Sunday, May 21, 2017

The beauty of copper, fire colour, leave and patina

©2017 Barry Smith - Copper offcuts shards
Though the weekend has been reasonably busy I did grab some time on both Saturday and Sunday to start making patina copper leaves of different sizes for a number of projects. I planned to make about 15X200mm leaves; 25X250mm leaves; and 20X120mm leaves.

Doing multiples has its positive (cutting heaps of metal in one cutting and lifting the heavy guillotine onto the bench once); but on the downside there is the sheer number of leaves and the repetition factor. Some photos of the process follow even though folks who visit thew blog have seen similar images before.

©2017 Barry Smith - First fold of the 200mm leave blanks - I attached a 'new' vice to the outside workbench to make this task easier with longer leaves.
©2017 Barry Smith - 60 folded copper blanks
©2017 Barry Smith - Second folding completed on the anvil and leaf forms marked
©2017 Barry Smith - Leaf forms cut and ready for hammering
©2017 Barry Smith - The 200mm leaf forms annealed and in the process of unfolding - love that fire colour
And then there are the cleaned shiny leaves before patina solution is added. I focussed on getting the 15X200mm leaves finished.

©2017 Barry Smith - Unfolded, pickled and washed leaves
©2017 Barry Smith - Unfolded, pickled and washed leaves - ready for patina solution
And after about a half hour of acidic reaction and curing there are beautiful patinated leaves.

©2017 Barry Smith - Beautiful patinated leaves - need to set and then knock back the colour.
Because the 200mm leaves will be for indoor decorative purposes they will need: a coat of sealant; a grind and polish to bring out the highlights and knock back some colour. This will be done during the week hopefully.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Sometimes the smallest takes the most time

©2017 Barry Smith - Almost looks like a musical instrument or something from Dr Who!!!!
The Artisan Lamp that was commissioned was collected during the week- a choice of one out of the three. I decided that whilst I was in an Artisan Lamp making mood I should make a few more to boost the number to five so I can deliver them to Entangle in Dayboro.

I have wanted to make a lamp using the small brass piece above for quite a while but combining it with a base that did not overwhelm the ornate piece and its lovely taps was a challenge. But as part of rummaging around I came across an small vintage camera tripod. To the naked eye it looked like it was steel painted black. Imagine my joy when I discovered it was solid brass. Below you can see the polished tripod with all the other prepared bits that were ready for assembling into lamp form.

©2017 Barry Smith
But back to the title of the blog. To be able to attach the piece, an antique gas-light fitting - 100-150 years old, required quite a bit of rummaging and engineering to: attach thread that would carry the light fitting; drill out the body including one of the small tap to enable cable to be threaded through; and threading several bits to create the base that could attach to the screw on top of the tripod.

But the real fiddling came when I went to attach the tripod to the top section - well the small screw on top of the tripod was so brittle it just sheared off when I went to assemble the lamp. This required more engineering to drill the sheared of bits out and find another thread etc. And of course the cable would not cooperate and go around a right angled bend. More drilling through the piece and finally the cable was dragged through. However the vintage bakelite light fitting I chose was not up to speed and I blew a bulb and flicked the safety with in the house. After attaching a new fitting it was all good to go. And I think the outcome was worth it - a strong yet delicate and quirky Artisan Lamp.

©2017 Barry Smith - Tripod Artisan 
©2017 Barry Smith - Tripod Artisan 
Thanks goodness the other two lamps came together so much more easily.

©2017 Barry Smith - Refurbished and slightly modified retro desk lamp
©2017 Barry Smith - Refurbished and slightly modified retro desk lamp
©2017 Barry Smith - Mood lighting?
©2017 Barry Smith - Interesting internal section of the blowtorch
©2017 Barry Smith - Blowtorch Artisan Lamp
©2017 Barry Smith - Blowtorch Artisan Lamp
Now I'm off to make one of our favourites - home grown roast pumpkin and blue cheese risotto. To be complemented with a nice shiraz or two.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Looking up - feathers and moon

©2017 Barry Smith - A setting moon - very very early morning - dark clear sky
The morning walk this morning was absolutely gorgeous. It started in the near dark; but there was moonlight.

©2017 Barry Smith  - This morning's moon - about 5.45am
And then as I walked the morning gave way gave way to a sky filled with wisps of cloud - some reminded me of feathers floating from the sky. And what started as whips of white were lit up by the rising sun.

©2017 Barry Smith  - Wisps of cloud - like a feather floating down 
©2017 Barry Smith  - Wisps of cloud - a touch of pink in the early light
©2017 Barry Smith  - Wisps of cloud - a touch of fire in the early light
©2017 Barry Smith  - Wisps of cloud - and then all returned to blue and white after the sunrise
The morning moon still hung in the sky - but now a blue sky with cloud wisps.

©2017 Barry Smith  - Morning moon against a blue morning sky - about 6.30am
©2017 Barry Smith  - Morning moon against a blue morning sky with cloud wisps
Over the last week I have captured a couple of other phases on the moon.

First a setting full moon.

©2017 Barry Smith  - Morning setting moon against a grey sky
©2017 Barry Smith  - Morning moon - disappearing below the western ridge line
©2017 Barry Smith  - Morning moon - disappearing below the western ridge line
And a moon morning moon on the wane.

©2017 Barry Smith  - Between the setting full monad this morning's moon
And just for a smile I had to add this photo of a little visitors perched on top of one of the maples down by the rock river.

©2017 Barry Smith  - A little honey eater - quiet a few inhabit the trees on the terraces
Amidst the stress there can be the calming beauty of nature.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Shiny - Artisan Lamps

©2017 Barry Smith - Base of the gas blowtorch Artisan Lamp with:  blowtorch cutting tips, pressure gauge, green patinated valve.
I managed to get the three Artisan Lamps completed over the weekend - good outcome. A lot of time goes into threading pieces so that they fit together; and so the light fittings metal thread can be screwed in to lamps and fittings screwed on to the exposed thread.

The polishing process brings out the real potential of the found objects.

©2017 Barry Smith - All the components ground and polished on the workbench
The design and assembly process brings out the industrial and quirky character of the found objects - complementing each other.

©2017 Barry Smith - The assembly process begins - even cleaned the inside workbench for this stage
And then after new wiring and new vintage look lamp fittings the lamps show their individual personalities.

©2017 Barry Smith - Rega pump Artisan Lamp - solid simple industrial look
©2017 Barry Smith - Rega pump Artisan Lamp - solid simple industrial look
©2017 Barry Smith - Modern gas blowtorch Artisan Lamp
©2017 Barry Smith - Gas blowtorch Artisan Lamp - topdown view 
©2017 Barry Smith - Broken vintage gas blowtorch Artisan Lamp
©2017 Barry Smith - Industrial look of the Vintage Gas Blowtorch Artisan Lamp - lots of interesting knobs, taps and pipes.
The heavy brass valve and thick brass 'washer' have resulted in interesting and stable bases. Where I could I have left the blue-green brass patina in place.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Mixed bag

Sometimes I jump from one thing to another in my art. This can be because I want a change; but over the last couple of days it has been because folk want things done all about the same time. I had a requests: to make a couple of new Artisan Lamps; draw a post sculpture proposal for a small courtyard; and restring some glass beads and make earrings from the same beads.

But first the lamps. Always starts with gorgeous found objects.

©2017 Barry Smith - Gauges, switches and stop-value handles
And then cutting pieces up; and doing test assembling.

©2017 Barry Smith - Very large and heavy brass stop valve I bought quite a few years ago.
©2017 Barry Smith - Cut valve makes sturdy bases for potential Artisan Lamps
The post sculptures, an installation of 5 posts (17cm square hardwood), will have snake and water motifs.

©2017 Barry Smith - Sketch of proposed post sculpture with snake and water motifs
The glass beads were very colourful. They had been bought by the owner when she was 15 and on a trip to Italy - so they were full of memories. I made earrings out of two of the bigger and two of the smaller beads. I restrung the necklace on 7 ply gold coloured cats-tail wire.

©2017 Barry Smith - Necklace given new life after spending many years unstrung in a drawer

Such variation - but all about bringing joy. I hope too get the lamps completed over the weekend.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wet, workshop and webs on Wednesday

©2017 Barry Smith - The rusty fence and studio in the whiteout and drizzle - early morning light
This morning we woke to a combination of a total cloud whiteout and drizzling rain - so as the title says this post, in the main, is about wet, webs and a few fragments from the workshop bench.

More of that whiteout - soft grey light and misty images.

©2017 Barry Smith - Camellias in the mist
©2017 Barry Smith - Rain drops bouncing on the surface of water in a very full fire pit bowl
But that means we also get to see the micro spiders' webs and lichen holding droplets of rain.

©2017 Barry Smith - Micro micro spider web around a rusty nut on the rust wall
©2017 Barry Smith - Pure rain droplets held by tiny lichen on a wire 1
©2017 Barry Smith - Pure rain droplets held by tiny lichen on a wire 2 with one fine spider web
©2017 Barry Smith - Unusual refections in a single droplet of water clinging to the underside of the deck railing
©2017 Barry Smith - A string of pure rain droplets held by tiny webs
The images from the workshop simply capture some of the small fragments that littler the bench top - residue of lamp making.

©2017 Barry Smith - Brass drilling fragment
©2017 Barry Smith - Face of my large copper hammer after a vigorous workout
©2017 Barry Smith - Timber for lamp bases - hairy oak and camphor laurel
©2017 Barry Smith - Timber for lamp bases - hairy oak
So whilst there was not a walk in the wilds this morning there was the beauty of soft outdoors images and a look at the workbench through different eyes.