Sunday, November 17, 2019

Starting and continuing

©2019 Barry Smith - Stamped star and tiny lowers
There was not a lot of time available to get into the garage-studio over the weekend - plenty of things to do on the block and in the neighbourhood.

I had a plan in my mind about what I would do this year as tokens to recognise the work of some of our local volunteers. I need to keep it simple as I need to make about 40 of these tokens of appreciation. I have decided on a concave triangle that has a star (volunteers are stars) and small flowers The photo above shows a bit of the detail of the stamped star; and the photos below just a couple of photos of the process.

©2019 Barry Smith - Deciding on the size of the metal triangles  - marking up rough silver-plated metal
©2019 Barry Smith - Comparison of smaller and larger triangles of metal
©2019 Barry Smith - Stamped concave triangles - about 60mm from top to bottom and 40mm across the bottom - hole in the top in case some want to turn them into pendants of for a keyring - still in need of grinding and polishing
I think this design will work so I will now make about 40 of them.

I used a bit of time to progress the word-leaves. The bigger ones are now ready for grinding and polishing. The smaller ones have been hammered but need opening before grinding and polishing.

©2019 Barry Smith - Small word-leaves hammered ready for opening
©2019 Barry Smith - Larger word-leaves opened and ready for grinding and polishing
Progress on multiples can seem slow - but that is just because of the numbers. Hopeful;l;y they will be done during the week.

Friday, November 15, 2019


©2019 Barry Smith - Words to pierce the darkness
The world we live in seems to become more challenging and a bit darker as the days go on - politicians who do not support their people, weather that seems to be crazy, killing in the name of causes and country......

It has made me a bit sad and I believe many folk feel that way. When I thought about what I might do in the garage-studio this week I felt an urge to make leaf words - words that I could share with others that might just encourage us to keep going, keep seeking peace, keep seeking kindness, keep letting our politicians know that the climate and the disposed and poor matter.

So this post is simply about the process of beginning to make 60 plus word leaves with the following words stamped on them: joy, hope, peace, dream, wonder, kindness, shine and love. As I stamp the words I do so with quiet hope.

©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith - Folding kindness 
©2019 Barry Smith - 40 plus folded pieces of silver-plate with stamped words
©2019 Barry Smith - Tiny pieces can be a challenge for big thumb and finger
©2019 Barry Smith - All folded
©2019 Barry Smith - Marking up for cutting
©2019 Barry Smith - 40 plus larger folded leaf forms
I hope to finish them over the weekend. I would like to believe that gifting these, or getting other to gift them, might just piece a bit of the darkness.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Tough times for nature

©2019 Barry Smith - Balancing - magpie on the wire - Treehaven Way
As some would be aware we have been having lots of fires in Australia including Queensland. One of the fires was close by and we are still on alert. Lot of smoke still fills the valley as you can see from the photo below.

©2019 Barry Smith - Smoke shrouded mountains this morning
©2019 Barry Smith
The added difficulty for nature has been the heat and wind which has resulted in many stressed trees; and leaves and bark being blown off.

©2019 Barry Smith - Leaf litter on the road 
©2019 Barry Smith - Bark strips and leaves on the road
But nature still offers some smiles in these challenging times.

©2019 Barry Smith - Visitor on the front door
©2019 Barry Smith -= Frangipanis are popping out
©2019 Barry Smith - A visiting Sulphur Crested Cockatoo in Treehaven  Way - made a lot of other birds agitated
©2019 Barry Smith - Driveway of Jacaranda blossoms
©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith
And acts of kindness make one smile.

©2019 Barry Smith - This woman and her dogs often links up with this old guy and they walk hand in hand up and down Treehaven Way. The five of us gather and talk and pat - she is not related to him in any way - its just a gorgeous act of kindness.
Ahhh! the sun is sets and moon rises at the same time  - seen from our front pathway.

©2019 Barry Smith - Rising moon - late afternoon
©2019 Barry Smith - Sun sets as moon rises - check out the colour of the smoke filled sky

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Bone stories

©2019 Barry Smith - Sawn bone on the rusty type-writer at the studio-shed
We have been rather busy over the weekend on watch and alert for ember attack from the bushfire that at times has raged in the valley below. Fortunately this fire has, in the main, been brought under control for the moment - but many spot fire outbreaks still occur - so don't stand down and don't put the firefighting gear away just yet.

This morning I decided to do a small bit of creative work that fits with my fishing boat prototype from Friday. Continuing a bit of the story of the fishing industry in northern Scotland in the period after the highland clearances.

When we were at the cottage I used a bit of bone to make a piece that reflected the bog plant Sundew. Today I used some of the bone I had left home to make a small piece that reflected filleted skeletons of herring.

©2019 Barry Smith - Using a fine twist blade to saw the rather thick bone
©2019 Barry Smith - One skeleton makes an appearance
©2019 Barry Smith - Second under way - important to wear a face mask for this work.
©2019 Barry Smith - Completed piece (35-40mm wide and 70-80mm long) on the rust table
©2019 Barry Smith - Another photos so one can enjoy the rust
It was a good contained little creative task. I see working with bone as a good way of linking what I do here and what I do there at the cottage - creating part of the story of the two places.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Testing an idea

©2019 Barry Smith - Prototype of a small sculpture that represents a traditional Scottish herring boat out on a stormy sea.
I have been playing with the idea of doing a few small works that reflect our time in Scotland.

Each day we walked to the fishing cove at the end of the village. From our research there has been a fishing storage hut in the cove since about 1830.

We had also visited Wick museum and the Whaligoe Steps which both impressed on me the importance and hardship of the herring fishing industry at that time.

My small prototype represent a small traditional Scottish herring boat - powered by sail and oars. A very hard, and most likely dangerous, way to earn a living.

I think the prototype has worked out pretty well.

©2019 Barry Smith - Rough fold-formed hull
©2019 Barry Smith - A good wind from behind - on the workbench
©2019 Barry Smith
The hull is made from fold formed recycled copper sheet; the sail from a salvaged silver-plated tray; and the base is inked salvaged camphor laurel timber .

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Valley light and gorgeous discoveries

©2019 Barry Smith - Soft valley light
Just for a brief moment yesterday the early morning light was just right to silhouette (below) the CBD of Brisbane some 80klms away.

©2019 Barry Smith - CBD of Brisbane appeared in the pale straw light
But it  was another construction that caught my eye this morning - the intricately built bower of a Satin Bowerbird. And it would seem the male bird's efforts had paid off as there was a female bird very interested in the bower with it's violet flowered forecourt.

©2019 Barry Smith - Each twig has to be specially placed - amazing

©2019 Barry Smith - Violets add a natural touch - I have never seen violets used before
Tree haven Way is still offering colour even though we are having dry and some very windy weather.

©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith - Suffused with morning sunshine
©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith - Jacaranda blossom caught on spikes of Lomandra
©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith 
A beautiful soft morning with sunshine breaking through.