Friday, June 29, 2018

Off to market

©2018 Barry Smith - Sixteen Leafspoons ground and polished - yet in need of a twist and final cloth polish
I have been making product to go to Maleny Additions and Entangle. This can be fairly mundane creativity. I can put a bit more interest into the work if I: look for ways to improve the pieces; streamline the techniques; and find new 'tools.

The photos below show some steps in the process of making 16 Leafspoons and the photo captions give an idea of what I mean by streamlining and or finding tools that work better.

©2018 Barry Smith - Four of the found tools that I suet progressively and gently unfold the leaves - the fifth step is setting the leaf on the anvil with a plastic-nylon mallet. From left to right the tools are: head of a chisel shaped hammer, wine barrel chisel, carpet layer's chisel and a heavy duty cheer knife.
©2018 Barry Smith - Leaves unfolded but they need the spoon section to be created
©2018 Barry Smith - Thumbprint like indent in the end grain of a piece of hardwood used for forming the spoon bowl shaped section 
©2018 Barry Smith - Leafspoons in the rough
©2018 Barry Smith - The six hammers I use in the Leafspoon making process
Ten of the Leafspoons, along with 10 Tea Caddy Spoons, will be delivered to Maleny Additions tomorrow. There are some who say that people only really buy the Leafspoons so that they can get one of Fiona's handmade swing tags - could be right.

©2018 Barry Smith Leafspoons with swing tags - ready for delivery - made from recycled silver-plated trays
A good Friday in the garage-studio.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


The last week has been a week of contrasts: sunny day; cold and windy days; and the last few days dreary drizzly rain and dim overcast light.

These contrasts can be seen in the photos following.

The sun casting rainbows into the house through louvre glass edges - an intense rainbow was playing on a Alex Bridge's small dark painting (Cause and Effect) on our wall of small things. The rainbow overlay could only be seen with this intensity from one specific spot in the office.

©2018 Barry Smith - Rainbow on a segment of Alex's painting
Sun shining on the Ken Munsie's garden stake chair sculpture at the entrance to the house - highlighting the patina on a fallen peace bird and the rescued bird's nest.

©2018 Barry Smith 
©2018 Barry Smith
And this morning - there was no walk as it was drizzling. Early light through the lens was dark-navy blue - so dark that the iPhone lens was distorting the colour in an effort to pick up the detail of the leafless tree.
©2018 Barry Smith - A ghost of a the tree at the top of the drive in the navy light
©2018 Barry Smith - Play of dim light from a solar pathway light
About a half hour later a small amount of colour and definition was emerging.

©2018 Barry Smith - The tree at the top of the drive emerges
©2018 Barry Smith - Looking south into the valley - some layers of ghostly grey green

Sunday, June 24, 2018


©2018 Barry Smith - A firm grip on the Tea Caddy Leafspoon as I polish on the cotton jeweller's polishing wheel - the gloves have seen better days.
Over the weekend I got stuck into the stash of metal I had cut on Thursday and Friday. The first task was to make a batch of Tea Caddy Leafspoons as both Maleny Additions and Entangle were out of stock.

The metal blanks were marked up and cut and then the blank forms went through their process of transformation.

©2018 Barry Smith - Silver-plated blanks marked up
©2018 Barry Smith - Quite a lot of cutting with small curved metal shears
©2018 Barry Smith - Bowl section of the spoons formed ready for the leaf section to be folded, hammered and then opened
©2018 Barry Smith - Forms partially opened 
©2018 Barry Smith - Forms opened, edges ground and ready for polishing with cotton wheel and silver polish
©2018 Barry Smith - Looking shiny after polishing
©2018 Barry Smith - Six of the 16 leaves had brass back as the silver-plated just disintegrated in the hammering process

As you can see from the photos I made 16 Tea Caddy Leafspoons in all. I thought I had 15 blanks but as it turned out there were 16.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Metal harvest

©2018 Barry Smith - Metal harvested from 10 silver-plated trays ranging in size from about 17cm in diameter and  40cm in diameter - with a variety of decorative edges
Much of my hammered metal work is made from: silver-plated copper; silver plated brass; and silver-plated ENPS. The metal is generally cut from silver-plated trays that I find in op-shops or have them gifted to me. Quite often such trays become too much of a hassle for folk to clean so they go to op-shops; or get thrown in the garbage if they are too tarnished. Using this metal is a good way of giving these objects a new life.

I'm about to launch into a fairly solid period of making stock for Maleny Additions, Entangle and my on-line shop. So I decided to have a day of cutting the trays into the shapes and pieces I need for the work. It also gives me a chance to salvage a lot of the smaller offcuts for other projects; and of course I can harvest the small but good quality fragments for smelting - I separate out silver-plated copper and silver-plated brass into two different containers. The silver-plated copper results in a silver toned copper in the smelt; and the silver-plated brass gives a soft toned brass.

Below I will just share a heap of photos and record the size and purpose in the caption.

©2018 Barry Smith- Gorgeous 30cm silver-plated heavy copper tray with inscription in the centre. It is marked up for fungi bowl circles of metal - spaces are so I can miss cutting the three feet underneath
©2018 Barry Smith - Twelve fungi bowl circles - about 60-65mm in diameter 
©2018 Barry Smith - This 40cm tray is marked up in 2.5cm strips. I'm going to use the metal tags (2.5cmX4cm) for my 2018 International Peace Day giveaways. My theme is one world one peace.
©2018 Barry Smith - I managed to cut 77 tags from the tray with very little metal heading to the smelter container
©2018 Barry Smith - Fifteen blanks for Tea Caddy Spoons - blanks need to be 4cm wide and 12.5 cm long - I keep a template for each of my stock products.
©2018 Barry Smith - Again 15 blanks for making Leafspoons - the blanks need to be 3cm wide and 16.5 cm long
©2018 Barry Smith - Six blanks for Leaf Pate Knives - 3cm wide and 17cm long
©2018 Barry Smith - About 25 blanks for giveaway peace leaves - the last 15 I made a week ago are gone already. The blanks for these leaves are about 2.5cm wide and 10-11cm long.
©2018 Barry Smith - About 18 blanks that will be used for daily leaf words - these blanks need to be about 1,7cm wide and 8cmm long
©2018 Barry Smith - These circles of metal will be used for the bowl section of ladles - the diameter of the circles is about 8cm
©2018 Barry Smith - Edge shot of the 12 pieces to be used for the fungi bowl
As well as about 10 other pieces I have set aside , the post shows 172 pieces of cut metal that resulted from the cutting process. Each of these will become hammered and stamped objects.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Dark winter walks

©2018 Barry Smith - Star in the sky, house lights in the valley and the lights of Brisbane Port and CBD
©2018 Barry Smith - First blush of light in Treehaven Way
This mornings walk certainly started on the dark side. It wan't until I returned home that the valley had begun to show it's winter dawn colours of blue and pink.

©2018 Barry Smith - Winter morning colour - on a cold clear morning
But there is always a winter flower, last of the season's camellias, to give colour to the block.

©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith
And what is not to love about yesterday's moon in the sky before sunset.

©2018 Barry Smith- Moon before sunset - hanging in a grey-blue sky (Canon Powershot)

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Updating the shop

For many reasons I have just not got around to updating the products in my online shop. But Fiona and I agreed that today was the day to at least make a start, Of course this included needing to refamiliarise ourselves with how to actually: upload text, do pricing, insert photos etc. And the task is not made easy when the internet slows down to a snail's pace.

Whilst I have not finished the task I have at least got a few more things into the shop including: the remaining three of the Fire Within series; a couple of my Daily Leaf Word sets; a leaf sculpture (Bending 6); and a couple of sets of hammered vessels.  A few photos of a few of the items that went in today.

©2018 Barry Smith - One of the pieces in the Fire Within series
©2018 Barry Smith - This is what the Fire Within pieces look like when the layers are fitted on top of each other
©2018 Barry Smith - This is what the piece above looks like when the top is taken off and turned upside-down 
©2018 Barry Smith - One of the Daily Leaf Word sets - words to inspire and focus the mind during the day.
©2018 Barry Smith - Fungi Forms inspired by the shallow bowl like fungi that attaches itself to decaying logs after rain
©2018 Barry Smith - These vessels are about form not function
©2018 Barry Smith - Sun and shadow play with the patinated leaf forms of Bending 6 - note that the pumpkin vines thought it was companionable to wind through the installation
©2018 Barry Smith - Leaf-stem forms of Bending 6 curing in the gravel before being installed over at the the shed studio
Hopefully I will get a bit more time over the week to add more in. You can check out progress to date by clicking here.