Sunday, February 12, 2017

Cascading impacts and other bits including a new technique

I intended to create quite a bit of my Found and Formed earrings and pendants over the weekend; but the universe had other ideas.

Fiona and I discovered a bad smell in my garage-studio. We tracked the smell down to mould that was growing on the wall and books that had become wet. So this meant shifting a few biggish bits of equipment and a heap of metal and timber away from the wall. The problem seems to be caused by a blocked air conditioner drain pipe that is built into the wall. The problem provided the opportunity not only to clean the wall and dry the floor covering; but also to sort the metal and timber and to build a book wall from the books that had become wet.

As you can see from the photo below the books have created a new feature on one of the shady terraces below the house. We ended up doing a host of other sorting clean and fixing tasks but they are way too boring.

©2017 Barry Smith - Book wall - love the red contrast
©2017 Barry Smith - Red section of the small book wall with mini-agapanthus that will gradually grow over the books - books are held in place by the gravel and the occasional iron rod hammered into the ground through the spine of the books
Another impact on the Found and Formed  earring and pendant plan was a new request. I have been asked to convert a couple of blank silver rings into 'stylish time related rings' by adding copper and brass rod into the rings and also inserting watch cogs. Inlaying metal rod into silver is a job I have never done. I decided to practice on a bit of ring sized silver plated tubing I cut from a small candle holder. Using a small and sharp metal chisel I cut an s shaped groove into tubing. I then used a very small riveting hammer to hammer copper wire into the groove (inlaying); and then folded in the burred edges. I also drilled into the tubing and set a small cog at the end of the inlaid copper. I think I have a identified a technique I can practice a couple more times before attempting the real thing.

©2017 Barry Smith - Ring with inlaid copper and watch cog - bit hard to see the copper as it was hard to photograph the ring because of light reflections. The width of the silver-plated brass tubing is about 6mm
I made a bit of a start on the Found and Formed jewellery by cutting and drilling quite a stash of silver-plated tea spoons and other bits I discovered as part of the recent cull and clean.

©2017 Barry Smith - About 26 ends of silver-plated teaspoons
©2017 Barry Smith - Odds and ends that could become pendants. Spoons with leftover resin from the ring experiment
©2017 Barry Smith - Teaspoon ends drilled with 1mm bit
©2017 Barry Smith - Odds and ends drilled with 1mm or 1.5mm bits 
There is still quite a bit of grinding and polishing to be done; but at least I have made a start; and the spoons etc just won't be hanging around.


  1. Function, form, beauty; as in the book border, as in the items that are recycled into art. Amazing your eye Barry, for tuning the ordinary into the extraordinary.

  2. Your book wall looks splendid, Barry. A great re-use of materials. And I love watching you work with silver and copper!

  3. Barry thank you, my hearts arrived today, appropriately on St Valentines day. Thank you so much for brightening up my day.


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.