Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sometimes you just play

Many things were achieved over the weekend- the mundane like weeding, cleaning the car and 'whipper-snipping' the weeds. But Fiona and I also got to go on a metal buying tour to increase my stash as I have an exhibition to work towards - more on the stash and exhibition later; and I managed to devise another travelling anvil for Japan - but I won't bore folk with that here.

I did however also get time to make a few more Steampunk influenced pieces - two pendants and a set of earrings. I could have done other things but these pieces of metal just called to be cut, bent, drilled, riveted and assembled. They were just a boost of refreshing creativity.

The pendant below is a foldformed piece of brass (about 4cm square) and pieces of a fob-watch. The parts are riveted in place with copper rivets; and the chain is heavy stainless steel (about 65cm long).

©2013 Barry Smith - Slice of Time 1
The second pendant has a piece (about 6cm long and 2.5cm wide) of scroll EPNS from an old drink tray; half  a brass body of a fob-watch; the brass gonger out of a small clock; and a brass clock collar piece. The silverplated chain is about 65cm long.

©2013 Barry Smith - Slice of Time 2
The asymmetrical  are made from the stainless steel body of a fob-watch. I love the fact that the pieces still have their ruby stones in place. These are a really fun pair.

©20123 Barry Smith - Jewels of Time
©20123 Barry Smith - Jewels of Time
Finding time to make for creativity's sake is good. Blogger is very slow etc tonight so keeping it all brief

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Wall

©2013 Fiona Dempster - The Wall - unfinished - Hipstamatic app on iPhone
The Wall has had to pause - because we have run out of books.  As you can see from the photos below I'm about 75% done - I have yet to finish the tail end.

©2013 Fiona Dempster - Curve in the unfinished Wall
©2013 Barry Smith - Zigzag section of The Wall
©2013 Barry Smith - The Wall - paused
But today I also started the process of adding other purposes or roles to The Wall. Over time I'm going to put orchids and moss etc into crevices. Today I planted a couple of Australian native orchids - quite hardy and produce small purple flowers. I used some of Fiona's left over paper pulp to act as the base for the orchids - the pulp was beginning to go off.

©2013 Barry Smith - Orchids in The Wall
©2013 Barry Smith - Orchids in The Wall -  with Fiona's paper pulp
I also placed the first two peace messages into The Wall. I hope in the future that people who visit the studio-gallery or the block might want to add to this by writing their own peace messages and place them in grooves or crevices between the book covers or pages. The idea for this came to me from two merging sources: Fiona's weather-grams for the Flags for Peace; and a book titled The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (2002). One of the characters in the book would place messages in a stone wall as a way of dealing with difficulties and anxiety. I thought that paper based messages in The Wall is such a small positive thing to do for peace.

©2013 Fiona Dempster - Peace messages in The Wall
The Wall will be completed in the next little while when I access more books to recycle-repurpose. And the process of change and growth for The Wall will be ongoing - it will weather as the books have no treatment or protection; it will grow orchids; it will receive messages; and it will be a living part of the landscape - it will be a piece of ephemeral art in the landscape.

And what music to listen to whilst building a book wall ACDC and Pink Floyd (The Wall) of course.

©2013 Fiona Dempster - Paper Camera photo of the paused wall

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

And so the wall begins

In my previous post I indicated that over the weekend I started putting books into the book wall. As you can see from the photos below I had accumulated stacks and stacks of books.

©2013 Barry Smith - A stack of red hard covered books that will be the top level
The way the wall is being made is: threaded rods are cemented into the ground; anti white ant and other eating critter oil is applied to the soil; a layer of magazines are put down to create a reasonably even surface; the books are stacked to within 5-10cm of the top of the rod; a 5cm thick by 20cm wide board is placed on top of the books; a large rusted plate and washer go over the rod; a bolt is screwed on to compress the whole stack; and gravel covers the bottom layer.

The long layer of National Geographic magazines - dating from 1964 to the present - donated by elderly neighbours having a bit of a clean out.

©2013 Fiona Dempster - 40 years of National Geographic - a fitting foundation
Some books need to be drilled to fit over the threaded rods - unique drilling approach below.

©2013 Fiona Dempster - A big book borer?
And the 10-11ms of wall begin to grow.

©2013 Fiona Dempster  - The beginning point 
©2013 Fiona Dempster  - The stacking begins - bit like a dry stone wall
©2013 Fiona Dempster  - The end point
©2013 Fiona Dempster  - Quite a long wall really
In my next post I will show how the finished product will look; and how I think it could be used.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

And the recipients of the giveaways are ....

As promised in my 600th post the giveaway is to be drawn today.

But first some exciting news  - the books for the Book Wall began to migrate to the wall and I am about half to two thirds done. The image below came about from drilling a hole close to the edge of a very large hard covered book with a 13mm drill bit - I just loved the crinkles. But more on that later in the week.

©2013 Barry Smith - Drilled edge of a book
As is my custom the giveaway recipients are drawn by placing all the names in our Tibetan singing bowl and getting Fiona to draw the names out.

©2013 Barry Smith - Names in Tibetan bowl
The first name was drawn for the Daily Words set below.

©2013 Barry Smith - Daily Words set
And the name drawn out was Robyn of ArtPropelled fame.

The second draw was for the Peace Leaf below.

©2013 Barry Smith - Peace Leaf
And the name drawn out was Carol Lee Beckx

Thanks all who shared how and where they find peace and were willing to participate in the giveaway.

I leave you with a photo of the rusted plate steel fragment used to bolt the timbers on top of the books in place.

©2013 Fiona Dempster - Washers on the Book Wall

Friday, April 19, 2013

Another day of finishing stuff; and last chance for giveaway

A fairly normal Friday really - community meeting that went for almost 3 hours, art and work on the block - the good life.

I have been having discussions with a local shop about whether they would carry some of my meditation-reflection bits - in this case Daily Words and small Leaf Incense Burners. I decided to make four of each to check my use of material and timing etc as I usually sell these items at a fairly low price in my online shop; and am not sure what I would get for them if I sold through the shop and yet tried to maintain a reasonable price level.

I thought I would simply share a few photos of my labours.

First a couple of shots of stamped words before grinding and polishing; and some cut down bits from goblets that I have drilled to make incense stick holders.

©2013 Barry Smith - Raw stamped metal and stamps 
©2013 Barry Smith - Raw stamped metal
©2013 Barry Smith - Incense holders in the raw
And then a few photos of the completed and polished pieces.

©2013 Barry Smith - Incense holders polished
©2013 Barry Smith - Small Leaf Incense Burners
©2013 Barry Smith - Small Leaf Incense Burners
©2013 Barry Smith - Bowls for Daily Words
©2013 Barry Smith - Bowls and words for Daily Words
And now I'm off to have a red wine; and a discussion with Fiona about if to sell and where to sell such work.

And don't forget the 600th post giveaway will be drawn on Sunday.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Off to the show

One of the challenges with larger works is that one cannot pop them in the post and send them off to an exhibition.

©2013 Barry Smith - Shards - pack in the car - ready to go
So today Fiona and I headed off to Goondiwindi, a five hour drive away, to drop off Shards, my post installation, for the Aspects Art Show.

©2013 Fiona Dempster - Shards and spikes for holding them in place
©2013 Fiona Dempster - Detail of top of one of the posts and rusted studio-gallery sign
The photos show the three posts sitting under cover near the the shed studio-gallery to dry off before they were packed in the car. The middle post is about 1.5m high and with the rusted shards of iron and the heavy plate iron base it is heavy - really best handled by two people.

And below is a strangely deformed leaf we found on a morning walk - this aberration could make an appearance in my piece for the COMA exhibition (for the love of trees).

©2013 Barry Smith - Leaf and rust
Hoping the round trip goes well and that Shards adds to the art show.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Coffee mugs with a little edge

One of our local coffee shops, the cooperative Up-Front Club, is hosting an art competition-exhibition titled The Essence of Coffee. They have called for works from both 2 and 3D artists.

I have decided to enter a couple of assemblage coffee mugs that have a little Steampunk influence since that is one of the series I'm working on at the moment. Both mugs are made from recycled 'found objects'.

The mug below is titled Some Like it Hot. It is made from: the tank of a handheld spirit blowtorch made in Sweden; copper tip of a old soldering iron; a length of copper pipe; and a couple of brass nuts off an old lamp.

©2013 Barry Smith - Some Like it Hot - coffee mug
©2013 Barry Smith - Some Like it Hot - coffee mug
©2013 Barry Smith - Some Like it Hot - coffee mug
Time for Coffee is made from: the tank of a garden sprayer; gears from clocks; a cut down tube repair clamp; copper rivets; and the body of a fob watch. Time for Coffee suggests it doesn't matter how pressured we are we can make time for coffee.

©2013 Barry Smith - Time for Coffee - coffee mug
©2013 Barry Smith - Time for Coffee - coffee mug
©2013 Barry Smith - Time for Coffee - coffee mug
Both pieces are quirky fun pieces - they are not really functional given their history - but would make great talking points or somewhere quirky and artistic to keep pens tidy on one's desk.

And if you have't already already caught up with it yet I'm having a 600th post celebration giveaway. Check it out HERE.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Celebration Giveaway

My how time flies when one is having fun creating and sharing stuff. Today is my 600th blog post - it surprised me that the number was looming when I was posting last week.

So to celebrate the fact that I have reached this milestone and am still enjoying sharing with our blog community I'm having a giveaway - in fact two giveaways.

The Daily Words set and the Seek Peace leaf pictured below are on offer. The pieces are made from recycled EPNS trays.

The giveaway will be drawn and announced on Sunday 21 April (Australia's timeline).

And what do you need to do to be in the draw? Simply leave a comment to say where you find peace; or how you find peace - e.g. walking in a forest; listing to soothing music. Peace.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Formed glass and life on the block

On our trip to Canberra, a few weeks ago now, Fiona and I checked out the Canberra Glassworks. There was a free exhibition called Under my Skin by Kristie Rea.

I was amazed to see how she could get the glass to slump in such elegant folds; and to form it to fit objects that obviously could not have been in the kiln. Glass photos taken with iPhone. I just loved the shadow play.

The Camellias on the terraces at the back of our house have just gone ballistic - there are blossoms everywhere. This threw me a little given we are in autumn and winter is but 6 weeks away - but it is their time. And I just love the way the petals cover the ground as if with delicate and coloured 'snow'.

©2013 Barry Smith - Camellias through the mist and cloud
One of the wallabies was sheltering under a maple from the mist and cloud.

©2013 Barry Smith - Visiting wallaby and cascade of white Camellia petals.
The rusted fire-pit and tree fern on the terrace immediately below one of the decks just looked startling in the misty rain.

©2013 Barry Smith - Fire-pit, rust and tree-fern