Sunday, February 26, 2017

Found, formed & finished

©2017 Barry Smith - Found pieces cut, drilled, ground and polished - ready to be turned into pendants
Some time ago as part of the January clean and cull I cut up quite a number of decorative teaspoons and other odd bits of silver-plated EPNS cutlery. Though they also got drilled they sat on the work bench waiting to be turned into earrings and pendants as part of my Found and Formed Jewellery stash.

©2017 Barry Smith - Found pieces cut, drilled, ground and polished - ready to be turned into earrings
I call them found and formed because: I'm salvaging and up cycling existing shapes; and I'm forming them by grinding, polishing and adding other embellishments.

I gave myself a deadline over the weekend to get the bits off the workbench and finished - and as you can see from the photos a goodly number are complete.

©2017 Barry Smith - Six pairs of earrings with solid silver ear-wires
©2017 Barry Smith - Pair or ornate small teaspoon earrings with recycled beads from a broken necklace
©2017 Barry Smith - Pair or ornate small teaspoon earrings with solid silver bead and faux black pearl
©2017 Barry Smith - Pair or ornate small teaspoon earrings with solid silver bead and faux black pearl
©2017 Barry Smith - Another five pairs of earrings with solid silver ear-wires
©2017 Barry Smith - Black and silver pendant - formerly the handle of a small fork
©2017 Barry Smith - Solid mother of pearl pendant - formerly the handle of a small ornate fork
©2017 Barry Smith - Silver-plated pendant with silver-plated chained - formerly the handle of a spoon
©2017 Barry Smith - Ornate silver-plated pendant with chains - formerly the ornate pommel of a small fork
©2017 Barry Smith - Silver-plated pendant with chains and recycled beads from two broken necklaces.
©2017 Barry Smith - Silver-plated pendant with chains and recycled bits from two broken necklaces.
There are a few other pendants to be made; but I think the polished and drilled bits can sit on my assembling bench a little longer.

Friday, February 24, 2017

And now the construction and installation process begins

Way back in July 2016 I blogged on the fact that I had been engaged to design a large sculpture that would represent a significant environmental spot and be the carrier for poetry about the place. The sculpture is to be one of the first three of the Pente Poets Poetry Trail.

©2017 Barry Smith - Detail of the drawings for the Buttress Root sculpture
The good news is that the funding has been awarded for the three sculptures to go ahead. My large (2m high and 4m long) 10mm thick brushed aluminium Buttress Root sculpture is to be constructed and installed at Little Yabba Creek before the end of September 2017.

I have started the construction-installation process by contacting all the other people in my 'team': engineer; aluminium fabricator; sign writing company for the routing of the poems into the aluminium; and the installer.

©2017 Barry Smith - Quotes from the various members of my construction and installation 'team'
The first tasks for the engineer to do are: soil tests at the site; and then rework my installation drawings so that the necessary engineering and installation form can be submitted to Council.

© 2017 Barry Smith - Sculpture site at Little Yabba Creek where soil tests will be carried out
© 2017 Barry Smith - Sculpture site at Little Yabba Creek
Next week I will meet with the fabricator and work out a fabrication program-timetable.

The fabrication includes at least 4 steps: cutting of the aluminium sheets that will form the buttress root; delivering the three sheets to the singwriter so that the poems can be CNC routed onto the flat metal; delivering the routed sheets to another firm so that the sheets can be rolled to create the curves; and then delivering the curved and routed sheets back to the fabricator so that they can be welded and attached to the tree form and the footings for installation can be attached as per the engineer's instruction.

Easy - nothing could go wrong or be delayed there right????

©2017 Barry Smith - Drawings and site photos for the fabricator
This is one commission that will take quite a bit of coordination of the coming 6 months - but hey - pretty exciting - worth raising a glass to.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Colour, light and texture

There is no single title one can give a blog post such as this ones there are fragments from so many directions, themes and times.

Fiona and I were down the back of the block last Thursday picking the last of our small mango crop. I had been smart enough to take the iPhone with me as I knew I'd want to capture a couple of shots of the disintegrating organ that sits between the mango trees. The keys are doing a grand job collecting leaves.

©2017 Barry Smith - Keys and leaves
When we were in Toowoomba over the weekend I took quite a few shots of texture and colour -

©2017 Barry Smith - Fragment of wall art 1 
©2017 Barry Smith - Fragment of wall art 2
©2017 Barry Smith - Edge of a granite water feature to which someone had added blue dye
©2017 Barry Smith - Centre of a granite water feature to which someone had added blue dye
©2017 Barry Smith - Same tree, same bark but three colourations 
 There are always stray blossoms etc that capture the eye on my walk - sometimes because of the contrast of colour with light; and sometimes because of the unusual location of the object.

©2017 Barry Smith - Female pumpkin flower on vine that has decided to grow over the concrete near the shed
©2017 Barry Smith - Pinholes of light in the foliage beyond
©2017 Barry Smith - Colour and texture unfurling 
©2017 Barry Smith - A bright berry in the bushes
And the valley and hills to the south regularly deliver such differing light offerings.

©2017 Barry Smith - Mountains on fire on Sunday
©2017 Barry Smith - Mountains, light and ominous cloud
©2017 Barry Smith - Soft blue-grey re-autumn morning this morning
Yes texture, colour and light abound.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Finishing the post and a couple of other images

Yesterday Fiona and I were in Toowoomba as Fiona had a full day of teaching.

I planned to use my time over there to search for silver-plated trays for my metal work. As it turned out there was no metal to be had; but I did manage to buy a great heavy copper hammer and a few light fittings; and I got to take a few photos of some local art including a couple of photos of posts as you can see at the end of this blog post.

Today I finished the community timber monolith (post) I was making on Friday. I love how the etched aluminium contrasts beautifully against the sanded and oiled timber.

©2017 Barry Smith - Etched aluminium (5cm high and 12cm long) screwed to timber post
A few images and different views of the post follow. The photos were taken with the post's feet pushed into my pile of stone mulch which is to be shovelled down onto the terraces below.

©2017 Barry Smith - Drilled ready for attaching
©2017 Barry Smith - Side faces of the post
©2017 Barry Smith- Front and side face (the plaque will sit between the two small etched plates at the top of the front face of the post - I cut a larger plate in half and reground the edges to make the two small plates).
©2017 Barry Smith - Looking down on the top plate and front face.
©2017 Barry Smith - Detail off an etched plate  (rotated on its side)
©2017 Barry Smith - I cut up another square etched plated into four to create these small rectangles at the base. A case of form and function - form is that they givs the post balance; and function is that they will reduce cracking of the base of the post.
©2017 Barry Smith - Post on top of 3cubic meters of gravel
I have ordered the plaque for the post; and hope to pick it up and attach it mid week. The post could then be installed in the community garden late next week.

Those couple of Toowoomba images.

©2017 Barry Smith - Indigenous story posts created by Aboriginal welding-engineering students over 20 years ago - and still telling their story 
©2017 Barry Smith - Corner detail of a very large granite column (post) near the Toowoomba regional gallery.
Of course there were a few more texture images that will go into my Wednesday blog post.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Post in progress and old equipment reused

Over the last couple of days my 'creative' energy has, in the main, gone into a few repair jobs and maintenance on the block - a bit more about one of the jobs later in the post.

But I did get time to start making a post that will celebrate community gardening. This post is a freebee that will go into our local neighbourhood centre community garden. I am up cycling a few components that have been sitting in various stashes. First a 1.2m long X 150cm square salvaged piece of blackout timber; and a couple of galvanised iron stakes.

©2017 Barry Smith - Cross grain sanding and oil to bring out the colour and grain and a little face?
©2017 Barry Smith - Of course some of us like it grey and with the nails still in place
©2017 Barry Smith - Post - sanded, oiled and feet bolted on - ready for etched aluminium plates
To this will be added some etched aluminium pieces left over from a commission. And of course a plaque will be added recognising the love of gardening by volunteers and others.

©2017 Barry Smith - Square plate for the top of the post
©2017 Barry Smith - Pieces for the side faces
©2017 Barry Smith - Another couple of pieces for the side faces of the post
One of the jobs I have had on the list was to replace the cross support beam under what we call the drawbridge to the top part of the shed-studio and a couple of hand rails - all had suffered from dry rot. I needed to take the  cross beam out without taking the whole structure down. I knew I had an old house jack that was masquerading as a small rusty sculpture on the car turning deck.

©2017 Barry Smith - Couple of small rusty house jacks and a rusty friend on the corner of the deck
After a bit of oiling and persuasion it was made operational again; and you can see it did an admirable job supporting the deck off the drawbridge; whilst I removed the rotted cross beam and replaced it with a super hardwood beam.

©2017 Barry Smith - The old jack did a great job and new hardwood crossbeam is bolted in place
I hope to finish the post on Sunday.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


The title of this post was inspired by a feather drifting on the breeze; but looking suspended in a blue sky. The photo was taken with the iPhone as Fiona and I were walking from the house to the car. Such a chance spectacle.

©2017 Barry Smith - A tiny feather drifts across a blue sky - suspended on a gentle breeze.
Of course suspended also applies so well to the the Aquarian moon. The last photo, this morning at about 6.30am, reminded me of the drifting feather. Moon photos were taken with the Canon Powershot.

©2017 Barry Smith  - Full moon rising behind yucca plants - colours flooding outwards
©2017 Barry Smith  - Full moon - clear evening - silver
©2017 Barry Smith  - Full moon - early morning 
©2017 Barry Smith  - Faint feather moon against a blue morning sky
On my walk the suspended theme continued with various vines and blossoms seeming to float in space. I just loved the untethered nature of the vines and blossoms.

©2017 Barry Smith  - Orchid in our yard - suspended from a hanging basket
©2017 Barry Smith  - Hanging vine with pods and webs
©2017 Barry Smith  - A suspended string of stars
©2017 Barry Smith  - Tiny floating bouquets
Sometimes the brain surprises me - how it just makes connections and developed themes is a mystery.