Friday, July 20, 2018

Process of the pieces for peace

©2018 Barry Smith - 77 pieces for peace on a rust background
One of the many things I have learnt from working with Fiona on art stuff is that the material matters and the meaning of the material matters. When I decided to make peace pieces for International Peace Day 2018 I made a conscious decision to chose one silver-plated round tray and to cut my pieces from that. The reasoning behind this decision was that the round tray for me represented the world; and only using the metal from this one tray was about unity through peace.

So my one tray was marked up and when cut into the rectangles of metal I wanted there were 77 pieces. So 77 was to be the number of my pieces for peace for 2018.

©2018 Barry Smith - One tray, one peace, one world
©2018 Barry Smith - Potential for peace
Another decision I made was that all pieces would be stamped with the peace symbol but that symbol would be accompanied by four other symbols: the tree of life, dandelion seed pod, a lotus flower and intwined hearts. For me all these have meaning associated with peace - though folk might say how does the dandelion seed pod fit in - well for me it is a tenacious little thing that floats on the breeze and has the potential to germinate and multiply - hopefully like peace.

The 77 metal blanks were: stamped; corners trimmed; and a hole for a cord or a ring punched.

©2018 Barry Smith - Lotus flower and peace symbol stamped on 10 silver-plated blanks - the metal  has a satin finish as I stamped the back of the blanks which was the underside of the tray
©2018 Barry Smith - Stamped, punched and corners trimmed ready for grinding and polishing
After grinding and polishing the 77 pieces for peace looked gorgeous on the workbench.

©2018 Barry Smith - 77 pieces for peace
Though lurking in the stash of 77 were three imperfect pieces. Because I had made the decision to only use metal from one tray these imperfect ones could not be replaced. One had a corner clipped as part of the original metal cutting process, one was punched upside down, and the metal peace symbol stamp jumped when I went to stamp peace so I had to over stamp it with the tree of life. I think these three represent the fact that peace itself can be a bit imperfect; but imperfect peace is so much better than violence, aggression and oppression.

©2018 Barry Smith - Imperfect peace 
The 77 pieces for peace 2018 are now ready for distribution on or before 21 September.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Fragments from the phone

©2018 Barry Smith - First snowdrops appearing on the lower terraces
There was no opportunity to do an early morning walk today as we had some early morning commitments. So I thought I would share a few images that were on the iPhone and hadn't been uploaded to the computer or deleted.

So in no particular order.

©2018 Barry Smith - Swamp orchid emerging
©2018 Barry Smith - A small garden of moss on the front edge of a garden shed step
©2018 Barry Smith - Micro web droplets against a rust wall
©2018 Barry Smith - Micro suspended lichen with web and droplets
©2018 Barry Smith - A spray of G's orchids with a louvre background
©2018 Barry Smith - Mountains and sunset through a travelling car window
©2018 Barry Smith - Micro lichen with web and droplets
I still love the ability to have the iPhone camera to capture some fragments of the world around me.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

A gathering of small silver-plated book earrings


©2018 Barry Smith - Looking down on the gathering of tiny metal books (1.8cm high and 1.2cm wide)
During the week I managed to get the stash of 13 pairs of  silver-plated tiny riveted metal books made for the book earrings. The earwires were added - so presto we have earrings. I added earring clips to two pair and turned one pair into a pendant as not all folk have pierced ears and not all folk wear earrings.

The metal books needed to be made and riveted in left and right configurations and the metal need to match so I had to keep them in small containers right through the process. Made from offcuts of silver-plated brass - formerly small trays and placemats.

©2018 Barry Smith - Twelve of the books riveted but not opened
©2018 Barry Smith - Thirteen pairs of books ground, polished and opened
The outcome however was worth it as you can see from the photos below.

©2018 Barry Smith - Tiny metal book earrings (content joy & wonder)
©2018 Barry Smith - Clip on earrings
©2018 Barry Smith Tiny metal book pendant
©2018 Barry Smith - Twelve pair of tiny metal book earrings
I think the members of the Celebration of Books Maleny team might like their gifts.

Friday, July 13, 2018

The outcome of a small commission

©2018 Barry Smith - Trio of small metal books
As a result of the post on the small metal books I was asked to make a small book with the word "write" in it. Of course one can't just make a single book; so I decided that though the day would be a bit out of shape because of Celebration of Books Maleny commitments I could get three little books completed if I started yesterday afternoon. The three books were made from a high quality silver-plated placemat.

So a few photos of the progress and outcome of the project follow.

©2018 Barry Smith - Content of the books
©2018 Barry Smith - Drilled and riveted
©2018 Barry Smith - Ground and polished - on the workbench
©2018 Barry Smith - Books opened
©2018 Barry Smith - Trio of freestanding small metal books (about 5cm high and 3cm wide).
©2018 Barry Smith - Good book to end the blog on
Now off to the Celebration of the Book activities.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

So it is not spring yet

©2018 Barry Smith - Monday a blush of light in the east - cracking the dark - if you enlarge the photo up you can see the stars
I had a little moan to Fiona today about how it is still dark at 5.30am. She said that she did not think it was as dark as you think. She offered to open the window to enable me to see clearly. I declined the offer and thought I'd check when I went on my walk. But I think it was still pretty dark

©2018 Barry Smith - Wednesday morning - heavy layer of cloud
©2018 Barry Smith - Looking up in Treehaven Way - that is a real winter look.
However - the orchids, camellias and rainbows still offer colour.

©2018 Barry Smith - Tiny (1.5cm) orchid in Graham's orchid house
©2018 Barry Smith - Gorgeous orange crucifix orchids by the book wall
©2018 Barry Smith _ I never tire of the contrast of the white crucifix orchids against the dark morning background
©2018 Barry Smith - One of the final winter camellias
©2018 Barry Smith - Rainbow through the louvre windows on a tiny wood and paper sculpture by Ken Munsie

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Small metal books

©2018 Barry Smith - Reflections, shadows and rust - looking down on the three freestanding books - casting their own light and shadows in the sun
I have used a bit of the time over the weekend to progress the making of some small metal books inspired by Maleny Celebration of Books next weekend.

I planned to do: a couple of small (pages are 50mm high and 30mm wide) freestanding sculptural books; and a number of small (pages are 19mm high and 13mm wide) book earrings.

As you see from the photos below I managed to get the freestanding books completed.

©2018 Barry Smith - Opening pages of the small metal books in the vice with tap to protect the silver-plated metal
©2018 Barry Smith - Each metal book has its own content (word - in the car of these three shine, breathe and wonder)
©2018 Barry Smith - Shiny covers still in a need of a little cleaning to get rid of the marking used for opening the pages of the books
And I made a pair of the books for the book earrings. These are tiny siblings of the larger small metal book.

©2018 Barry Smith - Tiny earring books - with their own words (stamped with 1.5mm metal stamp)
©2018 Barry Smith - This photo shows just how tiny the books for the earrings are
I hope to get more of the book earrings done during the week and blog on that later.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Love the lustre of the metal in this trio

©2018 Barry Smith - A trio of Fungi Bowls - from a recycled silver-plated copper tray
I suspected that the metal I was using for a series of Fungi Bowls was going to be delightful to work with; and would result in a beautiful hammered surface and a glorious copper edge - I was a not disappointed.

I usually start making fungi bowls by cutting the 'circles' a bit on the wobbly side given fungi is not always perfect in its shapes. The cut shapes are made into rudimentary bowls by pressing them in a metal form with a hydraulic press.

©2018 Barry Smith - Ten pressed bowl forms
To give purchase in the subsequent hammering process I create a small indentation in the bowl form.

©2018 Barry Smith - Rudimentary bowl with indentation hammered into the centre
©2018 Barry Smith - Form for creating the indentation  - love the silver that has been building up over time
Then it is over to the left hand stake where I do a first round of hammering to raise the bowl into a tighter shaped vessel.

©2018 Barry Smith - Raising stakes and raising hammer
©2018 Barry Smith - Top bowl is tighter after a solid raising session
Then I use a finger shaped stake to systematically hammer the bowl into the conical shape.

©2018 Barry Smith - Noticeable difference after hammering on two different stakes using two different hammering patterns
I must be pretty consistent in my process and technique as the three fungi bowls come out fitting neatly inside each other.

©2018 Barry Smith - A trio of rough fungi bowls
After a grind and polish three beautiful vessels emerge.

©2018 Barry Smith - Beautiful silver and copper lustre
©2018 Barry Smith - Backs of the Fungi Bowls