Wednesday, November 29, 2017


©2017 Barry Smith - Droplets in the base of an Argave
After a couple of fine days we are back to set-in rain. There was no walk along Treehaven Way this morning. Instead I did a meander on the block with umbrella and iPhone to capture some of the droplets that were still coming down and clinging to blossoms and leafs.

So this post really is sharing a few of those beautiful refreshing rain moments.

©2017 Barry Smith - Pink Crucifix Orchis with droplets
©2017 Barry Smith - A trio of suspended droplets on a Frangipani blossom
©2017 Barry Smith - Clear reflective droplets on a tiny Native Violet
©2017 Barry Smith - Rain on the water in the Fire Pit bowl
©2017 Barry Smith - Mini White Agapanthus blossom with droplet reflection the neighbouring Agapanthus stems
©2017 Barry Smith - A purple mini Agapanthus coated in glistening rain droplets
©2017 Barry Smith - New growth and droplets
©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith
©2017 Barry Smith - Against a grey rain filled sky
©2017 Barry Smith - A droplet gathering on a leaf
©2017 Barry Smith - Beads on an Argave leaf
Glad we got the deck sanding finished yesterday and the grass mowed as well. I emptied the rain gauge this morning  - it registered 70mm over the last week.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Lamps with an antique past

©2017 Barry Smith - Art nouveau bracket or adornment on a battered brass antique gas light pipe
I did get time today to finish the two Artisan Lamps I started on Friday. A little lethargic today after many hours of sanding on Friday and Saturday - but the decks are looking good though a shower of rain meant we could not finish them on Saturday. Hopefully there will be a few rain free days next week to enables us to complete the job.

Anyway back to the lamps. The key components of both lamps are antique gas light brass hardware (pipes, talk etc) that are 100-150 years old. I brought a stash of beaten and heavily corroded pieces in a box at a recycling sale - probably 2-3 years ago.

One of the lamps has a very art nouveau look about it. The gas pipe and decorative bracket are both quite delicate; but I like the artistic curve of the lamp.

©2017 Barry Smith - The finished art nouveau influenced Artisan Lamp - also includes gas ring from an old stove and other steel and brass found objects.
©2017 Barry Smith
The second lamp includes a strong brass piece that has two taps. I'm guessing it would have been used to shut off the gas to different parts of a house.

©2017 Barry Smith - Twin tap Artisan Lamp - main component os the brass piece with two shut-off taps - also includes a base plate from an old gas stove and other brass objects.
©2017 Barry Smith - The antique ceramic and brass light fitting has an unusual built in rotary switch
It was good to finally get to use the gas lighting parts and combine them with the antique electric light fitting I collected in Krakow.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Sanding, starting and selling

Bit of a mixed bag for a Friday. It has been a clear and rain free day.

Most of the time today has gone into sanding under the handrails on our many decks. Why I hear you ask? We have decided to strip all the decks (112 sq m) back to bare boards and give them a natural oil rather than the paint-stain that was on them. A professional is sanding the larger areas; but I need to sand all the bits close to the edges and under the rails (10cm above the deck boards). A very boring job that is hard on the knees, back and neck - but the end result will be worth it.

I did manage a little time to progress a couple of lamps. All the bits are selected and threaded etc ready for grinding and polishing before assembly. I hope to complete them over the weekend - sanding and weather permitting.

©2017 Barry Smith  - Collection of found objects that will come together to make an Artisan Lamp - includes gas lighting bits, brass section of a gas stove
©2017 Barry Smith  - Another selection of objects that will come together to make an Artisan Lamp - includes Artdeco  antique gas light fitting
A set of Fungi bowls went off to a new home today. That means I have none in stock so I better get back to the stake and hammer.

©2017 Barry Smith  - Fungi Bowls
A full Friday on the block.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Light and shadow - home and away

©2017 Barry Smith - Reflected light and shadow from the edge of a large crystal platter by Toini Mouna (Arabia 1943) - seen in Stockholm design collection exhibition
I never tire of glimpses of shadows or shadow like images - whether created by morning light; or lighting creating edges or fragile replicas or contrasts.

This morning's walk started with a sullen, sodden, shadowy sky and ended in rain. The shadow valley was a lovely welcome back to the mountain.

©2017 Barry Smith - Grey morning valley
On our trip away I was caught on quite a few occasions by shadow edges and reflected shadow images. Some I saw are below.

©2017 Barry Smith - Shadows deep in a funnel shaped glass bowl
©2017 Barry Smith - A weaver through her weaving - Dovecot tapestry studio in Edinburgh
©2017 Barry Smith - Moss Circle by Caroline Dear 2010 at Dovecot
©2017 Barry Smith - Woven reeds by Caroline Dear at Dovecot 
©2017 Barry Smith - Shadow of a suspended sculpture 
©2017 Barry Smith - Flooding ethereal light deep in the waters of the salt mine outside Krakow
©2017 Barry Smith - Light and dark - in the salt mine outside Krakow
©2017 Barry Smith - Edge of a scroll of handmade paper in a student exhibition in Krakow
©2017 Barry Smith - Stylistic cat image in a shop display
©2017 Barry Smith - Wild weather in the highlands of Scotland
Though shadows catch the eye - so do the unfurling frangipani after rain.

©2017 Barry Smith

Sunday, November 19, 2017

On the wall

I was planning to make and post on an Artisan Lamp - made using one of the ceramic and metal light fittings from Krakow; but as I'm still feeling a little under the weather I decided instead to sort some photos from the trip and post on those.

Photos always seem to fall into categories - so I thought I'd post on bits and pieces that appeared on walls in Krakow

I like the weathered and even overwritten nature of some of the wall images - layers of life and layers of messages!!!

Friday, November 17, 2017

A small collection

Fiona and I have returned to the quiet  of "the mountain" after a fews weeks overseas for work, relaxation and inspiration.

During the trip I kept my eye out for bits that I might include in small assemblages including Artisan Lamps. Because of luggage weight restrictions there was little that I could collect. However, from two "flea" markets in Krakow I managed to gather a small collection of antique ceramic and metal screw globe light fittings as you can see from the photos below.

©2017 Barry Smith - Antique ceramic and metal light fitting 
©2017 Barry Smith - A small collection of antique ceramic and metal light fitting 
©2017 Barry Smith - Some ceramic elements of antique light fitting 
©2017 Barry Smith - Components of an antique ceramic and metal light fitting 
©2017 Barry Smith - Antique ceramic and metal light fitting 
I could have purchased many other light fittings but many were either cracked and/or had essential parts missing. Even with the ones I purchased there is quite a bit of work to be done to ensure they are functional and safe to use in Artisan Lamps.

This little collection is a good reminder of our time spent in the city of Krakow - a city that at times has had such a tough and dark history; and yet today is a city that was generous to us, thrives and has a vibrant light art soul.