Friday, November 30, 2018

Tall and slender - Artisan Lamp that is

©2018 Barry Smith - Polished bits for the lamp - each of the cylinders is about 20cm-25cm long
I planned to finish paint the edge boards of our decks in the cool and shadow today; so I got started on an Artisan Floor Lamp on Wednesday. The lamp got finished this afternoon.

The tall slender lamp was inspired by five solid fuel pods off vintage plumbers soldering irons (after and before photos are above and below).  The fuel pods act as the handle of the soldering iron and have a built in hand operated pressure pump.

©2018 Barry Smith - The handles-fuel pods of the pressure soldering irons looked as though they had a hard life. I had used the heads of the soldering irons in other Artisan Lamps.
I gave the polished bits a coat of clear spray.

©2018 Barry Smith - you might note a couple of holes drilled on the edges of the cylinders - that is where the power cord will be threaded through the bodies.
And as is the way of my lamp designs it takes time to select other bits that will go with the main element. I needed a stable base so a cast-iron wheel and a cast iron pulley were selected. To make the whole lamp tight and stable I selected a 10mm thick brass metal thread to go right up the centre and hold it all together with nuts at the top and bottom.

©2018 Barry Smith - Cleaned and painted cast-iron bits for the lamp base
I tested the assembling of the lamp on the workbench.

©2018 Barry Smith
The finished lamp has come together well.

©2018 Barry Smith Artisan Floor Lamp - stands about 1.5m high
©2018 Barry Smith
Time for a very cool glass of white wine on this warm day.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Fragment from the last few days

©2018 Barry Smith - Bee collecting pollen rom wild flowers
Sometimes the images we catch are serendipity personified. Tuesday morning I was down the back of the block watering a few trees Fiona and had planted on Saturday morning. Because we are having hot days with winds it is important to nurse them along until we get a decent shower of rain. I happened to take my iPhone because I was listening to music as I watered. I noticed a lot of bee activity on a little native bush - I was fortunate to catch the photo above of one bee that was well on the way to having a load to take back to the hive.

The combination of clouds and the setting sun can be fleeting matters - so catching the moment when the rays are streaming though can be a matter of serendipity.

©2018 Barry Smith  - Rays
Flowers on the other hand offer their beauty over a longer period.

©2018 Barry Smith  - Hydrangea blossom
©2018 Barry Smith  - Tiny orchid in G's orchid house after watering
©2018 Barry Smith  - Very rich maroon small orchid in G's orchid house - something has taken a few bites
©2018 Barry Smith  - Sage blossoms
©2018 Barry Smith  - A couple more Bird-wing Butterfly vine blossoms - I just find the shapes and colours intriguing - looks as though it could trap insects
©2018 Barry Smith  - Birdwing Butterfly vine seed pod - more vines in the future?
©2018 Barry Smith  - Centre of a pale pink rose in our garden - seen early this morning
©2018 Barry Smith  - Hibiscus on my morning walk today
So much to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Small reflective pools

©2018 Barry Smith - Tree of Life symbol seen through clear glass resin on the buffed surface of the recycled metal from the old serving tray - reflecting the light and colours in the studio-garage
I did get time over the weekend to complete 50 tree of life small bowls.

After grinding and polishing the stamped and formed small squared bowls were ready for a pool of clear glass resin.

©2018 Barry Smith  - Fifty small squared bowl forms on the grinding-polishing workbench
©2018 Barry Smith  - Ready for resin on a studio-garage workbench
The glass resin adds another dimension to the wee gifts - it looks like they are not only holding water but each piece is like a small reflective pool. When held in the hand it is like looking through a layer of water at the stamped tree of life symbol below.

©2018 Barry Smith  - Giving new beginnings in life
©2018 Barry Smith  - Layers 

©2018 Barry Smith  - Looking out from the studio-garage to the trees
©2018 Barry Smith  - Small reflective pools - some reflecting the colour of the trees outside the studio-garage
There are multiple layers to these small pieces: metal that is being given a new role and meaning; the micro bowls reflect alms bowls; the stamped tree of life symbol is linked to new beginnings; and the clear resin is linked to clear water one of the important elements of life.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Double pressed

©2018 Barry Smith - First pressing of the small bowl shapes
I'm in the process of making some small artistic giveaway pieces to recognise local folk who have given to our community through volunteering.

I decided to make small square bowl shapes with the tree of life symbol stamped in the bottom. Why tree of life? Well,  I think the volunteers give folk new beginnings; new leases of life; new growth etc.

I'm making about 50 of the pieces - though I think I might only need about 45. The work of course starts with cutting up an old  serving tray into 35mm squares.

©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith
Stamping the tree of life symbol on the flat metal.

©2018 Barry Smith - Great big old copper hammer for the job
©2018 Barry Smith - Tree of life symbol stamped on silver-plated metal square
Then pressing the stamped squares into bowl shapes. For me this is a two step process: first press the metal in a wooden form I made for jobs such as this; and then pressing the partially shaped pieces into a steel dapping block.

©2018 Barry Smith - First pressing in a wooden form
©2018 Barry Smith - Second pressing in a steel form
©2018 Barry Smith - Left is result of first pressing; and the right is after the second pressing
I have not finished doing the second press on the pieces - that and the rest of the steps in making these small art pieces will be done over the weekend.

©2018 Barry Smith - Some of the 50 have had their second press
©2018 Barry Smith - Tree of life in base of small square bowl shape.
It is time  for me to head off and make a gourmet pizza!!!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Beauty enhanced by the sun

©2018 Barry Smith
In the main, so far, today has been a blue sky day with occasional drifts of clouds. Blossoms and lichen seem to reach out for the light offered on this blue sky day; and they appear to reflect it in their enhanced colour (even the whites).

A few photos of the blossoms that grabbed my eye follow.

©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith 
Of course there were so many more fragments of beauty which were quietly absorbed and enjoyed.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Goal achieved

©2018 Barry Smith - Components of an Artisan Lamp in the rough
Over the weekend I found just enough time to complete the four Artisan Lamps.  I had set myself as a goal of ten lamps to achieve.

As usual the lamps start life as pretty rough bits and pieces from my collection of found objects. But with quite a bit of grinding and polishing the true beauty of the pieces can be revealed.

©2018 Barry Smith  - Trays of rough and grimy bits for four lamps before grinding and polishing.

©2018 Barry Smith  - Trays of bits for four lamps after grinding and polishing.
Assembling and wiring can take time - sometimes it is difficult to get the wires around corners. But I did manage it and all the lamps were successfully tested.

©2018 Barry Smith - Lamp made from pieces at the start of this post
©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith - Artisan Lamp made from antique clock body and gas light fitting and few other found objects
©2018 Barry Smith 
©2018 Barry Smith - The largish pressure gauge drove the design of this Artisan Lamp
©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith - Quirky little number that combines a vintage industrial light with, gas tap, part of a chandelier and various found plumbing bits.
©2018 Barry Smith
The lamp with the large pressure gauge needs a bit more work to increase the weight and hence stability of the bottom. I had no more time to do that today so it will be a job for early next week.