Friday, March 31, 2017

Motivation for a pendant or two

Not a lot of time for art today - quite a bit of cleaning up after the recent rain and wind; and catching up with an overseas artist friend.

But Fiona's birthday motivated me to make a simple natural looking pendant from timber and wood (Hairy Oak off cuts). I made two so that she had a choice. She chose the long slim one - so the other will go to a friend.

©2017 Barry Smith - Timber and solid silver studs
©2017 Barry Smith - Timber and solid silver studs
Making those pendants resulted in my finishing a couple more bone pendants.

©2017 Barry Smith - Bone, glass, stone and solid copper
©2017 Barry Smith - Bone, stone and brass
And a couple of silver-plated EPNS and resin pendants - by-products of the ring commission I was doing.

©2017 Barry Smith - Silver-plate, crystals and resin
©2017 Barry Smith - Silver-plate, recycled enamelled piece of an old pendant and resin
Now I'm off to help do a few bits to prepare for dinner with the visitors tonight.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A few delights from the week

©2017 Barry Smith - Water, wet wood, rust and gravel - colours and contrasts
We continue in a wet weather pattern - and given the cyclone in the north and the way the resulting low is tracking I'm sure we will have a lot more. Still the rain brings out the colour and freshness in so many things; and that is balanced by grey skies and backgrounds.

The bees are still very active - they really seem to enjoy the basil blossoms.

©2017 Barry Smith - This one seems to have just started collecting again
©2017 Barry Smith - This bee seems to be full and needs to head home?
The pumpkin vines have gone crazy - growing in all directions - curling through and around the hedge at the shed, the agaves and the coffee patch.

©2017 Barry Smith _ New pumpkin and agave
©2017 Barry Smith - Fresh colour
©2017 Barry Smith - Pumpkin hiding between the book stacks
Discovered this great fungi on my walk this morning - as big as a saucer; and delicate ones or course.

©2017 Barry Smith 
©2017 Barry Smith - Like folded fine paper
The grey skies do make for soft backgrounds.

©2017 Barry Smith 
©2017 Barry Smith - Young Butcher Bird resting on a grey morning
The wet road offers a contrasting background for a fallen flower.

©2017 Barry Smith - Freshly fallen?
Rampant growth in autumn - seems a bit wrong; but I will enjoy it while it is there.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A whole lot of hammering

©2017 Barry Smith - Close up of hammer marks on small bowls - two different directions of hammering
Today I got to finish a couple of rings I have been working on - a commission - I will share this somewhere down the track.

And then I changed over to perfecting the prototype of the bowls for the coffee measuring spoons so I could go into production.

I found that 'sinking' the bowls in a metal form was leaving marks on the metal; and hammering them in one direction did not integrate the marks into the bowl. So I hammered in the direction of the marks and was able to incorporate them into the final product.

©2017 Barry Smith - Cl;one inspection shows forming marks on two of the bowls but none on the third
I marked up all the rough formed bowls (and the couple of prototype); and got into hammering. I calculated that in hammering the 14 small bowls (about 45mm across) I did about 5,000 to 6,000 hammer strokes. The bowls are now ready for grinding and polishing.

©2017 Barry Smith -Rough formed  (sunk) bowls marked up ready for hammering
©2017 Barry Smith - Hammering (raising) completed - amazing tool steel in the hammer - still unmarked after a few years of use.
I also played with streamlining the forming of the handles including length of brass rod. I that worked out now.

©2017 Barry Smith - Twisted brass rod handles - production method worked out
I think I will feel the result of all that hammering in my hands and forearms tomorrow - still a good achievement.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Beginnings and continuing

Fiona has coined the phase "a jittery kind of day". This refers to those days where one finds oneself jumping between many demands or projects. Today has been a jittery type of day: a trip to the coast for a meeting for Fiona and me spending time getting tyres replaced on our car; and doing a myriad of things in preparation for a garage sale tomorrow where proceeds will go to a couple of women's support services. So there was no time in the studio today.

During the week I managed to progress some pieces of work.

I have been asked to makes tea caddy spoons and coffee measuring spoons by a business in Victoria; and Maleny Additions said they are out of stock of ladles and pate knives. So I have had to get into production.

©2017 Barry Smith - Metal cut for tea caddy spoons - odd little shapes!!!!
©2017 Barry Smith - Prototypes of the tea caddy spoons and coffee measuring spoon; plus blanks for pate knives; and shapes for tea caddy spoons
©2017 Barry Smith - Metal circles cut for making the bowls for coffee measuring spoons and ladles
©2017 Barry Smith - Bowls for the ladles in the rough
Yesterday Julie came over to spend time in the garage-studio stamping inspirational words to go into the vessel I made from the family silver-plated tray.

©2017 Barry Smith - Some beautiful words there for Julie and her family to start their days
We have ended the jittery day with rain and a whiteout in the valley below.

©2017 Barry Smith - White in the valley below
Given we will be up at 5am  tomorrow morning doing all the final set up for the sale I think there are grounds for an early wine and an early night.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Beautiful gentle rain

©2017 Barry Smith - Sunshine colour and droplets
Over the last little while we have had a series of short showers of rain on the mountain - bit goldilocks like - not too heavy and not too much - just right.

Yesterday I managed to plant another 8 small trees down the back of the block - makes it about 20 over the last couple of weeks. So the gentle rain overnight was just perfect. The morning walk was taken in a light drizzly rain - a grey day.

©2017 Barry Smith - Grey valley 
©2017 Barry Smith - Raindrops on the water filling the big rusty fire pit
©2017 Barry Smith - Raindrops on the water filling the big fire pit
Great day for photos of fungi and droplets on moss.

The home plants just loved holding droplets as well.

©2017 Barry Smith - Orchid with droplets of clear fresh rainwater
©2017 Barry Smith - Violet with droplets of clear fresh rainwater
A quiet and refreshing morning

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Installing the Peace Book Sculpture

©2017 Fiona Dempster - a sneak look at the Peace Book Sculpture through the maple tree
Strange the way tasks get done on the block. Fiona and I etched and made three large aluminium peace books about 10 months ago as a sculpture for our block. We planned to install them on a platform near the 'bridge' across the rock river below the house. Well many other things happened and the platform was not built. I purchased the timber a couple of months ago - still the platform was not built. But over the weekend I realised that I needed to move the timber out of the carport at the shed in preparation for a garage sale next week and open studio over easter. So instead of storing the timber around the back I decided to build the platform and install the Peace Book Sculpture.

A couple of photos of the building process on Saturday.

©2017 Fiona Dempster - Subframe in place with the first board being lined up - Fiona checking the lines from above.
©2017 Fiona Dempster  - Labourer hard at work
The start of the installation process this morning after overnight  rain. Fiona was giving excellent placement instructions from the top deck of the house.

©2017 Fiona Dempster  - The largest (80cm high) of the books lined up
©2017 Fiona Dempster - Layout chosen
After securing the books in place with brackets, screws and rivets the sculpture looks great from all angles.

©2017 Fiona Dempster  - Looking down on the secured books from the morning words corner
©2017 Fiona Dempster  - Through the wires on the bedroom deck
©2017 Barry Smith - Landscaping around the platform complete; and sun shining on the sculpture - the words are visible inside - "Peace is every step" TNH; "imagine peace"; and "dream peace".
So good to have this sculpture in place - it has now inspired Fiona and I to plan the next sculptures for the edges of the rock river. The platform will age; and the sculpture will patina.