Friday, July 31, 2015

Finishing feathers on Friday

©2015 Barry Smith - Feather pendant with ornate recycled silver-plated chain
More recently quite a lot of my creative time has gone into bigger art works - community and commission. However in an earlier post I indicated I was quietly making a few metal feathers.

I have managed to finish four pendant feathers; and three sets of earring feathers. All the feather forms were hand hammered on my smaller anvil. Recently in a 'collectables' shop I bought four older silver chains - I have used these on the feather pendants - another bit of recycling and reuse. The pendant feathers are about 6cm long. The chains are all about 50cm long.

©2015 Barry Smith - Feather pendants with recycled chains
©2015 Barry Smith - Feather pendant with recycled square link silver chain
©2015 Barry Smith - Feather pendant with recycled silver chain
©2015 Barry Smith - Feather pendant with ornate recycled silver-plated chain
©2015 Barry Smith - Feather pendant with box link silver chain
The earring feathers are about 2.5-3cm long.

©2015 Barry Smith - Feather earrings
©2015 Barry Smith - Feather earrings - with silver plated ears wires
©2015 Barry Smith - Feather earrings - with silver plated ears wires
©2015 Barry Smith - Feather earrings - with solid silver earrwires and solid gold jump ring
©2015 Barry Smith - Feather earrings - with ornate back
A small creative task but quite a nice sense to complete a task. Friday - hmm - off to have a quiet drink or two and some zuchini slice.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cool moon mornings and a couple of other things

This month we are to have a blue moon - really only means two full moons in the one month. Still the cool evenings and mornings have made for some good moon photos including the one this afternoon - a cool silver moon rising.

©2015 Barry Smith - A soft silver rising moon - not quite the blue moon
Some of the photos of the phases of the moon over the last few mornings follow.

I'm intrigued by the rotation of the moon from rising to setting - the shadow edge is at the base when rising and on the top when setting - or so it seems to me.

The early morning have also made for some other intriguing light including the lights of the Port of Brisbane - obviously taken with a cold shaky hand - but quite a funky outcome.

©2015 Barry Smith - Moon in a shadow landscape
©2015 Barry Smith - Shaky lights of Port of Brisbane - early morning across the valley
I had to share the photo below of a colourful little visitors Fiona and I saw when we were beginning the etching.
©2015 Barry Smith - Beetle on a used paper wasp nest
And a couple of photos I took of the peace flags on the Japanese Peace Bell deck at night whilst I was attending the barbecue.
©2015 Barry Smith - Remnants of a peace flag - against the dark
©2015 Barry Smith - Rusted peace dove braves the dark
Time to go to get ready for visitors.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The big etch

©2015 Barry Smith - Etched aluminium on rust
On Saturday afternoon I got to etch the panels for the peace post commission - with Fiona's help - this etch really did require two people; and Fiona's knowledge of course.

First up -  making 24 litres of etchant (salt and copper sulphate) - as you can see from the photos below Fiona was in charge of measuring and I was the mixer.

©2015 Barry Smith - Fiona adding salt to the water
©2015 Barry Smith - Copper sulphate added - lovely patterns and colour
©2015 Fiona Dempster - Mixing the salt and copper sulphate with an old cobweb broom
Then in went the lengths of aluminium - three or four at a time. The process generates quite a bit of heat and fumes when done on a large scale - hence all the work was being done outside. Heaps of bubbles and brown (copper residue) float up from the metal. We were doing a deep etch so the panels remained in the etchant for at least 6 minutes.

©2015 Fiona Dempster - Etching action on the panels
©2015 Fiona Dempster - Etching action on the panels
The muck was washed off into a tub for later disposal.

©2015 Fiona Dempster - Doesn't look pretty
©2015 Fiona Dempster - First clean with the jose
All the pieces were lined up on the gravel after washing.

©2015 Barry Smith - Ten etched and cleaned panels
The resist was was then cleaned off with methylated sports and lots of elbow crease - took me a good 1.5 hours to clean the 10 panels - but what a reward when you see the etched and cleaned pieces. Before I etched I added a leaf motif outline to the bottom of each of the peace word panels - it worked.

©2015 Barry Smith - Things of beauty - the paint and shellac resist removed to reveal the etching
©2015 Barry Smith - Good deep bite - love the organic nature of the letters
©2015 Barry Smith - The organic nature of the leaves appeals
©2015 Barry Smith - Good deep bite - love the organic nature of the letters
©2015 Barry Smith - Good deep bite - love the organic nature of the letters
©2015 Barry Smith - Love the organic nature of the leaf motif outline
I also did some small squares for the tops of the posts - also with part of the leaf motif outline.

©2015 Barry Smith - Paint resist in place 
©2015 Barry Smith - Good deep bite - lovely deep etched leaf outlines
I was very happy with the outcome. Now to move on to finish sanding the posts and installing the panels.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Quietly making metal feathers

©2015 Barry Smith - A flight of feathers?
Until lunchtime today I was supervising the installation of a set of sold panels on our visitors pavilion whilst personally making the etching bath for the panels that will go into the commissioned peace posts.

The solar panels are in place and look good on the north facing roof - form and function!!!!

Regarding the etching bath - it is about 1m wide, 1.2m long and 15cm deep. The frame is pine; and the lining is two layers of black heavy industrial plastic stapled to the frame. It seems to have worked out well. We will need about 24 litres of etchant to cover the plates well.

After lunch I decided to do a quiet bit of creating - making the forms for 3 feather pendants (about 50-60mm long); and three sets of feather earrings (about 25mm long). I liked the way they curled on the anvil - so I have left some of the curl in each feather form - a natural look.

©2015 Barry Smith - Curling feather form on the small anvil
I cut the blanks out with jeweller's hand shears that have a serrated jaw - I'm going to retain as much of the serration as I can - I think it gives the feathers an organic look. The rough feather forms looked good on rust. Still need a light grind and polish before turning into wearable art.

©2015 Barry Smith - Pendant feather forms in the rough on rust
©2015 Barry Smith - Earring feather forms in the rough on rust
I have had some beef bones weathering on the rust table - they are whitening well. I want to use these in pendants.

©2015 Barry Smith - Bones and rust
So another great Friday has gone by. Time to settle and have a glass or two of bubbles with Fiona.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Morning, mist and moon

I thought we were in the dead of winter again this morning - it was almost dark when I ventured out for my walk. There should have been a brush of daylight but low cloud and misty rain dampened the light as you can see from the diffused light of the single street light on Treehaven Way in the photo below.

©2015 Barry Smith - Street light in the fog and misty morning light
Flowers that were still braving the cold were coated in droplets.

Looking through the peace flags on the bell and peace flag deck revealed a white out.

A few nights ago the sky was clear - a meteorological aberration!! I attempted to take a couple of photos of this sickle of a moon; but the atmospherics made it a bit hard - the camera (Canon) zoom just wanted to flare out into white light as it could not handle the atmospheric particles between it and the moon. Still I quite like the fact that I was able capture what looks like the moon behind a shadow.

©2015 Barry Smith - Moon with shadow
©2015 Barry Smith - Sickle moon
I'm hoping the weather clears in the near future. I'm having difficulty in getting out to do the chores on the block and doing the jobs on the peace posts that require dry outdoor conditions.