Sunday, June 25, 2017

Partners in the press

Whilst I said I was going to do further work on the peace leaves I got somewhat sidetracked.

I joined Fiona as her assistant doing a tricky letterpress run that had to be resisted to fit around an etched plate she had done.

©2017 Barry Smith - Our 1890 Lightning Jobber letterpress
I know Fiona will do a blog post on her work; but below I share some a few photos of the work of our 1890 Lightning Jobber letterpress. Such a gorgeous piece of machinery.

©2017 Barry Smith - Doing a bit of proofing to get the alignment right
©2017 Barry Smith - Fiona changing a couple of letter that were not printing correctly
©2017 Barry Smith - A study of concentration as Fiona sets the next sheet in place
©2017 Barry Smith - Good to go
©2017 Barry Smith - Quite a nice run of prints - some choice there in terms of what to keep
It was a thoroughly relaxing afternoon working through all the stages of the letterpress printing process. Can't wait to do more of it. I used to do a bit letterpress printing in my early days and forgot how much I enjoyed it.

©2017 Fiona Dempster - Able assistant on wheel duty

Friday, June 23, 2017

Hammering out peace

©2017 Barry Smith - Old oyster knife used as part of the first opening process
As I was hammering the peace leaves for International Peace Day (21 Sept) I was reminded of the saying about turning swords into ploughshares. Of course in my case it is hammering silver-plated trays into peace leaves.

©2017 Barry Smith - Some tools of the trade - Anvil, recycled silver-plate and hammer
I really am in  production mode. I want 210 good peace leaves so I'm making about 230 to give me choice. I'm about two thirds of the way through hammering the folded leaf shaped blanks into folded leaf forms.

©2017 Barry Smith - Folded leaf forms
©2017 Barry Smith - First lot of hammered folded leaf forms - love this tiny hammer
I have managed to do the first opening of about a third of the hammered forms.

©2017 Barry Smith - Part of the stash of one-third of the hammered and partially opened leaves
©2017 Barry Smith - Part of the stash of one-third of the hammered and partially opened leaves
Over the weekend I'm trying to get all leaves hammered and fully opened for the last stage of grinding and polishing.

This last week has been given over to remediating the site of the Buttress Root sculpture; and attending to the affairs of my good friend who died suddenly in Jakarta three weeks ago.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Dark morning sights and fragments of colour

According to the inter-web winter solstice occurred today at 1.54pm in the southern hemisphere - so the days are going to get longer right?

This morning's walk started in near dark - grey light on the horizon as I set off.

©2017 Barry Smith - Bare tree and powerlines against a morning sky - looking east
And darkness in the valley with the mountains silhouetted against the glow of the lights of Brisbane and the Port of Brisbane.

©2017 Barry Smith  - Dark morning valley view - looking south
A sickle moon and morning star in the grey sky.

©2017 Barry Smith  - Star and moon and powerlines  (iPhone)
©2017 Barry Smith - Winter solstice morning star and moon (Canon Powershot)
©2017 Barry Smith - Winter solstice morning moon (Canon Powershot)
Gradually the grey gave way to orange on the horizon.

©2017 Barry Smith - Blush of sun in the eastern sky
©2017 Barry Smith - Orange pool of street light still visible in the distance 
On my way home I noticed the first of the wattle blossom was out - delicate balls of pile yellow.

©2017 Barry Smith - Wattle blossom
The morning sun filtered through the kitchen widow and highlighted the micro blossoms of the orchid on the side of the kitchen sink.

©2017 Barry Smith - Micro (1cm) orchid blossoms bathed in morning sunlight
Dark beauty and colour abounds.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Buttress Root Sculpture - finished - all but

After such a long development, fabrication and installation process the Buttress Root sculpture is all but finished - last bit of site tidying and final clean and the work on it is done.

Whilst it is looking good in the fenced enclosure it will looked so much better when it is able to just be part of the landscape. The site fence will be removed once the last bit of site remediation is done; and it has been inspected by Sunshine Coast Council. But for now I can share some images as it currently sits within it's enclosure.


©2017 Barry Smith - Looking towards the Mary River - and no the post is not crooked - plumbed on all sides
©2017 Barry Smith - Looking towards Little Yabba Creek and the bridge and remnant forest
©2017 Barry Smith - Looking towards Little Yabba Creek and the bridge 
©2017 Barry Smith - River stones on the base of the trunk section - as you can see cleaning yet needs to be done
©2017 Barry Smith - A sinuous root section with a small river of Mary River stones
©2017 Barry Smith - End of the root with Mary River Stones
©2017 Edith-Ann Murray - Barry and Fiona placing river stones
I will still need to glue a stainless steel cap to the post and attach the four A4 sheets of stainless steel to each face of the post. Three sheets will be the full poems - excerpts of which are on the sculpture's root; and the fourth face will acknowledge funders, sponsors and the artist etc.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Installation progress

Every day this week, except for Thursday, has seen me on site at Little Yabba Creek doing work on installing the Buttress Root sculpture.

Tuesday and Wednesday were the heaviest days. Tuesday saw the team: excavating foundations - including three 1.5m deep piers; getting steel in place; doing the first pour of concrete into the ground; and installing the wooden post that will become the Poetry Post.

©2017 Barry Smith - Setting out the ground work for excavation for sculpture
©2017 Barry Smith - Excavation done and steel work in place
©2017 Barry Smith  - Wrangling the post into place for concreting
©2017 Barry Smith  - Whole lot of concrete being poured
©2017 Barry Smith  -Concrete poured and post in place
On Wednesday: the formwork went into place; the sculpture was delivered and person-handled into position; more reinforcing steel was tied in so the the sculpture was and was to be bonded to the base layer poured on Tuesday; concrete was poured; and river stones added to the wet concrete.

©2017 Barry Smith  - Unloading sculpture
©2017 Barry Smith  - Wrangling sculpture into formwork
©2017 Barry Smith  - More reinforcing
©2017 Barry Smith  - More reinforcing
©2017 Barry Smith  - Second pour of concrete done and river rocks being impeded in the concrete  - Fiona was one of the rock arrangers
The work was then left to cure for a couple of days. Two of us went back today to remediate the site and do the first clean of the sculpture- but I will leave that for another day.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Phone fragments and moon moods

I guess we are all guilty of taking 'interesting' photos with our iPhone only to have them sit in the camera roll. Below are a few that have sat on my phone.

©2017 Barry Smith - Nest found by Fiona
©2017 - Quite a big fungi right?
©2017 Barry Smith - Contrasts - serene floating leaf and razor wire reflections
©2017 Barry Smith - Micro orchid on the kitchen bench
On Monday morning, very early and still dark, Fiona pointed out this moody moon as she headed out the door to join her women's exercise group. Between doing my exercise and other chores I caught a few images of the moon.

©2017 Barry Smith - Moody moon before sunrise
©2017 Barry Smith - Moon catching early morning sun
©2017 Barry Smith - Moon catching early morning sun
©2017 Morning moon
Today has been a longish and hard day - we finished the concreting of the Buttress Root sculpture into place at Little Yabba Creek. I will images of that in Friday's post.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Big timbers

©2017 Barry Smith - Spotted Gum - cracks filled
The installation of the large Buttress Root sculpture is scheduled, weather permitting, for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week. A lot of planning and coordinating has gone into it given there are many organisations and workers doing different technical tasks.

In addition to sculpture we will also be installing a large timber PoetryPost - the four faces of which will be used to carry the full versions of poems on the Buttress Root and also a story and acknowledgement sign. Each of the poems and sign will be on A4 sized stainless steel sheets. The post will be capped with a stainless steel cover.

I had three large (25cm square and just over 2m long) timber hard wood (Spotted Gum) posts cut from salvaged wood and delivered quite some time ago. Over the weekend I sanded and coated one of the posts in readiness for pick up on Tuesday morning. The timber is a beautiful reddish-brown colour.

©2017 Barry Smith - Top post before sanding and coating 
©2017 Barry Smith - Top post sanded and coated - doesn't look to be a lot of difference - the coating brings out the colour a bit more
One of the challenges with such big pieces of timber is that unless they have been kiln dried they do tend to split after milling.As the fist photo and the one below show I had to fill some cracks with timber epoxy filler.

©2017 Barry Smith - Spotted Gum - cracks filled
I could not resist taking a photo of the rusty cast-iron wheel sitting on the eroded end of the post below. The cast-iron wheel is used to secure the covering for timber.

©2017 Barry Smith - Timber and rust


Blogs latter next week might reveal the installed sculpture.