Sunday, July 5, 2020

Creative relaxation

©2020 Barry Smith - Cupped circles within a square frames
I did quite a lot of letterpress printing over the weekend - but that is for another blog. By way of a change I spent the morning on Saturday making some earrings based on circles - some folk prefer things in the round.

This was opportunity to use smaller flat pieces of silver-plated copper and brass. The circles of metal were punched using a disc cutting tool, the anvil and a very heavy copper hammer.

©2020 Barry Smith - Punched silver-plate
©2020 Barry Smith 
©2020 Barry Smith - Pieces selected, matched and drilled for jump-rings
I cut, ground and polished enough pieces to make 8 pairs of earrings.

©2020 Barry Smith - Pieces ready for assembly
I only got time to assemble 4 pairs - the pair at the start and the three below.

©2020 Barry Smith 
©2020 Barry Smith 
©2020 Barry Smith 
A gentle and relaxing process.

Friday, July 3, 2020


©2020 Barry Smith - Patinated copper leaves on display
I have finished the stash of patinated copper leaves; and they have now found their way into the DEP gallery-shop as you can see from the photo above.

A few more photos of the leaves with their polished edges follow.

©2020 Barry Smith - Polished highlights on the leaf edges
©2020 Barry Smith - In the late afternoon sun
©2020 Barry Smith - The stash sorted into sets of three with two spare small leaves
I love how the red light of the roller door mechanism in the garage-studio reflected off the silver-plate bowls in progress early this morning.

©2020 Barry Smith - Fuzzy but interesting reflections

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Blossoms, birds and droplets

©2020 Barry Smith - Rich healing yellow of wattle
I was going to open the post with the following photo; but it seemed to be too malevolent - an evil crocodile eye??? So I thought the gorgeous sunshine colour of the wattle might be more uplifting.

©2020 Barry Smith - A droplet on a frangipani brach reflecting agaves and other bits
Birds featured in our lives quite a bit today. We often wake to the chorus of a gang of kookaburras such as the two on the wire in Treehaven way. Over the last few days a flock of yellow tailed black cockatoos have been cruising the neighbourhood with very noisy calls - not sure what that means.

©2020 Barry Smith - Enjoying a bit of a laugh in the sunshine
©2020 Barry Smith - Black cockatoos cartwheeling across the sky.
There was a soft dew overnight resulting in blossoms looking refreshed.

©2020 Barry Smith - Camellia catching the sun
©2020 Barry Smith - Violet bathed in micro dew drops
©2020 Barry Smith - Droplets on snow peas leaves
©2020 Barry Smith - Native violet facing the sun this afternoon.
The morning started with a valley full of clouds lakes between the ridges.

©2020 Barry Smith - Cloud lakes

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Unintended progression

©2020 Barry Smith - May we all be ok in these trying times.
It was a rainy day today so the opportunity to 'fix' the patina on the leaves and do the final grind was not too be had.

On Saturday I decided to print a R U OK? card - quite a few people are not ok at the moment. I deliberately chose random and worn wood type because I think it tends to match how many folk might feel; and it has a unique aged character.

©2020 Barry Smith - Couple of different versions - one just looked too uniform and the question marks on one were too inconsequential
©2020 Barry Smith - Final version in the drying rack - I used Pantone Orange as it suggests hope and healing
Choosing the type also had me looking for suitable wood type question marks. Strangely we don't have many in our collection - we will need to keep our eyes out for more. When I gathered our collection together it suggested to me a connection with a micro poster (A6) about taking action. I planned to print (If not now then when?). I decided to print the poster in two colours - the orange I used on R U OK? and black. To do a single print for each poster meant hand inking the font and questions separately with two separate rollers; and then printing.

©2020 Barry Smith - Not a bad outcome - the question marks are quite worn but that also gives the poster a bit of added character
©2020 Barry Smith - Tape used to adjust the height of the worn wood type
When I finished the micro posters I thought I might print off a few post cards using one colour. This caught Fiona's eye at the same time she spied a test wood printed mini poster (A5 size Be the change) that was in black still sitting on the gallery press. Her creativity went into action and she suggested we could experiment with an overprint. With a bit of measuring and registering we managed to print a poster that combined two posters. I found a couple more of the Be the change trial mini posters - so I over printed them.

©2020 Barry Smith - Bringing two themes together in the one poster
This led me to think it would be useful to do limited edition of the combination poster. I have now printed the orange section; and later I will overprint with the black.

©2020 Barry Smith - Orange layer of the combo poster printed.
You can see why I used the title Unintended progression - one thing just led to another.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Patina, pickle and production

©2020 Barry Smith - Patinated 19cm long copper leaves
I'm making a stash of patinated copper leaves for the DEP galley-shop.  It has been quite some time since I have made copper fold formed leaves. I'm making some that measure about 12-13cm in length; and another batch about 19cm in length.

Warning process photos follow.

©2020 Barry Smith  - Folding copper blanks with a vice mounted bending brake
©2020 Barry Smith  - Blanks folded and marked up for cutting
 ©2020 Barry Smith  - Folded and cut forms hammered on the anvil using two different sized hammers
©2020 Barry Smith  - Unfolded leaf forms 
©2020 Barry Smith  - Leaves in a heated pickle of vinegar and salt
©2020 Barry Smith  - Super clean leaves after pickle, washing with soapsuds and rinsing with clean tank water
Another photo of the patina process

©2020 Barry Smith  - This is the stash of 12-13 cm leaves - some on which the patina is fully developed and others where it is progressing
I will give the leaves a coat of matt varnish to fix the patina; the leaves will then need a grinfg to get rid of sharp edges and create a few bits of raw copper highlights - maybe I will get to that over the weekend.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Wednesday fragments

©2020 Barry Smith - Valley light through insect screen
It was too cold and windy for a walk this morning so photo are of the light in the valley; and some of Graham's micro orchids etc.

Photos of the gorgeous winter dawn light - the very clear cold air seems to produce the blue and pink layers - it only lasts for about 15 minutes.

©2020 Barry Smith - Early dawn
©2020 Barry Smith - Valley colour with reflected light of Brisbane CBD buildings
©2020 Barry Smith - Brisbane CBD through the dawn light
Some of those orchids.

©2020 Barry Smith
©2020 Barry Smith - Edge of an orchid blossom
©2020 Barry Smith - Micro orchid and sunlight
©2020 Barry Smith - A darker colour
Bee at work on a grevellia.

©2020 Barry Smith - I love how the bee is holding the leaf whilst working the flower

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Out of darkness and other bits

©2020 Barry Smith - Shine, hope and peace emerge from the darkness
I committed to making seven sets of business card sized inspirational word cards. Whilst I did this as you will see from the photos following, I did get side tracked by the gorgeous purple and the gold dusting powder. I decided to try the colour and the dust on black cards that were left over from one of Fiona's earlier jobs. I was delighted in the beauty of the contrast of the colours. As I said in the heading to this blog it was almost like the words were emerging out of the dark paper.

I decided to do a limited run of hope, peace and shine - words we need in these challenging times.

©2020 Barry Smith
©2020 Barry Smith
©2020 Barry Smith
And those photos of the other inspirational words on 300gsm white cotton paper.

©2020 Barry Smith
©2020 Barry Smith - Cards in the drying racks
Fiona's dad (Graham) does a lot to encourage action in folk - I asked him if he would like a stash of shalom cards to give out since I was on a printing roll.

©2020 Barry Smith - Shalom for Graham
©2020 Barry Smith - Shalom for the DEP gallery shop
Fiona asked me to do a print test on some old beermat coasters to see how they would come out if you printed them on all siders - interesting word coasters emerge.

©2020 Barry Smith - Interesting outcome
And a couple of racks of out of the darkness cards

©2020 Barry Smith