Friday, September 30, 2016

Sometimes there is not a lot to be seen

Today has been one of those days: Rhonda's sister picked up the ladles and Artisan Lamp; I repaired a garden fork so we could dig the potatoes; I built a garden edge; and I hammered some stems to be riveted to the leaf forms that will make up the commission Bending 5.

©2016 Barry Smith - Contrasts - rusted and ground iron
For me the stems are the most interesting and creative part of the day. I need to make 20 stems to attach to the leaf forms. I started out with 24 lengths of rusty iron rod from my 'rust bank'.

©2016 Barry Smith - Rusted rod - like stalks of heavy grass
©2016 Barry Smith - Rusted rod - like stalks of heavy grass
Using a small heavy hammers and round anvil I flattened the ends off the rods.

©2016 Barry Smith - Cold forming iron rod

©2016 Barry Smith - Cold formed iron rod
They were all then given a grind so that they are slimmer to fit into the fold of the leaf forms.

©2016 Barry Smith - Cold formed iron rod 
©2016 Barry Smith - Cold formed iron rod after grinding
It was almost like having a stash of rusty iron arrows.These will provide a good base to drill and attach the leaf forms at a later date.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Suddenly there is more light

©2016 Barry Smith - Lines across a clear blue morning sky
Fiona and I get up about 5.30am on the mornings Fiona goes to her exercise group. It did not seem so long ago that we were getting up in the dark and having to turn on lights just to get around the house. Though we are only a month into spring the sun is rising and flooding the valley by 5.30am. I think the photo below will be one of the last morning light photos I will be taking for a while.

©2016 Barry Smith  - Sun reflecting on the western hills
And of course with the sun up the bees are very busy - the bottles brush trees were just alive with them.

©2016 Barry Smith - Green-yellow bottle brush flowers
©2016 Barry Smith  - Lots of pollen for busy bees
And there are cascades of tiny blossoms.

©2016 Barry Smith - A white cascade
©2016 Barry Smith - White cascade up close - tiny tiny flowers
And startling colour like the reds and yellow.

©2016 Barry Smith  - Reaching out to the morning sun
©2016 Barry Smith - Colour floating above the bush
It won't be long before I'm walking in summer light.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Stemless solid silver saki drinking vessel

©2016 Barry Smith - Stemless solid silver saki vessel on its stand with rust
I decided I wanted to try my hand at making a stemless saki drinking vessel from a sheet of solid silver. This would mean committing quite a bit of new .5mm thick 925 silver to the project. I wanted the vessel to be stemless and yet have a stand as I wanted the drinking vessel to be very pure in its lines.

It was a while since I had hammered small bowls with straight sides from flat sheet so I practiced on some silver-plated EPNS before committing to the solid silver. The diameter of the drinking vessel circle of  metal was 70mm; and that for the stand was about 35mm.

©2016 Barry Smith  - Circles of silver
Making the stand was a bit of a challenge - quite a small piece of metal to hold and hammer on the stake.
©2016 Barry Smith  - Hammering the stand - that dark metal is actually annealed solid silver
But the combined outcome looks good in  front of the anvil.

©2016 Barry Smith  - Stemless vessel with stand - in the rough
©2016 Barry Smith  - The solid silver stand
And the test bowl, the drinking vessel and stand look pretty rough on the grinding-polishing bench.

©2016 Barry Smith  - Ready for grinding and polishing
As you can see the the drinking vessels looks reasonably small in my hand; but in reality it is 60mm in diameter and about 20-25mm deep.

©2016 Barry Smith  - Saki vessel in hand - I have deliberately left the edge with a hammered look
A couple more photos on stone; and with the vessel and stand separated.

©2016 Barry Smith  - Stemless drinking vessel on sandstone
©2016 Barry Smith  - Vessel and stand on rust
I think I proved to myself I can do this; and I think a fellow metal worker will appreciate the beauty and hand hammered nature of the vessel.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Mostly about preparation

©2016 Barry Smith - Fire coloured copper strips - blanks for larger leaf forms
Over the last couple of days I have been starting-progressing 4 creative tasks: a few inspirational silverplated leaves; an Artisan Lamp from a sewing machine; a commission - a set of my bending leaf forms; and a few small bowl forms.

I was doing the silver-plated leaves as I wanted to take one to a wedding tomorrow - but why not make 3 when you can.

©2016 Barry Smith -  Strips for inspirational leaf forms
©2016 Barry Smith - Three inspirational leaves - 16cm long
I have had a rusted up sewing machine sitting in the garage-studio for months. I had to keep moving it around when I was trying to access other stuff including our coffee cherry pulping machine which we started using again this week. I want to make a lamp out of some of the parts for the friend who gave it to me.

©2016 Barry Smith -  One rusted sewing machine
©2016 Barry Smith -  Useful parts from the sewing machine
©2016 Barry Smith - The two sections that will form the base for the Artisan Lamp - cut and cleaned a bit
For the commission of bending leaf forms I need quite a bit of recycled copper sheet so I decided to pull the copper fire hood apart and use some of the metal. It was a quite a big job - removing rivets, bolts  etc- but it has delivered quite a lot of sheet metal.

©2016 Barry Smith - One large fire hood - fire coloured
©2016 Barry Smith - Fire hood metal unfurled
©2016 Barry Smith - Cutting copper strips - strips of fire colour - sad I know - I will be preserving some
©2016 Barry Smith - Strips of fire coloured copper
©2016 Barry Smith - Twenty five copper leaf blanks - 20cm long and 5 cm wide

I also cut out circles of flat metal for the bowls - but will blog on that on Sunday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Black cockatoos, fragments on the block, light and the last full moon

Some Wednesday blog posts turn out a little strage when I share bits and pieces from the week. As the blog title says this blog post indeed shares a bit of this and that.

First a small flock of Black Cockatoos spent some early morning time in the gum tree that leans across the side of our block. We were doing gardening and they stayed there for about .5 of an hour. There seemed to be some pairs and some grooming going on.

©2016 Barry Smith - Keeping an eye on you - Black Cockatoos in grey morning light
©2016 Barry Smith - A few visitors
©2016 Barry Smith - Bit of bonding
We have been picking heaps of Waratahs from down the back - the photo is one of a small bush form of the flower that we planted only about 12 months ago. I noticed the orange fungi with the small bit of moss when I was working down the back.

There has just been so much colour over the valley - most times we just enjoy it but sometimes it call out to be shared.

©2016 Barry Smith -  Love how the sunset is refuting light into the clouds in the east
©2016 Barry Smith - Fire in the sky
And I thought I would add a couple of moon shots for Ken M who is now travelling overseas - just wanted him to see the moon in the southern hemisphere.

©2016 Barry Smith - Half a morning moon
©2016 Barry Smith - 
©2016 Barry Smith - Full morning moon
Nature always offers something to lift one's spirits in some of the dark global times. Peace on International Peace Day today 21 September.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

International Peace Day 21 September

As the blog title says tomorrow is International Peace Day - a time to stop and reflect and to choose peace - peace in our daily lives and peace globally.

©2016 Barry Smith - Peace bird 
Each year Fiona and I try to honour the day by making a bit of art stuff and hanging it in our "peace tree" at the front of our block. We were encouraged to do this by a project started in 2012 by friend and fellow artist Mary Jane.

This year I decided to go again with my "peace birds". Many of last year's birds had fluttered to the ground and were given away as peace token; and the last 9 were taken down and used on our Christmas tree - so I made 12 more to bring me up to 21. Why 21 - well 21 September is the date of the international peace day.

©201Barry Smith - Some of this year's peace birds before stamping
Yesterday Fiona and I installed our bits: Fiona's imagine peace cards; and my peace birds.

©2016 Barry Smith
©2016 Barry Smith - One of Fiona's imagine peace cards with the remnants of a peace weather gram from 2015
©2016 Barry Smith - One of Fiona's imagine peace cards
©2016 Barry Smith - One of Fiona's imagine peace cards
©2016 Barry Smith - Peace birds and imagine peace card
It was a very windy afternoon so was quite hard to photograph the pieces - but we thought of it as the wind distributing peace.