Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Great vibrations, silver moon and other morning matters

©2016 Barry Smith - Vibrations on a tiny fine web
Okay this post is not about sound - part of the title of the post came to me as I looked at the above image. I was down on the terraces taking a couple of photos of our Camellias which over the last week have just gone ballistic again - we have about 50 bushes so you can imagine the amount a blossom developing and also petals falling to the ground.

Whilst taking a photo of the whitish Camellia I noticed a tiny spider's web in the background. There was a a slight breeze so the web was being bowed by the breeze as you can see from the photo below. A couple of the shots I took captured not only the bowing but also the vibration of the web - bit of a headache for the tiny spider (only 2-3mm)  at the centre.

©2016 Barry Smith - Breeze bowed web
Bees of course are not to be outdone by the spiders.

©2016 Barry Smith - Not easy to access the nectar
And yes the Camellias are in fine bloom

©2016 Barry Smith
©2016 Barry Smith
©2016 Barry Smith
White out kind of Monday; and a peach Wednesday.

©2016 Barry Smith - Mist filled valley
©2016 Barry Smith - Flood of morning light
And a bit of blue moon

©2016 Barry Smith - A distant moon (iPhone)
©2016 Barry Smith  - Silver moon in a blue morning sky (Canon Powershot)
©2016 Barry Smith  - Silver moon in a blue morning sky (Canon Powershot)
Talk about a mish-mash kind of post

Sunday, March 27, 2016

After about 5 years a relaunched website

Fiona and I thought it was time to refresh our websites. Over the last month or so we have been working with Katie White of Phoenix Designs to create our new look; but a look that maintains a strong link to our old sites.

©2016 Barry Smith - Landing page images of the new look website
So you are invited to visit and check out the relaunched website.

©2016 Barry Smith - Even a 'new' mugshot of me
In designing the website I have attempted to give a better look into the work that I'm doing now. There are images with a few more words to give some insights into what I'm doing; and occasionally why I'm doing it.

The landing or home page is a grid of 9 images (see first photo) that will take you to 9 portfolio pages.

©2016 Barry Smith - Landing or home page with drop down menus and hover images
Each portfolio page will provide an opportunity to drill down a bit further on images and explanations-descriptions.

©2016 Barry Smith - Each of the 9 portfolio pages presents up to 10 images which then can take one to some descriptions etc.
There is a page and a menu that enable one to check out places my work can be seen

©2016 Barry Smith - Places my work can be seen
There is a direct link to my blog and a list of more recent posts.

©2016 Barry Smith - The blog connection
And of course there is also my online shop and a how to contact me page. The online shop won't go live until mid May as I intend to review current stock and then restock the shop.

It has been great working with Katie (an artist and tech wizard) - we had to do the content but she did the magic - and it is a website I'm proud of. I have tried to give a bit of a teaser; but you check it out as there is quite a lot to see so you can click here

Friday, March 25, 2016

Trash to functional treasure

©2016 Barry Smith - A fan of cut brass
I had an unusual request - could I make some interesting garden plot name stakes-signs.  They needed to be something that had a bit of interest in their shape, colour, material etc.

©2016 Barry Smith - Years of patina - lovely greens and browns
In my metal stash I had an old very patinated, worn and dirty brass tray. I decided that if I cut it into wedges like a pie it would produce interesting triangles with a curved top. I could stamped the words on two ledges using 10mm plumbers metal stamps. And the backside (which is the front of the tray) would have the beauty of the worn pattern. Basically I was simply adopting the existing shapes and design of the tray and repurposing them in the new design.

©2016 Barry Smith - Wedges of brass
©2016 Barry Smith - Heavy duty capitals
©2016 Barry Smith - Wedges stamped
©2016 Barry Smith - Ground and lightly polished without removing all the patina
©2016 Barry Smith - The decorative side - more highly polished to highlight the pattern
I think they have worked out well - quite a funky thing to have in the garden as a functional ornament.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Moon, magpies and a bit more

Whilst the moon pretty full  it has not always been visible in our part of the globe because of cloud cover. Still the cloud can off some interesting halos, shadows and unusual cloud colours.

A few photos from last night - first few from about 7-8pm. Moon photos taken with Canon Powershot.

©2016 Barry Smith - The colours of cloud and moon
©2016 Barry Smith - A drift of cloud - lighting up a dark cloud sky
©2016 Barry Smith - Cloud drifts across the moon - deep blue-black sky
©2016 Barry Smith - Unusual hole in the cloud cover -  bright evening star on the left
©2016 Barry Smith - Moon in a clear patch of the sky at midnight

We are not sure why but we have hard about 50 Magpies hanging around our neighbourhood. Some of the bolder birds walked out of my path this morning rather than just flying away.

©2016 Barry Smith - Looking at you
©2016 Barry Smith - This is much more interesting than a human
It must be the time for birds as I was much more aware of their presence on Treehaven Way.

©2016 Barry Smith - Waking to the sunrise
©2016 Barry Smith - Pigeon on the wire
And of course there were the other little surprises on the walk.

©2016 Barry Smith - Sitting quietly under a bush
©2016 Barry Smith - Getting to the last of the roses in our garden - amazing perfume
As you could see from the photo with the silhouettes of the three native Mynah birds the sun is now rising at the time I walk. This means it is getting to be quite dark when we rise as you can see from the valley photo below.

©2016 Barry Smith - A darkish Wednesday morning over the valley - very moody
I think autumn is truly here and is even starting to get a tinge of winter about it - either that or I'm being pathetic.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Peaks complete

©2016 Barry Smith - Cropped view of 7 peaks
I got a good solid run on my two tabletop sculptures over the weekend. I can now say they are complete and in time ready for public outings.

Of course there was more cutting of templates and metal; sanding of bases to ensure they would stand unassisted; and final oil and polish.

©2016 Barry Smith - Bits of metal and paper from creating templates and metal wraps.
©2016 Barry Smith _ Long strips of 8 and 120 grit sandpaper on the workbench
Couple of views of the 7 peak sculpture (just over 1m long) - one piece with seven parts.

©2016 Barry Smith - Seven peaks on hallway table
©2016 Barry Smith - Seven peaks on dining table
And a couple of the 5 peak piece - again one sculpture with 5 parts.

©2016 Barry Smith - Five peaks on hallway table
©2016 Barry Smith - Five peaks on hallway table
I must say that it is good to have another artist with a critical eye and sense of design, Fiona, to talk through set out of the elements of each sculpture - getting the angles, spacing and heights right is important. I have numbered each of the mountain forms and indicated which direction they need to be set out. I have also taken a topdown photo to show the set out.

Now I need to do paper work and packing for each of the sculptures.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Wrapping wood

©2016 Barry Smith  - Detail of wood and metal
As time permits I'm into adding the metal to the mountain forms. The metal is quite structured to contrast with the more organic mountain forms. So not only does it mirror one edge of the mountain form; it also is attached to the wood with a grid of screws which reflect the angles of the mountain forms and have a square drive head.

©2016 Barry Smith - One mountain form getting close to being finished - this form is about 30cm high and 35cm long
Each form is slightly different so I need to cut paper templates (Fiona's suggestion) which are transferred to the different widths of aluminium strips (vary from 6cm to 20cm in width). I end up with lots of paper templates and paper and metal offcuts on the garage floor.

©2016 Barry Smith - Literally on the cutting floor
I find vises and clamps to be my good friends in holding metal in place for marking, drilling and screwing.

©2016 Barry Smith 
©2016 Barry Smith 
It is good that I have two rechargeable drills and a rechargeable screw driver for this job as each piece has 20-40 screws in it. At the end of the making of the two sculptures I will have used about 250 screws.

©2016 Barry Smith - Clamps, drills and screw driver
So far I have finished attaching the metal to 6 forms.

©2016 Barry Smith  - Six mountain forms with metal attached.
And another almost finished on the bench.

©2016 Barry Smith - Quite the grid pattern
Yesterday afternoon and this afternoon have been good art blocks of time. I'm looking forward to finishing these sculptures over the weekend. But enough for today - I'm off to make a pizza and share a wine or two with Fiona.