Sunday, June 28, 2015

Creating with castoffs….

©2015 Barry Smith - Crystal, section of teapot handle plus careful cutting etc  = pendant
I have finally finished my marathon task of cutting up metal and resorting it.

The last task was to cut up and dissemble tea pots, goblets, milk jugs and sugar bowls etc. These objects often have tough metal, many curves and attachments so they require some extra cutting and sweating off of soldered bits etc.

The pile started like this.

And ended up like this. Sad to cut these up I know - but nobody wants them and they were off to the scap metal merchants. The metal will be given a new life.

I also had a number of spouts and handles - what can one do with these?

Small jug and sugar bowl handles can become pendants (for example for Meg and her daughters).

©2015 Barry Smith - Bowl handle pendants
The tips of teapot spouts can become flower-like with stamens protruding from the bottom

©2015 Barry Smith - Flower pendant 1 - formerly teapot spout
©2015 Barry Smith - Flower pendant 2 - formerly teapot spout
©2015 Barry Smith - Flower pendant 3 - formerly teapot spout
Parts of hollow handles will become pendants such as the one at the start of this post.

And other bits can become stands for bowls.

I put some jump rings on some as if holding water pieces.

©2015 Barry Smith - As if holding water pendant - maybe holding sparkling wine?
©2015 Barry Smith - As if holding water pendant
©2015 Barry Smith - As if holding water earrings
Watch out for my Wednesday post as I will be having a giveaway of as if holding water pendant prototypes.

Friday, June 26, 2015

As if holding water...

©2015 Barry Smith - One of the curved pendants from my - 'as if holding water' series today
I can't say that today has not been filled with art  - it has; but not all creative stuff in the studio. Meg came to pick up her stash - smiles!!! The Peace in the Trees Sculptural Walk on the Maleny Precinct is coming to fruition after almost two years of work - still doing more paper work etc today but hopefully in about four weeks it will be installed. I have almost finished a big re-organisation of my growing stash of silver-plated metal - only tea-pots to be cut up and stored. And I had a play with my disk punch, dapping blocks; and resin - to create a few bits for earrings and pendants.

I aimed to create small basin shapes to carry the resin and crystals - almost as though the curve was holding water and crystals. Anyway, readers of the post can be the judge.  The disks are about 25mm in diameter. All of the pieces below are part of what I'm affectionately calling - 'as if holding water'!!!

©2015 Barry Smith -  Patterned silver-plate over brass
©2015 Barry Smith -  Patterned silver-plate over copper
©2015 Barry Smith -  Plain silver-plate over copper
©2015 Barry Smith -  Patterned silver-plate over brass
©2015 Barry Smith - A gathering of earring drops
©2015 Barry Smith - Square curved pendant (about 30mm sq) - patterned silver-plate over brass
©2015 Barry Smith -  Patterned silver-plate over copper
©2015 Barry Smith -  Curved triangle pendant
©2015 Barry Smith -  Curved pendant - patterned silver-plate over brass
©2015 Barry Smith - Recycled flat foot off a bowl
©2015 Barry Smith - Square curved pendant (about 30mm sq) - plain silver-plate over brass
One thing I was disappointed with a little was that there are quite a few tiny bubbles caught in the resin which means the clarity is not what it could be. Not sure what I can do about that - maybe a few suggestions out there? Another lessons learnt - use solid crystals of a reasonable strong colour. My crystals were the threading type and the clearer colours and edges became transparent.

Still I really like the 'as if holding water' effect - and making the curved pieces from scrap and adding the resin was fun - a bit of an adventure - which was my word for the day.

Now it is time for a single malt.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Winter solstice - morning light and the moon

On Monday we had the shortest day of the year - our winter solstice - I was very aware of just how dark the mornings had become. The photo below shows the mountains in the valley with the faint lights of Brisbane and its port in the distance. Interesting dark low light captured by the iPhone.

©2015 Barry Smith - Dark morning light
By the time I reached Treehaven Way the sun began to show a bit of colour.

©2015 Barry Smith - Power poles and morning light
©2015 Barry Smith - Light transforms the horizon
©2015 Barry Smith - I love the power lines cutting across the heavy sky
And of course one is lucky to be able to appreciate the moon on some cold and clear early evenings.

©2015 Barry Smith - Half a moon on the night after the shortest day (Tuesday night)
©2015 Barry Smith - Ragged edge of the moon
©2015 Barry Smith - The colour of cloud and distorted moon

The Evening Star (Venus) is also such a bright presence.

©2015 Barry Smith - The colour of Venus - telephoto lens on maximum - no detail
The low light does not make for many photos on the walk or the block; but the little nectarine flower below continued to offer colour today even though we pruned the tree yesterday morning - all the pruning have been kept to dry to use for kindling in Fiona's studio fire.

My afternoons have been dedicated to continue the job of sorting my studio-garage - I have now moved onto serious sorting and categorising my recycled metal including off cuts.

©2015 - Very small chips of metal (silver-plated brass) for smelting
The shortest day has passed - so next Monday I'm expecting a little more light when I head off for my morning walk

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A hoard of silver?

©2015 Barry Smith - Hammered silver and rust
Over the years Fiona and I have seen exhibitions of hoards of gold objects and jewellery that have been found in fields etc from ancient times. Every now and then we joke about finding a hoard if we were walking in the Scottish highlands or islands - would be fun.

Anyway I digress - I did finish Meg's commission over the weekend - all the recycled metal trays and objects have been used; and the hoard below has resulted from the effort.

©2015 Barry Smith - A hoard of silver?
The conical bowls show beautiful hammer marks both before and after grinding-polishing.


©2015 Barry Smith - Starburst and conical bowls in the rough
After ….

©2015 Barry Smith - Starburst and conical bowls - ground and polished - on the rust table
The larger (17cm and 19-20cm) simple sunk bowls are shining functional classic pieces.

©2015 Barry Smith - Larger patterned silver-plate over copper bowl
©2015 Barry Smith - Larger simple silver-plate over copper bowl
And the leaf-form pate knives were also completed. These were hard to make - the metal was about the hardest I have worked with - lots of nickel in the metal I think.

©2015 Barry Smith - Leaf form pate knives - silver-plate over nickel-silver
A good way to finish the weekend. I can now let Meg know and arrange for her to collect the hoard.

And one can't not share another photo of silver and rust.

©2015 Barry Smith - Reflections of late afternoon light on silver and rust

Friday, June 19, 2015

Creeping towards completion….

©2015 Barry Smith - Base of hammered bowl
I am determined to complete the work with Meg's metal by the end of the weekend. I got quite a good run at the remaining metal today.

I have now cut up the last of the silver-plated objects - sugar bowls, milk jugs and small ice bucket.

©2015 Barry Smith - More recycled metal on the sorting table.
Before lunch I made a couple of cuff bracelets out of the top of a sugar bowl and milk jug; and made a spiral arm band from the rim of a small ice bucket.

©2015 Barry Smith - A brace of cuff bracelets and a spiral arm-band
©2015 Barry Smith - Spiral arm-band - thick hard metal  (2mm) and the decorative part is about 6-7mm wide
©2015 Barry Smith - Decorative edged cuff bracelets
Larger bowls are on Meg's list - so I did the first round of annealing and hammering on the larger bowls and a bunch of smaller ones I will make. I plan to make Star Burst bowls from the deeper base sections of three of the small objects.

©2015 Barry Smith - A group of bowls looking the worse for wear after annealing and initial hammering
I was asked to make 4 leaf pate knives. Meg's metal is too light so I decided to make the pate knives anyway out of an old Italian silver-plate nickel-silver jug I bought from an Op-shop for a couple of dollars  - the handle was falling off and it is badly worn. The metal is over 1mm thick and extremely hard. Today I decided to make a prototype from this metal - test out how I would have to work it - it can't be softened with annealing.  The prototype worked OK - couple of refinements to be made in the process. The knife is about 16cm long.
©2015 Barry Smith - Leaf pate knife with strip of nickel silver metal
©2015 Barry Smith - Leaf pate knife
All in all, a good day. Hopefully over the weekend I will finish the bowls. Now I'm off to get ready to go out to dinner with friends - a good end to a Friday.

©2015 Barry Smith - Silver-plate filings floating on the surface of the rusty annealing bowl