Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Beauty abounds

©2019 Barry Smith - Surface tension cradles a small withered leaf 
As you can see from the last photo in this post the morning started early and overcast; and then there was gentle misty-rain. The blossoms were refreshed by the night and early mist-rain. It clung to the petals, leaves and edges.

©2019 Barry Smith - Ginger blossom 
©2019 Barry Smith - Yet another perfumed gift
©2019 Barry Smith - Unfurling and droplet encrusted Frangipani flower
©2019 Barry Smith - Cascading
©2019 Barry Smith - No perfume but beauty in its colour and stripes
The sky was gradually lit by the sun touching the clouds which in turn were reflected in subtle tones on the surface of the water in the rusty fire pit. The water not only cradled the clouds but also a fallen leaf.

©2019 Barry Smith - Sun touched clouds and sky reflected on the surface of the rusty water filled fire pit
Orchids in Graham's orchid house have also welcome a bit of cooler weather and dew-filled evenings.

©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith
And all of that emerged from a grey cloud filled morning

©2019 Barry Smith - Morning - grey cloud filled

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Personalising Daily Leaf Words

©2019 Barry Smith - Demonstrating metal symbol stamps on a circle of silver-plated brass - half buried in fine white sand
I had been making a stash of Daily Leaf Words to replenish my stock. Which I did as you can see from the photos below.

©2019 Barry Smith - A stash of Daily Leaf Words
©2019 Barry Smith - Seven sets of Daily Leaf Words sorted on the workbench
©2019 Barry Smith - Sets of Daily Leaf Words packaged
I was asked if I was willing to make a Daily Leaf Words set using words chosen by a commissioning person. I said yes as I have done this in the past including doing leaf words in languages other than English. I was also asked if I could make the leaves and bowl slightly larger. Again of course I can - that is the personalising aspect of commissions. The photos below are about that commission.

©2019 Barry Smith - Marking out to make the most of a silver-plated placemat
©2019 Barry Smith - Seven blanks stamped with chosen words
©2019 Barry Smith - Two favourite hammers for smaller fold-forming work
©2019 Barry Smith - Commissioned daily leaf word leaves and peace leaves
©2019 Barry Smith - Commissioned Daily Leaf Word Set as commissioned - all leaves out of the bowl
©2019 Barry Smith - Commissioned Daily Leaf Word Set as commissioned - one chosen leaf outside the bowl
And of course along the way one makes a few Peace Leaves and an extra bowl just in case the one destined for the client doesn't turn out as well as I like.

©2019 Barry Smith - Three of the six Peace Leaves on fine white sand

All in all a good outcome from my work over the last few days.

Friday, January 25, 2019

A few small installations and other changes on the block

©2019 Fiona Dempster - One of Fiona's assemblages on the rust bench
Much work is being done on the block this January including: a huge amount of pruning; sorting and culling wood; sorting and culling rusty stuff; and creating a couple of sculpture terraces.

Sorting the rust bank lead us to creating a couple of frivolous bits to install on the terraces amongst the trees - things to discover as one walks along.

©2019 Fiona Dempster  - Trial assemblage by Fiona on the rust bench - made from industrial roller bearings and bicycle gears
©2019 Fiona Dempster  - Three little assemblages set on one of the terraces under the edge of a tree
©2019 Fiona Dempster  - Zigzag assemblage being bolted together  - made from unidentified bits picked up at a garage sale years ago
©2019 Fiona Dempster  - Zigzag installed between tree trunks on a lower terrace
Sorting the old timbers in the timber stack lead to the creation of a couple of 450mm cubes made up of 9 450mm lengths of 150mm square timber offcuts. We have installed one cube near the new wooden stepping stone rock-river crossing and a second one down near Graham's orchid house. Again another couple of interesting texture pieces to be discovered on one's walks.

©2019 Fiona Dempster  - Timber cut, ground and carried - ready for assembling
©2019 Fiona Dempster  - Cube under a young maple tree
©2019 Fiona Dempster  - Looking towards the Peace Book sculpture
©2019 Fiona Dempster  - Second slightly ratty cube near the orchid house shed
After removing our coffee plantation - decimated by killer weevils - and about 150 yucca plants we have almost finished creating our two gravel covered sculpture terraces . Each terrace is about 3m wide and 20m long. The dingo machine operator carted the 12 cubic meters of gravel while Fiona and I raked it into shape - fours hours non-stop - we hit a wall that day. We have installed turf at the end of the terraces to give them a soft contrasting finish. Now we need to finish the job by installing more coir logs and jute matting;  and fixing the gravel to the almost vertical sections of woven coir matting.

©2019 Fiona Dempster  - Earthworks replace the coffee plantation - turning four terraces into two
©2019 Fiona Dempster  - Gravelled terraces - still need to fix the gravel to the almost vertical sections
©2019 Fiona Dempster  - Laying buffalo grass turf around the end of the two terraces.
Fiona and I just love the fact that the block nurtures us; and through our creativity we nurture it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Walk on a soft cool morning

©2019 Barry Smith - Dew on rose petals this morning
This morning started very gently with soft suffused light in the valley; and gentle dew drops on the flowers. It made for an uplifting walk made more energising by the beauty of nature.

©2019 Barry Smith - Soft valley dawn
©2019 Barry Smith - Unfolding with its back to the sun
©2019 Barry Smith - Eucalyptus blossom with beetle 
©2019 Barry Smith - Very old Eucalyptus cones with lichen
©2019 Barry Smith 
©2019 Barry Smith - Scruffy young butcher bird - keeping an eye on me
©2019 Barry Smith - Unfurling
©2019 Barry Smith - Berries with gossamer web
©2019 Barry Smith - New pine cone
©2019 Barry Smith - Purple Quandong fruit
The day proceeded to get very hot so it is good that at the end of the day I can reconnect with the morning.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Beautiful salvaged timber

We recently took delivery of quite a large stack of timber to be put to use in a variety of situations on the block. All the timber was milled by a young furniture maker friend who has worked with me on a number of sculpture projects that involved timber posts. The logs are usually from trees that have fallen during storms or when folk are getting trees felled because they are endangering their property. Great to use this salvaged timber.

©2019 Barry Smith - Stepping stones across the Rock River
We got about 50-55 squares of timber milled into 45cm and 35cm shares by 7.5cm thick. We plan to use these as 'stepping stones' across two crossing points of the rock river - but our stepping stones will be wood. We have installed (embedded) the stepping stones into the rocks across the top of the Rock River - a bit more finessing by Fiona to be done.

©2019 Barry Smith - Stacks of hard wood 'stepping stones'
We also ordered seven 20cm square logs at 2m long. In fact 10 were delivered because several had faults in the timber. And most logs were 2.5m-2.6m long and extremely heavy because they are hardwood. In an effort to get the stockpile under control Fiona and I waxed sealed the end cuts of the 'stepping' stones and carried them down to the lower terraces in readiness for installation.

©2019 Barry Smith - Ten very long and heavy squared logs
I then proceeded to cut up the 20cm square logs into manageable and mainly fault free lengths - this involved cutting the weak spots out. We decided to turn the offcuts of this process into 20cm cubes for an installation on the new sculpture terraces.

©2019 Barry Smith - Chainsawing in progress - older timber under black plastic
We also decided to turn a couple of the logs with weak spots into bench seats which you can see stacked behind the 20cm cubes in the photo below. All the cut ends of the logs and cubes had to be roughly sanded and wax stalled as I went along. The wax sealing reduces the ends splitting. I just love the stack of cubes including two ratty 25cm cubes from the old logs. We will have over 30 cubes to play with - some are good timber whereas others are pretty ratty.

©2019 Barry Smith - Two heavy benches and lots of cubes - all roughly sanded and sealed
The cutting process is now complete; including trimming and waxing a couple of 25cm logs that have been in my stash for a couple of years - they are the logs at the far right.

©2019 Barry Smith - A beautiful stash of prepared timber
©2019 Barry Smith - The stash even looks neat now
©2019 Barry Smith - Looking down at the stash from the western deck.
So we are all good to go on heaps of projects in 2019.