Sunday, July 29, 2018

Completing the sculpture bridge and beginning the installation

©2-18 Barry Smith - Offset bridge across the 'rock river' and standing stone in stalled
I managed to get a couple of morning over the weekend to work on the offset bridge across our rock river. Saturday's resulted in about two thirds of the decking was finished.

©2-18 Barry Smith - A third of the bridge decking to be added after Saturday's effort
On Sunday morning I completed it.

© 2018 Fiona Dempster - Screwing the last decking board in place
© 2018 Fiona Dempster - Barry hiding behind a bare maple - building a small rock retaining wall to allow a flat gravel stepping off point to be added
But whilst I worked on the bridge Fiona was cleaning off the sandstone  so we could install one piece.

© 2018 Fiona Dempster - The sandstone was really coated in a lot of crime and mould.
© 2018 Fiona Dempster - a contrast
© 2018 Fiona Dempster - Four slabs of sandstone showing their beautiful bands of colours - each piece is about 1m long, 30cm wide and 15cm thick - and heavy.
It was a two person job getting the block of sandstone down the sloe, along the terrace and then lowered onto the pad I had prepared earlier.

© 2018 Fiona Dempster - Sliding a cleaned sandstone slab down hill on a gravelled slope.
© 2018 Fiona Dempster - Trudging along one of the terraces with the slab on a trolley
Fiona was able to guide the angles and level from above.

© 2018 Fiona Dempster - Fiona gives instruction on the placement of the small sandstone standing stone - with the valley and mountains in the south-south west as a backdrop - our boundary ends at the corrugated iron fence
The outcome gave us great satisfaction - the sculptures and installations near and on the rock river are progressing as we envisioned them - still a few more bits of the jigsaw to be put in place.

© 2018 Fiona Dempster - Two bridges and three installations near the rock river - there are five terraces in the photo - we have quite a steep block.
There are three more pieces of sandstone to be installed as a group on the valley side of the bridge. But that is for a later time

Friday, July 27, 2018

A sculpture bridge across the 'rock river"

©2018 Barry Smith - High quality design document for the offset bridge over the rock river
Fiona and I are continuing to install a few sculptural bits and pieces on the block. This includes installing pieces in and near what we refer to as the rock river below our house. The photo above shows the result of a significant design conversation between Fiona and I. If you go to the last photo in this blog you can see what some of the lines are about - we are building an offset bridge to fit the offset alignment of the terraces on opposite sides of the rock river..

But the main points of our discussion, as recorded on the rusty tray, were about: whether the area where the two sections of the bridge meet will have 3, 4 or 5 planks across the two offset bits; and where will we place the sandstone pieces. The conclusion from the design discussions was that there would be 5 planks; and there would be one sandstone piece on the left hand side closer to the house and three pieces more towards the centre and below the bridge.

The job started about 8am this morning in the cool and shade - I got a friend to help carry the 4.8m plank down and roughly align it whilst Fiona stood on the deck above and told us if it aligned with the existing bridge across the rock river. This plank will be the spine of the bridge.

©2018 Fiona Dempster - Placing the 4.8m plank that becomes the centre spine of the bridge - shady and cool morning
And then I was a left to construct the framework of the bridge including digging holes for and concreting 10 support posts.

©2018 Barry Smith - Bolting the supports to the plank in readiness for concreting
©2018 Barry Smith - Great to have battery powered tools for the job
©2018 Barry Smith - Clearing a path through the rocks so that the upper plank can be placed in position
©2018 Barry Smith - The shape of the offset bridge with spaces for the sandstone becoming more clearly defined
The concrete will cure overnight. I will begin the process of adding the decking of the bridge tomorrow. I'm not sure if we will get the sandstone in place over the weekend - we will see.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Winter light, the moon and a bit of rust

©2018 Barry Smith - Smoke infused winter sunset
This morning Fiona said the idea of the shortest day of the year thing just gives us a false impression that the mornings are going to get lighter - and that is not true. But the fact is that my morning walk started in low light not darkness and by the time I got home there was a good blush of light and colour in the sky.

©2018 Barry Smith - Morning cloud and sculpture at the top of the driveway
©2018 Barry Smith - Morning star on my way up the driveway this morning
©2018 Barry Smith - Morning light in Treehaven Way
©2018 Barry Smith - The valley light before leaving home
©2018 Barry Smith  - The valley light arriving home home
Yesterday afternoon, last night and then early this morning I rejoiced in the moon - note the rotation of the moon from yesterday afternoon through to very early this morning

©2018 Barry Smith - Afternoon moon - yesterday
©2018 Barry Smith - Moon early last night
©2018 Barry Smith - Moon very easily this morning 
©2018 Barry Smith - Edge of the moon very early this morning 
And what is not to love about rust and rainbows.

©2018 Barry Smith - Light through there fruit bowl
©2018 Barry Smith - Rust on black plastic
©2018 Barry Smith - Rainbow on folded book and painting canvas

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Riveted circle

©2018 Barry Smith - A circle of riveted earrings made from offcuts of silver, silver plated copper and silver-plated brass
As part of my garage-studio tidy-up a few months ago I came across a container with quite a number of small offcuts that had been saved to make riveted earrings. Over the weekend I committed to making a stash of earrings from the pieces. I knew I would not have the time to use up all the metal - so I committed myself to making 7 pair of earrings.

©2018 Barry Smith - Metal offcuts - potentially riveted earrings
Riveted earrings don't look like they would take much time; but it is surprising just how much time goes into: the cutting, design, grinding and polishing the small fragments of metal, punching the holes for the rivets and riveting itself. Anyway I did manage 7 pair as you can see from the photo below.
©2018 Barry Smith - Rough cut metal and some holes punched - ready for bringing and polishing
©2018 Barry Smith - Riveted sets of earrings ready for jump rings and ear wires
Jump rings and earwigs need to be added; and then presto one has the completed pairs.

©2018 Barry Smith - All the ear wires are solid 925 silver
©2018 Barry Smith - Small (25mm long) pair of earrings made from: solid sterling silver hammered offcuts, solid silver stars, solid silver rivets and solid silver ears wires
©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith - Triple layered riveted earrings - about 40mm long
©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith
I must get around to putting a few pair into my online shop.

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.