Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Fragment from out trip and the phone

©2019 Fiona Dempster - Deckled Edged Press's limited edition social issues posters commissioned by OurCommunity
There was no walk today as Fiona and I have been away for a few days in Melbourne to attend the Communities in Control Conference. It was good to get away and be immersed in the inspiring social action related presentations and thinking of the Communities in Control conference. It gave me a bit of a lift after the great disappointment of the outcome of our federal election on 18 May.

It was also an opportunity to catch up with our friends at OurCommunity; and to check out their new office space called Our Community House - a shared space for not-for-profit organisations.

We went for a brief tour of the building; and were delighted to see some of our art works on display in various nooks. Fiona took a few photos of our work - I share a few of those images above and below.

©2019 Fiona Dempster - Rusted wheat scythe and Huon pine sculpture by Barry Smith
©2019 Fiona Dempster - Rusted sheet metal and Huon pine sculpture by Barry Smith
©2019 Fiona Dempster - Gorgeous piece by Bren - disguising a fractured column
Hopefully Fiona will share more of her photos in the near future.

Given it is iPhoneograpy on Wednesday I share a few bits and pieces that were lurking on my phone for the last week or so.

©2019 Barry Smith - Unfurling edge of a pumpkin flower petal
©2019 Barry Smith - Web with droplets against a grey sky - spinning off into the abyss 
©2019 Barry Smith - Beauty in Graham's orchid house
©2019 Barry Smith - Berries in a vase in a small coffee shop - Melbourne
©2019 Barry Smith - Small web in the avocado tree - note the spiral at the centre
©2019 Barry Smith - Two other beauties of Graham in the orchid house.
It is also good to be back on the mountain to soak up a little of its stillness and peace.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Functional creations

©2019 Barry Smith - Eleven Tea Caddy Leafspoons with tags ready for delivery to Maleny Additions
I had a request from Maleny Additions for another batch of Tea Caddy Leafspoons. By grabbing bits and pieces of time I managed to finish 11 leafspoons as you can see from the photo above.

I know I have done this before but I still felt I might share some aspects of the process.

©2019 Barry Smith - Marking the blanks of the Tea Caddy Leafspoons onto the sections of silver-plate cut from a old silver-plated tray - using a template.
©2019 Barry Smith - Blanks cut and ready for forming into spoon shapes - the metal looks pretty rough and dirty
©2019 Barry Smith - Gorgeous curly offcuts
©2019 Barry Smith - Bowls of the spoons formed
©2019 Barry Smith - Marked up ready for folding and hammering
©2019 Barry Smith - Grinding completed as the sun went down
©2019 Barry Smith - Polishing finished in the morning light.
The Tea Caddy Leafspoons appear to be very popular as functional art pieces - quite a number make their way overseas - they are light and strong.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Sacred scrolls of compassion

©2019 Barry Smith - Compassion
Finally I got to assemble my scroll artists' books. The letterpress ink took quite a while to dry because the paper was non-porous; and we have had so much moisture from the extended period of rain.

First step with the vertical scroll was to get the vertical case solidly screwed to the base. The scroll was attached to the brass rod-shaft with double sided tape. The scroll was inserted through the top opening; and once the scroll itself was pulled through the slit-opening I was able to add the top plug which I had drilled a hole through; and then assemble the winder over and on to the brass rod-shaft.

The tension on the paper at top near the upright post is less than that at the bottom hence the slight crinkle in the unrolled scroll.

©2019 Barry Smith - Unfurled scroll held by upright post
The piece looks quite sculptural when the scroll is wound back into the case.

©2019 Barry Smith - Scroll young back into vertical case using the brass wing nut
The second sacred scroll is horizontal. Attaching this scroll to the shaft was easier given it could work through the hinged cover.

©2019 Barry Smith - Horizontal scroll - attached to brass rod-shaft which was part of the original brass firefighting pump.
The scroll is wound back into the scroll case using the side handle - this needs to be unlocked and pulled out to enable one to turn the shaft.

©2019 Barry Smith - Winding the scroll back into the case.
©2019 Barry Smith - One more wind and the scroll would disappear inside the case which is held on a brass and timber cradle
Whist there is a bit more tweaking and cleaning to be done these two Sacred Scrolls of Compassion are all but ready for the Compassion Artists' Book Exhibition.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Slightly obsessed with the clarity of droplets

©2019 Barry Smith - Droplets this morning on tiny orchid bud
As you can see from the photo below we are back into a spiral of rain showers, drizzle and whiteouts. We thought we had come through our wet autumn - but not so - rain etc will be with us for quite a few more days.

©2019 Barry Smith - A grey out this morning - not even able to see the back fence
One of the silver linings is that the plants are getting bathed in clear gentle rain. Many plants and cobwebs are holding droplets like special crystal jewels. Most of the photos in this blog are from the back deck and in the orchid house.

©2019 Barry Smith - Cluster of clear droplets on an orchid stem
©2019 Barry Smith - Holding crystals 
©2019 Barry Smith - Like threaded pearls - the wire is 3mm in width - demonstrates how tiny some of the droplets are
©2019 Barry Smith - Holding and reflecting the colours around it - tip of a new orchid bud
©2019 Barry Smith - This very shouty orchid is about 20mm in length - such vibrant colour
The droplets are not always easy to capture with the iPhone as it wants to focus on things behind. Still it is grand to see the clear refreshing beauty.

And when the sun shines in the early morning we are gifted with strong rainbows in the kitchen.

©2019 Barry Smith - Rainbow on the stone bench top through the chamfered edge of a kitchen louvre.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

From tiny books to outdoors sculptural books

©2019 Barry Smith - Kindness standing out on one of the etched pages of the compassion sculpture books - note the patina of the salvaged-weathered aluminium sheet.
Over the weekend Fiona and I did the etching on the pages of the three large etched aluminium books we are making for the Compassion Artists' Book Exhibition. The largest book is going to be 800mm high and 600mm wide. Over on Fiona's blog you can checkout a few more images of the etching preparation and process.

We did the masking of the symbols and words not to be etched with paint pens.

©2019 Fiona Dempster - Barry filling in the the sketches Fiona has drawn on the aluminium.
©2019 Barry Smith - Symbol for compassion
©2019 Barry Smith - Symbol for compassion - two 600mm by 300mm covers ready for etching
Given the size of the pages-leaves of the largest book we needed to build an etching bath. We needed about 20litres of etching fluid in this bath - water, copper sulphate and cooking salt. The etching process results in quite a bit of heat and sludge.

©2019 Barry Smith - Fiona dissolving the copper sulphate and salt in the plastic lined bath
©2019 Barry Smith - Soft broom to move the copper sulphate and salt around 
©2019 Barry Smith - Fiona lifting one of the smaller pieces out of the etching bath - note the copper slide floating on the surface of the etching fluid and on the plate
We were using salvaged-weathered 1.5mm aluminium sheeting-plate. This is harder to etch because of oxidation that has occurred. Still the results are good if you accept the texture and patina of the weathered metal.

©2019 Barry Smith - An etched dot
©2019 Barry Smith - Etched front cover with compassion symbol standing out against the etched background
Hopefully we will get around to riveting the pages together during the week; and then be able to open the books. They will form a trio of books with the words - kindness, hope and care.

And because one has the etching mixture on the go there were a number of other bits that got etched including the sign for a 5 post sculpture I did a couple of years ago.

©2019 Barry Smith - Etched sign for the sculpture piece

Friday, May 10, 2019

Private task - a stack of small precious books

©2019 Barry Smith - Ten unopened powerful and precious small silver-plated copper books
Yesterday and today I grab time to make a stack (10) small silver-plated copper books. The words have not been revealed because it is a private and personal job. The only task left is to open the books so the wording can be revealed and read by the future owners.

The photos below share some of the process involved in making these wee books - 40mm high by 30mm wide and deep.

©2019 Barry Smith - One worn and discarded silver-plated serving tray marked up to produce 30 rectangles of silver-plated copper
©2019 Barry Smith - Fronts, backs and centre leaves sorted into piles
©2019 Barry Smith - Gorgeous silver-plated copper chips for future smelting hopefully in a couple of weeks
©2019 Barry Smith - Right justified so the text can be more easily read when the books are opened
©2019 Barry Smith - Tiny rivets - though I have now run out of the best size for riveting three sheets pf metal together
©2019 Barry Smith - Ten small books on the rust table before heading over to the grinding bench
©2019 Barry Smith - Stacks of books before grinding
©2019 Barry Smith - Stacks of books before grinding - I love the contrast of the silver-plate and the rust of the rust table - later afternoon sun creates highlights
A grand way to end a Friday - all but completing a powerful stack of small precious books.