Sunday, April 28, 2019

Fiddly bits

©2019 Barry Smith - A pair of tiny silver-plated book earrings on the anvil which is covered in gaffer tape to protect the silver-plate
I got a few hours today to progress the making of book earrings as product for sale at the upcoming Compassion Artist's Books Exhibition.

Stamping, drilling and riveting these small book earrings (12.5mm wide and 17.5mm long after grinding) does take time and patience - they can't be rushed. In all I'm making 7 pair of the earrings.  As you can see from the photos below they will have compassion related words stamped on the second leaf of the books.

©2019 Barry Smith - Forty-two tiny blanks of silver-plated brass cut from a silver-plated placemat
©2019 Barry Smith - "Be kind" - 3mm metal letter stamps
©2019 Barry Smith - "Love peace"
Each book gets two tiny rivets.

©2019 Barry Smith - Small pendant book - 15mm wide and 25mm long - "kindness" 
©2019 Barry Smith - Two pair of assembled book earrings ready for grinding and polishing
I managed to assemble 3 pair and one tiny pendant today. Once I have finished assembling them all I will take then to the grinding bench. They will then be opened and have jump rings and earn wires attached.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Rusty and polished pieces

©2019 Barry Smith - Rusted and worn washer with hammered solid silver riveted band
I have had a request to make a pendant piece similar to one that Fiona had me make from a very worn and rusted washer found on the street in Thurso Scotland - see above.

Whilst we have a couple of suitable round washers in our rusty stashes I thought I would also make a number of pieces that have the round negative space; but also some edges and a few bends to give them a more 3D look. I chose to use 1.5mm thick rusty steel plate; and to drill holes using 19mm and 22mm drill bits - slightly bigger bits than in the usual household drill kit.

©2019 Barry Smith - Rusted 1.5mm steel plate
©2019 Barry Smith - Quite large drill bits as you can see - and they don't get used a lot
The pieces have worked out well after a bit of grinding; and are now sitting on the rust table to get a bit more rust back on them over the next week.

©2019 Barry Smith - Roughly drilled and cut 'washers'
©2019 Barry Smith - The start of putting a few bends and bows into the washers
©2019 Barry Smith - The formed and ground washers join a couple of round washers on the rust table
I did time to grind and polish the cases for the two scrolls I'm working ion for the Compassion Artists' Book Exhibition. I could not assemble the books as I'm still waiting for the ink to dry on the pianola scroll paper - not helped by the damp weather. Probably will take a few more days yet.

©2019 Barry Smith - Scroll cases looking shiny 
©2019 Barry Smith - Opening panel and slit for the scrolls.
Both those simple tasks were enjoyable creative interludes.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The upside of days of rain and mist

©2019 Barry Smith - Droplets on tiny lichen branches
Fiona and I have commented that we are now officially at a point that we would like the rain and drizzle to cease for a few days to let things dry out a bit. It has been raining, drizzling, misty and whiteouts for a week now - very little blue sky and very little evidence of the sun.

But the upside is that it has been a great time if you are a fungi or lichen or strange little ground plants. This blog simply shares a few images of those things that are capitalising on the current weather.

©2019 Barry Smith - Reaching up
©2019 Barry Smith - A tiny eco system - lichen, droplets and micro micro spider
©2019 Barry Smith - Beauty in decay
©2019 Barry Smith - Generations
©2019 Barry Smith - Group with droplets
©2019 Barry Smith - Weather worn trio
©2019 Barry Smith - Delicate fungi with micro bug
©2019 Barry Smith - Beautiful flutes
©2019 Barry Smith - And suddenly it springs forth
©2019 Barry Smith - White balls in the grass
©2019 Barry Smith - Tree stump companions
©2019 Barry Smith - As if a shallow dish holding water
©2019 Barry Smith - The most micro lichen and lichen flowers I have every photographed - Fiona had pointed the red dots out to me on one of our post 'sculptures' with rusty bits - turned out that the red dots are intact tiny tiny flowers on the lichen
©2019 Barry Smith - Droplets on a spider's web - bit hard to focus - the iPhone wanted to capture the gravel on the slope in background

©2019 Barry Smith - Droplets on spider's web with rust wall background -  hard to focus - the iPhone wanted to capture the background

And of course though we moan we do appreciate the life giving nature of the gentle rain.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Printing compassion scrolls

©2019 Fiona Dempster - Inking up the wood type - the wood type is held in place on the bed of the steel proofing press using special plastic coated magnets
The weather over the weekend did not get any better; so time was given to printing scrolls for the two scroll based artists' books I'm making for the Compassion Artists' Book Exhibition.

Given I wanted thin but strong paper for the scrolls I decided I would print them on paper cut from discarded pianola rolls. It also puts well with the recycled found object nature of the cases for the scrolls.

©2019 Barry Smith - Cutting scrolls from discarded pianola rolls
 On Friday I managed to do most of the set up. Yesterday I managed to print three scrolls for each of the books - 2 will be artists proofs and one will be the scroll used in each of the books.

©2019 Fiona Dempster - Pulling the larger printed scroll from the proofing press
©2019 Fiona Dempster - Modified approach to printing on the Adana Press so that I could print the smaller scroll
©2019 Barry Smith  - Two of the smaller scrolls printed and attached to a steel post with magnets - they will take several days to dry particularly as the pianola roll paper has little absorbency
©2019 Barry Smith - Proofing and checking set out before printing on the pianola scroll paper
©2019 Barry Smith - Larger scroll attached to a steel post to dry - rainy outside
Today I used the set type from the smaller scroll to print book marks.

©2019 Barry Smith - More proofing and layout checks - this time for the bookmarks
©2019 Barry Smith - Fifty bookmarks printed and set out to dry on the studio stairs 
©2019 Barry Smith - Strong quote by Tao Te Ching and great lead type - bookmarks are embossed with our Deckled Edge Press logo
©2019 Barry Smith - Another view of the bookmarks on the stairs
Two things about letterpress printing: there is quite a bit of time spent in the planning, choices and setup; and there is a lot of time spent on the clean up and putting type and printing equipment away.

I also spent time today collaborating with Fiona on another letterpress based book - but more on that another day.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Foiled by the weather

©2019 Barry Smith - The Heart That - 48 point Elongated Anglo Saxon lead type
We knew by the weather forecast that it was not going to be an outdoor working day - glad I put in the set of stairs down from the boardwalk to the back of the sculpture terraces yesterday. So I did plan to do art work - it is Friday.

My plan was to finish the last bit of drilling on the vertical scroll artists' book; and then finish grinding and polishing the brass bits of both the scroll books. It was not to be - after setting up the grinder and starting the process we had one huge downpour of rain and it now has been raining on and off all day. The rain was driving in under the covered area where I was working.  So the bits for polishing sit on the grinding bench until another fine day.

©2019 Barry Smith - Scroll cases to be plotted another day
Fiona was working away in the the Deckled Edge Press studio; so I decided to join her. S I chose my quotes for the two scrolls, chose my type and did the set up in preparation for printing them both on Saturday or Sunday.

A few photos of the process follow.  Choosing the quotes and then checking to see if one has enough of the chosen type to print the quote. In some of our type draws we have heaps of type but in the wood type draws and some of the very interesting lead type there is not always an abundance.

©2019 Barry Smith - Three quotes chosen - even the scrawled ink got wet walking from the house to the studio - checking the number of letters required to print the Kirstin Hannah quote - note that I needed 6 s - there are 6 but one is damaged - bit broken off the length so I will need to pack that out
©2019 Barry Smith - Wood type - a simple san serif - 72 point
©2019 Barry Smith - The Hannah quote roughly set in a galley tray - note one short s in compassion
©2019 Barry Smith - The Tao Te Ching quote set in a composing stick using 48 point Elongated Anglo Saxon - love this type.
Both the scrolls will be printed on one of our old galley presses - I will calling on Fiona for assistance there - much more experienced.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Shadows and edges

©2019 Barry Smith - Shadows below the hem of a steel skirt.
It is not the day for walking today as the weather does not know if it wants to be fine, wintery or rainy - in fact its a bit of all of those.

On Sunday Fiona and I did a quick trip to the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane to see the  the Asia Pacific Contemporary Triennial before it closes.  Fiona has done a couple of great blogs on our visit check out APT Part 1 for a start.

Given that it is Wednesday, and therefore iPhoneography da, I thought I might just share some images of the edges, shadows and the spaces between that caught my eye as we enjoyed the APT.

©2019 Barry Smith  - Edge of patched and layered fabric drape, shadows and lines in the concrete floor 
©2019 Barry Smith  - Edge of patched and layered fabric drape, shadows and the sp[ace between
©2019 Barry Smith  - Edge of patched and layered fabric drape, shadows like folds in the hills 
©2019 Barry Smith  - Edge of patched and layered fabric drape sharp shadows and strongly define space between
©2019 Barry Smith  - Soft shadow lines
©2019 Barry Smith  - Soft shadow lines
©2019 Barry Smith - Shadows below the hem of a steel skirt.
©2019 Barry Smith - Shadows of a headdress
©2019 Barry Smith - Black dyed woven bag and shadows