Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Blossoms on the block

©2018 Barry Smith - One of Graham's beauties
I didn't get time to walk Treehaven Way this morning as Fiona and I were on taxi duty taking Fiona's dad Graham to the airport. It seems we are playing tag in regard to the cottage in Scotland. Graham is off to experience a Scottish winter in the cottage. I'm glad we upgraded the heating.

Since we have been back quite a bit of energy has gone into getting control of the bigger veggie garden and the rest of the block - we must have good soil as the weeds grew heaps. The upside is that the flowers on the block also grew heaps including some of Graham's orchids that reside at our place and our crucifix orchids.

So below is a bit of a mixed bag of the blossoms on the block including quite a few of our crucifix orchids.

©2018 Barry Smith 
©2018 Barry Smith 
©2018 Barry Smith  - A new white crucifix plant has flowered
©2018 Barry Smith 
©2018 Barry Smith  - Love the whiteness of this gardenia
©2018 Barry Smith 
©2018 Barry Smith  
©2018 Barry Smith  - Almost white rose
©2018 Barry Smith 
©2018 Barry Smith  - A swamp orchid - only been in the ground for less than a year
©2018 Barry Smith  
©2018 Barry Smith  - Micro flowers 
©2018 Barry Smith  - And there were a few waratahs to be picked.
I hope to get back to my Treehaven Walk soon.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

A bunch of leaf form spoons

©2018 Barry Smith - Rust and recycled silver-plate
I didn't get as much time to work on product over the weekend as I planned. It turned out that Fiona and I needed to put a bit of time into taking our wooden letterbox apart and replacing it with a firmer cement one as we found on Friday that wood rot had taken over the one that sat there for 10 years.

Anyway I did manage to get 14 Leaf Tea Caddy Spoons completed. A few process photos follow.

©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith
They need a final polish; and some swing tags attached before they can go to market. Hmmm!! That means I need to call on our resident calligrapher to do some swing tags for me. I need to break that to Fiona gently.

©2018 Barry Smith - Almost totally trashed brass polishing wheel on a rusted rectangular washer

Friday, October 26, 2018

Hard metal or weak hands?

©2018 Barry Smith - Offcuts of hard brass
It is the first Friday back on the mountain after our 6 weeks in the cottage in Scotland. Whilst we did quite a bit of manual work around the cottage whilst there it was always with heavy padded gloves and large tools.

Today I started to make 'product' - probably about 15 Leaf Tea Caddy Spoons and 15 Leaf-spoons. Of course it involved cutting up a number of silver plated drink and serving trays which is quite easy with my large bench top guillotine.

©2018 Barry Smith
But after marking the metal up the curved blanks needed to be cut by hand with small jeweller's metal shears.

©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith
After a while I found I needed to add on a couple of band-aids to keep the blisters at bay.

The metal certainly was hard - I suspected there was nickel in the brass.

It did get the stashes cut but I wanted to test doing leaf forming before committing myself to the 30 pieces of cut metal. I annealed a couple and didn't anneal a comparison piece. If you look closely you can see the leaf on the right has a stretch tension lines - this us the un-annealed piece. the other two worked better and unfolded without the tension line.

©2018 Barry Smith
At least there were no fractures. So all the pieces are ready for forming etc over the weekend if time permits.

©2018 Barry Smith - Ready for annealing and fold forming
©2018 Barry Smith - Annealed and ready for fold forming

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Grey on grey

On our recent trip to northern Scotland I became fascinated by the the sky and the sea as seen from the headland near the fishing cove in the village we called home for 6 weeks.

There were times where the sky met the land and sea was obvious

©2018 Barry Smith - From the headland to the sea and sky
©2018 Barry Smith - Clear somber line
©2018 Barry Smith - To infinity
But there were times when it was so enticing to see that the sea and sky had almost become one.

©2018 Barry Smith - Air and water merge 1
©2018 Barry Smith - Air and water merge 2
©2018 Barry Smith - Air and water merge 3
Air and water merging - grey on grey, grey in grey - air on water - water under air.

Monday, October 1, 2018

A different light

My time in the cottage this time has again reinforced the contrasting nature of the light in the Highlands.

Though there is often a pallet of greys; there also can be sunshine in the foreground with a squall in the background; of a moon with scudding clouds. On a single walk there can be different skies in four directions. On Friday on our walk to the fishing cove the sun was peering through clods on the right and the moon was periodically appearing from behind clods on the left.

Following are a few random photos of the Highland light.