Sunday, July 30, 2017

Peace stash

©2017 Barry Smith
I have finally completed the task of making 210 Peace Leaves for distribution on International Peace Day  (21 September 2017).

The task took me longer than I anticipated  - mainly because there were many other art, community, work-work and family commitments along the way. The photos below show the last 10 Peace Leaves before and after polishing; the impact polishing has on wire brushes; and the tattered remains of a new pair of leather gloves.

©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith
But I'm really pleased to have such a significant stash of silver-plated Peace Leaves.

The photos below really just show the stash, or some of it, in different locations and formats - a bit of a celebration of the whole stash before I begin to separate it in to smaller states and send it out into the world.

©2017 Barry Smith - 210 Peace Leaves with rust
©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith - Imagine Peace
©2017 Barry Smith
Somethings are just worth persisting with - I guess peace is one of those.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Legs, logs and letterpress

©2017 Barry Smith
First about those legs and logs!!! I attached galvanised legs to the five posts for the five post snake and water motif sculpture that I have been commissioned to make. The legs are set into the posts with a 2.5cm round  X 7.5cm long pin; and bolted to the post with heavy gauge 10cm long galvanised coach screws. This enables me to concrete the posts into the ground but just have them floating above ground level out of the reach of termites and rot inducing moisture.

As you can see from the first photo and the one below, the wood drill bit I use is serious gear; and it is kept in a plastic case of it's own to keep it sharp. That single bit cost $80' but it is perfect for this task.

©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith 
©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith
Whilst I was over at the polishing bench working on my peace leaves I broke up the task by restoring some bits for our letterpress. The beautiful brass and black pieces are quoins for locking up type.

©2017 Barry Smith - Vintage brass and steel letterpress quoins
The goodies below includes quoin keys and letterpress composing sticks.

©2017 Barry Smith - Letterpress composing sticks, quoins and quoin keys
The quoins, keys and composing sticks will be used in future letterpress courses.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Winter fragments

Light and colour are the things that catch my eye at this time of the year.

On clear mornings the colours on the skyline can sometimes be  quite intense as it was this morning as I walked Treehaven Way at about 6am - but only for a very short period of time - as little as 5 minutes. Then the colour fades away as the sun comes over the horizon.

©2017 Barry Smith - Surreal early morning winter light
©2017 Barry Smith - Colours dusts the valley below
©2017 Barry Smith - Bands of colour to the west
I'm also intrigued by the intensity of the morning star against the grey background ; and again it is washed away by the ethereal light and then the sun.

©2017 Barry Smith - Morning star in a grey morning sky
A finger nail sliver of a moon appear a couple of nights ago - hard to photograph as there was so little light and the moon was getting close to the horizon - the camera focus kept flaring out. Still I like that I was able to capture the finger nail moonlight and the grey of the rest of the moon.

©2017 Barry Smith - Two aspects of a new moon
©2017 Barry Smith - New moon with evening stars
Nothing is able to suppress the colour and texture of Fiona's dad's orchids. He has gone into hospital for surgery and he gave us these couple of special orchids to look after. The white and yellow orchid had not bloomed when he gave it to us - so it was good to take a photo to show him how it looked in full bloom.

©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith
The bees are loving the winter blossom on the nectarine bush.

©2017 Barry Smith - Head first
©2017 Barry Smith

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Restoration and completion

There were quite a few demands on time over the weekend. Still one grabs bit of time when one can.

Recently we bought a small old chest of draws that we judged could become great for storing small parcels of letterpress type. I did not like the look of the old paint on the chest of drawers; and there were a few loose bits. So I decided to: do repairs; sand the whole thing; and give it all a few coats of matt finish. All of that was done with a mask on; and a good personal clean-up immediately after the job. I was worried about lead paint!!

The chest of draws is now ready for Fiona and I to fill with small sets of letterpress type.

©2017 Barry Smith - Small (about 60cm tall and 20cm square) chest of drawers with lovely aged patina
©2017 Fiona Dempster - not a bad backdrop to the outside work
©2017 Barry Smith - Drawers coated on every surface
©2017 Barry Smith - Standing tall?
I had three more small funky fish to finish to make up my next school of seven fish (A School of Funky Fish 2). So that was another task to complete - and I managed to do so.

I really like the lovely twists and turns of these smaller fish (about 15cm and 20cm long). All made from brass from old brass jardinieres and silver-plate from old trays.

©2017 Barry Smith - Three Funky Fish friends
©2017 Barry Smith - Single small Funky Fish - almost alive
I have modified the attachment of the brass rods to the smaller fish. In the past I glued them into place; but on these last three I riveted them in place with a 1.5mm brass rivet.

©2017 Barry Smith - Rivet looks better solution!!!
The seven look good as a school.

©2017 Barry Smith - A School of Funky Fish 2
Now to make the mounting board and cut the rods to length so the school can go for a swim.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Creating reflections on water

As part of my 5 post commission I have been asked to add a water motif based on an actual black and white photograph. This motif will be attached to the five posts along with snake motifs (whole and part).

The image is to be created using a single etch non-acid etching process. I have tried to take the central swirling water aspects of the photo and, in  bold strokes, I want to create the sense of shimmering water surface against  a darker background. The blue on the metal (paint applied with a paint pen) will become the shimmering silver; and the uncoated parts of the plates will become the etch darker background.

As you can see above I also finished coating the rest of the snake motifs. I drew the snakes using the paint pen; and blocked out the rest using shellac. I the no too distant future there will be a big day of etching. But for now that has been a good milestone achieved.

Blogger is playing up so I can't add captions etc.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Blooms and other bits

The iPhone snippets from the week tend to have a botanical flavour.

Beautiful orchids blooms from Fiona's dad's place.

©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith
A couple of bits of winter colour on the block.

©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith
A disgusting fungi close to where Fiona and her team were doing the Poets on the Precinct for the Maleny Celebration of Books over the weekend .

©2017 Barry Smith
Micro lichen in soft sun on the peace tree at the front go the block

©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith
And the difference a half an hour makes to the light  in the sky - before heading off for my walk and arriving home.

©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith