Sunday, January 29, 2017

Leather and leaves

Creativity took a couple of directions over the weekend: making a stash of journals from leather and blank journals discovered as part of the clean and cull; and making a leaf for a new baby.

There was quite a bit of leather - seconds from a tannery on the coast.

I managed to make seven journals in all - mainly pairs - except for the one with some fish leather decoration.

The baby's leaf includes the name and peace and love stamped on it. Of course IO made some love and peace give away leaves as part of the process.

I will continue to make the journals until I have used up the leather.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Siblings not twins - funky Light Catchers

Yesterday I started a couple of smallish Light Catchers and finished them today.  I have had a collection of stuff spread one my 'inspiration table' for some time and this pair just asked to be made.

©2017 Barry Smith - Part of a Light Catcher
The main element in both pieces is vintage gas welding tips that are stored on the hexagonal centre piece. I had never seen one of these over all the years I have been doing small assemblage pieces and then suddenly two turned up in a couple of boxes of stuff from two different sources. Partly what I like about these objects is that whilst some of the welding tips are missing this provides the opportunity to move the others around to create their own pattern.

Of course my assemblages start with design, quite a bit of cutting, drilling and creating threads in bolts and on rods. Love piles of brass chipping created as by products of the process.

©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith - A pile if brass chipping
©2017 Barry Smith - Creating threads on brass tubing
The bits looking good after the grinding and polishing process.

©2017 Barry Smith - Beauty appears via the grinding and polishing
And then the assembling - both Light Catchers are looking good.

©2017 Barry Smith - Light Catcher - upward facing vintage lead crystal from NYC market - about 20cm high
©2017 Barry Smith - Light Catcher - detail of the base
©2017 Barry Smith - Light Catcher  - about 17cm high - downward facing crystal
©2017 Barry Smith - Sibling but not twin Light Catchers
It was a good way to spend part of my birthday and good to finish these today.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Reflected and blue skies and other matters

On Monday I didn't get to walk Treehaven Way; but did a walk around the block as well as doing my Tibetan rites.

I was totally captured by how the clouds were reflected on the surface of the water in the big fire pit bowl - which was full after recent rain. A couple of different formats of the same shot follow.

This morning on my walk in Treehaven Way it was the big blue sky that called out to me.

And of course there are the other textures and colours that are ever-present to offer the opportunity for a smile and lift in spirit.

I still enjoy my iPhoneography walks as the encourage me to see the world in greater richness.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Pieces from horn, bone and shell

On Friday I started to make some jewellery from: buffalo horn; an old knife; beef bone; and pearl shell.

Over the weekend I got to finish most of the pieces.

I love the deep almost black colour of the buffalo horn. Silver and shell contrast so well against it.

©2017 Barry Smith - Buffalo horn pendants (about 4-4.5cm longhand .5cm thick)
©2017 Barry Smith - Buffalo horn earrings
©2017 Barry Smith - Buffalo horn pendants
©2017 Barry Smith - Buffalo horn pendant with silver embellishments
The old knife became a pendant with silver embellishments. The handle with the steel running through it also resulted in 3 pair of earrings.

©2017 Barry Smith - Knife handle earrings
©2017 Barry Smith - Knife handle pendant
I still love upcycling the beef bones we saved. A couple of pendants got finished with beach glass and stones; and a simple pair of earrings.

©2017 Barry Smith - Bone, stone and pale glass
©2017 Barry Smith - Bone, stone and dark green glass
©2017 Barry Smith - Bone earrings
The segments of pearl shell resulted in a simple classic pendant and a pair of earrings.

©2017 Barry Smith - Pearl drop pendant (about 5cm long and 2-3mm thick)
©2017 Barry Smith - Pearl drop earrings (about 2cm long)
The knife pendant and earrings will go off to a family member; and some of the horn, bone and shell pieces will make their way into my online Shop.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Buffalo horn and other bits

As part of the beginning of the year clean and cull I came across some odd bits and pieces I had collected or been given for making stuff out of. Some I have already used but others not.

©2017 Barry Smith - Detail of the starting material
Today I decided use:  bone I had cleaned and bleached; some pearl shell I was given about 25 years ago and used in part many years ago; some buffalo horn I was given about 7 years ago by a guy who had collected it in the NT about 40 years ago; and a bone handled knife I was asked to cut up and create some plain memory filled jewellery from.

©2017 Barry Smith - Material described about
I knew roughly that I was going to use the bits to create simple objects: pendants and earrings. The first task is cutting - and let me say that cutting bone, pearl shell and buffalo horn needs to be done in a well ventilated area and wearing a good dust mask as the fine particles are do good for the lungs at all. Cutting these materials with a fine saw takes time but enables one to get quite a few pieces from the product and still have material left over.

©2017 Barry Smith - Pieces cut
©2017 Barry Smith - Leftovers for another day
Same with the drilling of holes for pegs, embellishments and earwires; and the sanding of the cut pieces - double masks required - fine fine dust.

©2017 Barry Smith - Drilled and sanded
But the end results were good to see. I haven't used buffalo horn before - but I really like its dark texture. The horn needed a lot of grinding to get the old layers of dirt and cracked horn off.

©2017 Barry Smith - Potentially 3 pair of earrings and one pendant from the knife handle
©2017 Barry Smith - Potentially 4 pendants and a pair of earrings
©2017 Barry Smith - Potentially 5 pendants and a pair of earrings
I now need to do the final grinding and polishing of the edges before assembling the pies - but that will happen over the weekend.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Filaments and fragments

A few days of rain followed by heat and sunshine is all it takes for nature to go ballistic. I believe I can hear the grass and weeds growing on the block; as well as all the flowers and fruits or course.

©2017 Barry Smith - Detail of a common passionfruit flower
On my walk this morning I was particularly aware of the delicate flower filaments, small-micro  flowers and fragments of colour.

©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith - Pink clusters of micro blossoms
©2017 Barry Smith - Bit of micro purple
©2017 Barry Smith - Light and texture of a weed's flower
©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith - Petals on a painted fence railing
©2017 Barry Smith - Colour in the wet grass
I think I have commented in the past that one of the things I like about the iPhone camera is that it not only encourages me to pause and look more closely at nature and texture; but also it actually magnifies the small details and enables me to see what I normally would be able to with the naked eye.

Beauty to behold on a cool Wednesday morning!!!!!