Sunday, April 23, 2017

Pieces for peace

Over the weekend I progressed the work on the 210 peace leaves for International Peace Day (21 September). In the main I was: marking the fold line on the metal blank; and stamping the word peace on each blank.

But this can be a receptive job so I went off on a couple of tangents. First when looking at a piece of tray I had cut down I suddenly decided I would make about 30 peace-tags to give away. I was inspired by Liz A's generous giveaway of imagine peace pins;  Fiona's giveaway of inspirational letter press words; and Mary-Jane D's inspirational stamped metal.

I thought this giveaway might just help to keep the conversation and ripple of peace going.

©2017 Barry Smith - Silver-plated brass tags about 3cm long and 2.5cm wide) with peace and tree of life symbols
If you want one of these tags for yourself or to give away to inspire someone else to think about peace - let me know by email (including your address).

I also came across some of my old metal peace flags from a few years ago as I rummaged around looking for metal - I thought these could get another outing in some form in the future

©2017 Barry Smith - Old "Peace Flags" from a few years ago - they have aged well.
©2017 Barry Smith - Old "Peace Flags" from a few years ago - they have aged well.
But of course I got back to the marking and stamping of my peace leaf blanks - over 220 in the pile. I always make a few extra to deal with metal failure in the folding and unfolding stages.

©2017 Barry Smith - A pretty grungy looking heap of cut, marked and stamped meal - but I'm sure they will make beautiful peace leaves (about 9cm long)
Now all that is left to do is: folding; cutting of leaf shapes; unfolding; and grinding and polishing. I'm well on the way.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Fabrication and installation - simple little words

When making art to-do lists we can get into the habit of reducing much work into a couple of simple headings to ensure the list is clean and concise. But of course when we come to-do the actual tasks one finds that there are many to-do dot-points under the simple heading. This is the case with my public art Buttress Root poetry trail sculpture that has been funded; and I'm now implementing (fabrication and installation).

Who would have thought that one of the to-do dot points was to go to the metal workshop and approve the computer drawings that will drive the water jet laser cutting machine. The laser will cut the flat 10mm which aluminium sheets before they are sent off for routing and rolling. At this stage there is not a lot to show except for the computer images of the drawings I signed off on. Quite large pieces of metal in reality but on a smallish computer screen.

©2017 Barry Smith - Drawing of the un-rolled trunk section of the Buttress Root sculpture on a flat sheet of 10mm aluminium that is 2.4m high and 1.2m wide  
©2017 Barry Smith - Two sections of the root section of the Buttress Root sculpture - the section on the left is 2.4m long and 1.2m high; and the section on the right is 2m high and 1.2m wide.
And of course as mentioned above there are quite a number of steps involved in fabrication. The following dot points give you some idea of the process over the next month:

  • Meeting with the metal fabricator (Kawana) yesterday (Wednesday 19 April) to view and approve sheet metal cutting drawings.
  • Finalise welding, grinding and sanding approaches. Remember the finish of the sculpture is brushed not polished.
  • Agree the footing arrangements for the sculpture - the footings need to be able to sit on and be bolted into the concrete slab from the first pour; and then the second pour of concrete incorporates the footings and about 100mm of the sculpture into the slab of the second pour.
  • The sheets are to be cut with a water jet laser cutter by 21 April (today????). 
  • The cut sheets will be transported to the workshop (Caloundra) that will use a CNC router next week (week beginning 24 April) for the routing of the poetry. Delivery and routing process is likely to take a week depending on the company's work schedule. 
  • Send the routing instructions (agreed with the poets) to the routing company (yesterday). When the sheets arrive at the workshop meet with the owner to mark out the sections for routing. 
  • Visually check and sign-off on routed poetry.
  • The cut and routed sheets will then be transported to Brisbane for rolling in the week beginning 1 May. It is anticipated that rolling will take a week depending on the mill’s work schedule.
  • The cut, routed and rolled sheets will be transported back to the metal fabricator (Kawana) in the week beginning 8 May for welding, grinding and sanding.
  • Allowing for delays in routing, rolling and welding it is anticipated that the sculpture should be completed by the week ending 26 May.
So you can see even the simple word fabrication can include quite a number of steps, over a number of locations and over a fair amount of time.

But hopefully it will be ready for installation in early June. Installation - another simple word with many steps!!!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Moon on the water and other fragments

A few days ago Fiona and I were standing in our quiet corner choosing our words for the day and enjoying the beauty of the valley in the early morning light. I noticed the setting moon being rejected in the still water of the rusty fire-pit. I thought I would try to go outside on the decks and take a photo. To my amazement the reflection could only be seen through the window of the quiet corner and no where else. I took a couple of photos of this early morning beauty through the window glass.

©2017 Barry Smith - Upside down setting moon reflected on the water (Canon Powershot)
©2017 Barry Smith - Setting moon on the water (Canon Powershot) - the rust of the fire pit showing through a misty water surface
©2017 Barry Smith - Setting moon on the water (iPhone)
Such an ephemeral thing - only for that brief time, in that small body of water and from that one spot.

The soft early morning autumn valley light.


A focus on white on the morning walk.




Sun fringed clouds and blazing sun peaking from behind the cloud bank - along Treehaven Way.



The autumn light is now beginning to dip into the house in the morning at a very low angle creating pools of refracted light and rainbows

©2017 Barry Smith - Morning rainbow on my black jeans whilst sitting at the computer
©2017 Barry Smith - Refracted light on the kitchen bench top
The morning had a decided chill about it this morning - we are moving closer to winter.

I thought I'd share the photos below from our local community neighbourhood centre. One of the women (Barb) on our gardening group mended a split wheel barrow creating such a great stitched pattern

©2017 Barry Smith - Stitching a wheelbarrow
©2017 Barry Smith - Stitching a wheelbarrow

Sunday, April 16, 2017

School of Funky Fish off to Goondiwindi

Once again I'm entering a 3D piece of work in the Open Section of the Aspects Art Show (2017) in Goondiwindi.

I got the work finished on Wednesday and then realised that I really should post it on Thursday if it was to arrive in Goondiwindi on time given that the Easter break was going to eat into transport time.

The photos below show the work - 7 different sized fish forms made from recycled fragments of various silver-plated trays and a couple of large brass jardinieres. The fish forms are attached to brass tubing rods and set into a section of salvaged native River Oak timber.

©2016 Barry Smith - School of Funky Fish - front view
©2016 Barry Smith - School of Funky Fish - top view with installation numbers in place

©2016 Barry Smith - School of Funky Fish - front view - of the smallest fish
©2016 Barry Smith - School of Funky Fish - front view - of the leaders
The sculpture represents fresh water fish in the rivers and creeks of western Queensland - hence the River Oak timber. The whole piece (timber and 7 fish forms) was wrapped in copious amounts of bubble wrap and brown paper. A nice sturdy parcel (about 1m long and 5.5 kg) sent through Australia Post.


Doing the packing and sending was on my work list for next week - so I guess I'm ahead there.


Friday, April 14, 2017

In readiness for 601 mvr open studio

©2016 Barry Smith - Part of the array of of Found Earrings that will be on sale at 50% off
Today has been a whirlwind of: sorting; tidying; setting up; and pricing - all in preparation for the 601 mar studio-gallery open days on Easter Saturday and Sunday (10am-4pm each day).

At the end of the day we tired; but ready to welcome folk in the morning.  There is a good range of work that indicates, in part, what we are on about art wise; and a good lot of bargains. And some folk might also like to take the opportunity to stamp some metal or print some cards on the letterpress.

Metal and hammers are ready on the workbench outside the studio-gallery.

©2016 Barry Smith - Anvil, hammers, metal and stamps - all ready for folk to stamp inspirational words
©2016 Barry Smith - A bowl of polished silver-plated blanks ready for stamping
A few random mages of the set up in the studio-gallery.

©2016 Barry Smith - Shared table downstairs - Fiona's prints and artists books on one side and my pendants and earrings on the other - looking towards the front door of the studio-gallery
©2016 Barry Smith - Some of the pendants 
©2016 Barry Smith - Some of the earrings
©2016 Barry Smith - My blank journals and Fiona's mixed media.
©2016 Barry Smith - Upstairs table with 3D work in the main
©2016 Barry Smith - Upstairs Fiona's artists books and some of our prints
©2016 Barry Smith - The downstairs table looking from the stairs to the top level.
Now it it is time to get dinner together; relax with a glass of wine; and have an early night.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Mainly the moon

As the title of the blog says this is mainly about the full moon that signals easter; but there are also fragments of the sunrise, birds, blossoms and the valley.

But first the moon - photographed in the early morning this morning - heading towards the horizon through the trees.

©2017 Barry Smith - Soft colours of a setting morning moon
©2017 Barry Smith - Morning moon before dawn
©2017 Barry Smith - Morning moon before dawn
©2017 Barry Smith - Soft colours of a setting morning moon through the trees
©2017 Barry Smith - Framing the morning moon
The sun was rising and the moon was setting as you can see from the panorama photo.

©2017 Barry Smith - Sunrise and setting moon
©2017 Barry Smith - Colours of sunrise over the mountains in the valley below
By the time I reached Treehaven Way the sun was blazing through the lower branches of the pine trees.
©2017 Barry Smith - Blazing sunrise
Some startling colour and forms in the blossoms.

©2017 Barry Smith - Deep purple
©2017 Barry Smith - Intricate white
And the Magpies who want to keep one company; but also scurry off when you focus on them.

©2017 Barry Smith - Magpie in flight
©2017 Barry Smith - Poser?
A gorgeous morning. Moon photos were taken with the Canon Powershot; other photos with the trusty iPhone.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Off to market

Over the weekend I had to get the the Tea Caddy Leafspoons and the Coffee Measuring spoons completed so they could be sent to Myrtleford Victoria and be there before Easter.

©2017 Barry Smith - A couple of rusty piano wheels and polished silver-plated hammered bowls on the polishing workbench wheels were holding plastic sheeting down
Well after a big effort, and help from Fiona in the riveting process, I managed to get 12 Tea Caddy Leafspoons and 10 Coffee Measuring Spoons completed (plus a couple of casualties that can't go to market).

©2017 Barry Smith - A whole lot of polishing there - including some strays I included along the way
©2017 Barry Smith - A couple of polished hammered bowls plus a couple of resin pieces destined to become a pendant
©2017 Barry Smith
Fiona also assisted in choosing the 6 Tea Caddy Spoons and 6 Coffee Measuring Spoons below that will be express posted to Myrtleford tomorrow. The coffee measuring spoons deliver about 7gms of ground coffee as a rounded heaped spoon.

©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith
Riveting the small twisted brass handles to the small bowls of the Coffee Measuring Spoons was a real challenge. Metal on metal on metal resulted in the bits slipping at different stages of the drilling and riveting process. I could not have done it without Fiona's extra set of hands; and even then it was a challenge. There are some commissions one is happy to have completed.