to be about 1.2m long and 100mm wide - the metal I tested the process on is 100mm wide.

©2015 Fiona Dempster - Plate with etching reaction - pretty grungy?
©2015 Fiona Dempster - Etching grunge cleaned off in water
©2015 Barry Smith - Shellac resist removed - revealing the etched leaf
©2015 Barry Smith - Shellac resist removed - revealing the etched letter
I managed to assemble the first phase of 5 table top Steampunk Lamps - now for the grinding, polishing and securing the fittings (globe holders and cords).
©2015 Barry Smith - Five assemblages on the workbench - quite a bit of grinding and polishing to be done.
And I did manage to finish the 10 bowls I started for the daily words sets.

©2015 Barry Smith - Second round of hammering completed on 10 bowls
©2015 Barry Smith - Third round of hammering completed; and grinding and polishing done
The Daily Leaf Words sets look beautiful.

©2015 Barry Smith - Daily Leaf Words set - bowl and word leaves
So all in all -  a good indoor use of a wet weekend.