Friday, October 30, 2015

Artisan Lamps

©2015 Barry Smith - Neon Cross globe bought from garage sale
Recently it was suggested to me that I could give my assemblage lamps a new name - moving away from identifying them as Steampunk. It was suggested that whilst they had a Steampunk and industrial flavour they were also small sculptural assemblages in their own right. So Fiona and I have decided to rename them Artisan Lamps by Barry Smith.

I'm in the midst of making a new series - needed to get a lot of bits and pieces off my work bench - clean the surfaces a little. This new series will include a number of pairs and also a little more recycled timber. The work has started as you can see from the photos below.

©2015 Barry Smith - Recycled timber cut and drilled
©2015 Barry Smith - Some of the 'found' objects selected, dismantled and ready for cleaning and polishing
©20125 Barry Smith - Some of the objects ready for assembling
I managed to get a couple finished on Thursday. I didn't get time to work on them today (Friday) as we are having good friends visiting on Friday-Sunday and checking out Fiona's exhibition etc.  A few photos of the finished two follow.

One made from Model K Holley Carburettor from Detroit - most likely used on the Model T Ford; some brass pipe; some seriously worn recycled timber; and a vintage brass light fitting.

©2015 Barry Smith - Artisan Lamp for the old car lovers
©2015 Barry Smith - Lamp for the old car lovers
The other made from a garden spray head; other plumbing bits; brass studs and a patinated vintage brass light fitting.

©2015 Barry Smith - Clean lines - beauty of wood and brass
©2015 Barry Smith - Clean lines - beauty of wood and brass
I tried the Neon Cross lamp globe to see how it went on the small lamp (about 25cm high). The globe was bought for $3 at a garage sale!!!! Guess some might like the plain globe but others might like the cross. I also bought another cross globe - it is a clear screw type globe.

©2015 Barry Smith - Clean lines - beauty of wood and brass - with a little red
I have another 6 Artisan Lamps to assemble - might get a bit done on Sunday.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Shrouded moon, rust and rain

We have been having overcast days on the mountain - though others have had violent storms fortunately we have been having drizzly rain.

I woke at about 3am on Monday - the sky was still cloudy after rain but the moon appeared to be full. Muted moonlight was flooding the bedroom - so I got up and took a few shots - shared below.

©2015 Barry Smith - Cloud lines across the moon 
©2015 Barry Smith - Layers of cloud - background looks like crumpled tissue paper 
©2015 Barry Smith - The moon shines through
The rain has helped the rust pile - I have a collection of circular saw blades that I intend to use on a portal - still need to get a couple of large timber slabs.

©2015 Barry Smith - Beautifully rusting blades
©2015 Barry Smith - Beautifully rusting blades
Because the rain has been gentle the rain drops have caught on the screen wire and spiders' webs.

©2015 Barry Smith - Droplets on the screen
©2015 Barry Smith - Web, crystals of rain and rust wall
©2015 Barry Smith - Web, crystals of rain against a leaden sky
Blossoms from our 'peace tree' at the front have been gently falling in the rain.

The valley looked ominous yesterday afternoon - but fortunately the destructive storm skated around us.

©2015 Barry Smith - Wall of storm cloud
We now need a few days of sunshine to dry things out and get the garden growing - sounds like we are never satisfied!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

An unusual request

Whilst at the jewellery and art expo a week ago I was asked by a visitor if I could look at a sketch she had done as a design for a leaf bracelet. The sketch was of two leaves running in opposite directions joined by a bridging square. The bridging square had some roughly sketched baubles and dangling bits.

The expo visitor said she had shown her sketch to various jewellers but had not been successful in getting someone to test her design. She wanted the bracelet to be made from aged brass - not too shiny.   The design reminded me a little of my leaf-spoons and leaf letter openers but with more curve. I agreed to see if I could turn the sketch into a bracelet once I had a measurement for the woman's wrist.

As you can see from the photos that follow I made two bracelet forms with a squarish bridging area.
©2015 Barry Smith - Overlapping leaf forms of the leaf bracelet 
©2015 Barry Smith - Leaf forms of the leaf bracelet
The designer wanted me to add dangly bits to the square bridging area. So I did this with one of the two bracelet forms. I inserted 9 small eyelets into the square area; and threaded flat headed pins through the eyelets and created a circle to take a jump ring to add small lengths of chain to.

©2015 Barry Smith - Back of bridging plate with flat pins 
I covered the flat head pins with three layers of thin self adhesive felt to cover the rough surface created by the flat headed pins. I also added bone coloured beads to give another point of interest.

©2015 Barry Smith - Leaf bracelet with chains 
©2015 Barry Smith - Two leaf bracelets - one with and one without adornments. 
I'll send some photos off to the woman who designed the bracelet to see if what I made reflects what she conceived.  The chains can be cut to shorter lengths and beads or other bits can be attached to them.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The big night and a few foibles

Well tonight is a big night for Fiona, Susan and Ken. Fiona and Susan's artists' book and print exhibition is officially opened at 6pm in the Noosa Gallery. They have so much gorgeous work on show - it will be a real buzz of a night - and exhausting to. Ken has his own exhibition on his resurrected pieces - great to see these pieces on the wall.

It goes without saying that time was not spent in the studio-garage today; but I did manage to finish a few sets of Found and Formed earrings yesterday.

I think there will be a glass of bubbles or two to celebrate Fiona's and Susan's extraordinary effort.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Colour and coffee

On Tuesday morning Fiona and I did our last pick of coffee cherries for this year - only a half a bucket full this time.

Thought I would share a few photos of the first stages of the process that goes from picking to grinding (which I'm doing tonight after roasting this afternoon).

©2015 Barry Smith - Red coffee cherries
©2015 Barry Smith - Coffee cherries in the hand operated pulper
©2015 Barry Smith - Pulped coffee cherries - some sorting to be done
©2015 Barry Smith - Pulp - for the veggie garden
©2015 Barry Smith - Fiona washing the pulped berries - you can see the cleaned beans - will soak for two days

There is so much colour about - few shots including the maples that have gone ballistic and a very deep red.

©2015 Barry Smith - Over night dew creates mountain scenes on the rust wall

©2015 Barry Smith - Dew laden maple leaf
©2015 Barry Smith - Detail of another red rose - very fragrant - on the sill of the kitchen window
And one can't go past that ever changing view in the valley - full of floods this morning.

©2015 Barry Smith - Light and clouds fill the valley
Another gorgeous day on the mountain.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Rescue of art, polishing and surprises

The weekend has in the main been given over to spring cleaning our place - including my benches and jewellery studio. The studio spring clean has included finishing the polishing of some Daily Word bowls and some rugged rings.

©2015 Barry Smith - Detail from rescued artwork
But first the story of the art rescue. On Saturday morning Fiona and I were about to jump into our car and return home after a coffee in town. At about the same time we both exclaimed that we saw a trailer of rubbish going by that included a piece of art work that looked like it was inspired by Rosalie Gascoigne. We thought we'd follow the trailer and if it were heading to the rubbish tip see if we could negotiate to rescue it.

Well the short story is that we arrived at the tip just as the trailer was being given approval to dump the load. I was able to negotiate with the dump coordinator and the owner of the piece (artist Jonathan Wright) for me to have the work (I even offered to pay for it - though Jonathan said I could have it); and after waiting for him too unload most of his load I was able to return to the car and Fiona (who couldn't come on site as she had inappropriate footwear).  The piece is about 1mX1.2m; and was made from numbers recycled from the same rubbish tip. As you can see from the photo below the art is at our place - we are not sure what we will do with it but we could not let it be trashed - it reminded us too much of Rosalie.

©2015 Barry Smith - A Construct by Jonathan Wright
©2015 Barry Smith - More detail from A Construct
I have also spent quite a bit of time giving a second life to a trivet I bought in Townsville. Couldn't bring myself to cut this one up; and Fiona had admired its art-deco design

©2015 Barry Smith - Silver-plated trivet before polishing
©2015 Barry Smith - Silver-plated trivet after polishing - lovely copper showing through
©2015 Barry Smith - Bit of art deco detail
The Daily Word bowls are all shiny.

©2015 Barry Smith - Daily Word bowls
I also polished some recycled metal rings - they are all a bit rugged but I had to give them a life.

©2015 Barry Smith - A stash of rings
And I had another surprise when we shopped at our local IGA - the Lomandra design I created for the Waterfall Walkway and the Flow artwork in the store has been used on new signage in the store - pretty cool.

©2015 Barry Smith - Lomandra design - part of new IGA signage - got to love that
A very good weekend in all.

Friday, October 16, 2015

It is not always about creating

As you know Friday is almost sacred to me from a creating-making perspective - a day earmarked for the garage-studio. But this day was not to be a making day. In the main it was about community (several hours of meetings on social housing), the block, cleaning up and preparation for making.

The work on the block took the form of finally hanging a number of original prints we bought several years ago. They were meant to go on the walls in the visitors' pavilion - and finally today they made it. Beautiful, tough and meaningful works by Gwenn Tasker - a focus on refugees - so topical to get them up at this time.

©2015 Barry Smith - Detail of Siev X by Gwenn Tasker
©2015 Barry Smith - Siev X by Gwenn Tasker
©2015 Barry Smith - Detention Centres by Gwenn Tasker
Another block job was to spread grass seed over about a third of the block, down the back, in the hope of replacing weeds with resilient grass. Delicate quiet job sprinkling tiny seeds - now we need a little more gentle rain overnight.

And the balance of time was doing preparation for creating. Unpacking a box of silverware I received in the mail from my friend Dave.

©2015 Barry Smith - Dave's stash
Doing a big clean up of the metal cutting bench; and turning all the smaller offcuts into even smaller scraps for smelting.

©2015 Barry Smith - Detail of finely cut offcuts ready for smelting
I have about 8-10 kilos of small metal scraps for smelting now. Over the next couple of weeks the smelt will happen. I was fortunate that a ceramic artist friend, Judy Gardiner, gave me both clay slip and a ball of clay for me too use to make my green sand (mix of 9 parts fine sand and 1 part fine clay) for making forms to pour molten metal into.

©2015 Barry Smith - Very very beautiful fine white clay on rust
As part of the clan up and cutting process I did cut blanks for about 10 sets of Daily Leaf Words leaves and four bowls. During the expo I totally sold out of Daily Leaf Word sets.

Over the weekend I might get make - but for now it is time for a single malt.