Sunday, June 30, 2013

A bit of finding and forming

The weekend has in the main been given over to tasks on the block and preparation-planning for our open studio next weekend; and working on a mock-up for a possible commission.

©2013 Barry Smith - Detail of pendant cut from old pocket watch
I did get to finish off some earrings and pendants that I have been working on - including the couple of pairs of micro leaf-form earrings below.

©2013 Barry Smith - Micro leaf-form earrings
And a few more pairs of Steampunk influenced earrings; and a pendant.

©2013 Barry Smith - Found earrings - old pocket watch parts
©2013 Barry Smith - Found earrings - old pocket watch parts
©2013 Barry Smith - Found earrings - old pocket watch parts
©2013 Barry Smith - Found pendant - old pocket watch parts
I got to put the chains on some peace pendants.

©2013 Barry Smith - Peace Pendants 
©2013 Barry Smith - Peace Book Pendants 
So a bit of building up of the stock in the studio-gallery sale cases - looking pretty good at this stage.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Metal mayhem

Over the last week I have been into metal in a big way.

Last Friday I flew from Melbourne to Launceston on a very cheap airfare to buy a suitcase full of silver-plated EPNS to add to the metal bank in preparation for a possible commission Fiona and I could be collaborating on. Unpacking the small carry-on suitcase revealed that I had purchased 25 trays a three smaller butter dishes. Quite a stash as you can see from the photo below. I'm not sure how I managed to pack them all into the case (a Tardis suitcase?).

©2013 Barry Smith - A suitcase full of silver
Today I started cutting up some of the trays into small notebook size 'pages' (8X12cm). The first photo shows the carnage caused on the cutting floor when I get to trays with the cutting blade in my angle grinder. Could be some found earrings amongst the offcuts? And the second photo shows a few 'pages' trimmed, hammered and polished.

©2013 Barry Smith - Havoc with a metal cutting blade - 4 small trays
©2013 Barry Smith - Small metal 'pages' from four small trays
And I have been stamping, grinding and polishing a heap of Daily Words words and Inspiration in your Pocket words in preparation for our open studio on 6-7 July. Yesterday and today I managed to finish the grinding and polishing of the words.

©2013 Barry Smith - Stamping silver-plated EPNS offcuts
©2013 Barry Smith - A stash of Inspiration in your Pocket words
©2013 Barry Smith - Seven sets of Daily Words words
The great thing about the Daily Words words and Inspiration in you Pocket words is that they give me the opportunity to use those off cuts you can see in the second photo in this post.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tools and treasure

Quite some time ago I had arranged for Greg Wilbur (a master metal worker in Portland USA) to have a hand made bowl raising stake and hammer made for me.

©2013 Barry Smith - A maker's mark stamped on the raising hammer
Having tools that are made by artists has that extra something - not are they more likely to do the precise job you want them to do but also are art pieces in their own right as you can see from the photos below.

©2013 Barry Smith - Raising stake and hammer
©2013 Barry Smith - Raising stake and hammer
And as Fiona and I had supported a kick-starter for the East-West metal work exhibition in Portland (opens at the beginning of August 2013) we were rewarded with a small pod hand crafted by metal worker John Wirth - a little treasure.

©2013 Barry Smith - Raising stake and hammer - with Pod
At the moment Fiona and I are planning a mock up for a possible commission. This work will require quite a bit of riveting - so while I was in the hunt for bulk supplies of Sterling silver rivets I decided to buy the small hollow riveting system below. It is a tiny tool compared to the hammer and stake - but it also is made for purpose and does a great precision job on tiny hollow rivets and eyelets.

©2013 Fiona Dempster - Testing the tiny tool on the kitchen bench
©2013 Fiona Dempster - Precision riveting tool
Like most artists a new tool or two brings much joy to me - and hopefully good outcomes.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Four views of the moon

Last night and tonight are meant to be the best times to look at the moon. It is meant to be the fullest and closest it it is going to be to earth for quite sometime.  So I thought I'd try to capture some images at different times of the night-morning as it rose, transited and set.

 Rising through the trees on the eastern edge of the block.

©2013 Barry Smith - Moon through the trees
©2013 Barry Smith - Moon - early evening
Mid evening moon.
©2013 Barry Smith -  Mid evening Moon
Some small hour of the morning.

©2013 Barry Smith - Early morning moon.
©2013 Barry Smith - Edge of the early morning moon
And about 5-5.30am - moonset

©2013 Barry Smith - Setting moon with low cloud and trees on the horizon
©2013 Barry Smith - Setting moon with low cloud and trees on the horizon
Not the clearest photos as they were taken outside in the cold but clear air and without a tri-pod to hold the camera steady on full zoom. Interesting to see the rotation of the moon from moonrise to moonset.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sun, Moon & Stars - a personal shrine

There is no doubt that some folk like things that are round - so it goes without saying that at least one of the personal shrines for our peace and stillness exhibition had to be round.

And as generosity would have it Fiona's mum and dad gifted a round silver-plated brass drink serving tray they bought from an op-shop. As you can see from the photo below I have teamed that tray up with: a small silver-plated EPNS round tray with a fancy edge; the centre of a brass mini gong I made for a COMA exhibition; a slice of anther rectangular silver-plated EPNS serving tray; some clock cogs; copper rivets and brass nails from the hardware store in Tatebayashi (Japan); and some scrap 12mm multiply.

©2013 Barry Smith - Recycled objects and metal for a personal shrine
And from this the shrine I have called Sun, Moon and Stars has been created. The photos were a bit rushed - I will take better ones when all is complete. The main circular piece of silver-plate is about 280-300mm in diameter.

©2013 Barry Smith - Sun, Moon and Stars - a personal shrine
©2013 Barry Smith - Detail of Sun, Moon and Stars
©2013 Barry Smith - Detail of Sun, Moon and Stars
There is still a bit more tidying up to be done; and I need to find the right hanging point/s given that the weight is on the lefthand side because I have offset the small silver-plated tray and the brass centre of the gong. The offset tray etc cover the inscription on the centre of the larger tray. I am pleased how this has worked out.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Article about the artists

Fiona and I were approached by Kate Johns editor of Salt magazine to do a 'meet the designer' profile in the magazine. Salt is a great magazine that promotes all things bright and beautiful (art, fashion, food, tourism etc) on the Sunshine Coast.

Thanks to Kate and two of her team (Frances Frangenheim [words] and Anastasia Kariofyllidis [photos]) we are featured in the Salt - Winter '13 edition. You can read the Salt online version here.

The profile on us in the hard copy is pp. 104-107 - photo below is a bit of a hint that you have reached the article on us and our work. Couple more images here.

And because it is Wednesday I thought I'd throw in a couple of early morning iPhone photos - taken just as I was setting out for an early morning walk. I thought it must be wrong to be walking in the dark and cold - but then Fiona was off doing her circuit training with her women's group - so!!!!

©2013 Barry Smith - The lights of the Port of Brisbane
©2013 Barry Smith - Inky blue sky with faint morning light
In the photos (taken with the iPhone so beautifully pixelated) you can see the lights of of the Port of Brisbane - about 80klms away - cold clear morning.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I know Daily Word bowls can be boring but .....

As I have said in earlier posts I'm in a bit of a production phase at the moment in the lead up to the July open studio weekend and the August-September exhibition - so into turning our multiples of categories of things. I'm working on making about 10 sets of Daily Words - the bowls and the inspirational words.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been cutting circles (about 90mm in diameter) of silver-plasted EPNS; and hammering them into the shallow bowl form I use for the Daily Words bowls. You can see a few of such circles that have been marked and hammered but not ground and polished in the photo below. All the circles are cut from small EPNS trays - gifted to me or purchased from recycling shops.

©2013 Barry Smith - Part of the stash of Daily Words bowls - formed and hammered but not ground or polished
I have added a couple of new designs to the bowls series - a star burst, positive and negative space equal-sided triangles and a more defined ying-yang. The full stash of new bowls are in the series of photos below.

©2013 Barry Smith - Daily Words bowls - spiral, ying-yang and star burst
©2013 Barry Smith - Reworded silver-plated drink coasters.
©2013 Barry Smith - Negative and positive space hammered triangles
©2013 Barry Smith - Full hammered pattern, hammered pattern on the rim and hammered in the centre and rim.
©2013 Barry Smith - A stash of Daily Words bowls
As is often the case  the bowls are so highly polished that they pick up all sorts of reflections - but still they look pretty good. Fiona pointed out that today is the fourth anniversary of posting to this blog - not a bad achievement .

Friday, June 14, 2013

A little art on Friday

Today has been a very busy community work day -  so I didn't get into the garage-studio until mid afternoon. Yesterday afternoon I had started another personal shrine for the Peace and Stillness exhibition; and I got to finish it today as the light of day faded.

As you can see from the photo above this shrine has a bit of a Christian focus. The cross came from an old iron cross that was given to me with a couple of candlesticks - someone possibly had used it as part of a spiritual shrine in their home in the past.

©2013 Barry Smith - Personal Shrine with Cross 
©2013 Barry Smith - Detail of the decorative rose on the border.
I think the ornate silver-plated EPNS border (that was cut from an old serving tray) gives the shrine iconic feel. No matter what our spirituality might be we can pause at different times of the day and seek peace and stillness. The timber is Camphor Laurel. The shrine is about 250mm high and 200mm wide. It can be hung on the wall or can sit on a bench, a niche or a ledge in the house.

©2013 Barry Smith - Peace and Stillness - overlay
©2013 Barry Smith - Peace and Stillness - overlay
The recycled metal for shelf part of the shrine had a inscription to a recipient some 26 years ago. I have ground the inscription back somewhat and 'repurposed' the metal by over stamping it with the words Peace and Stillness.  

And just in case you missed the information - as part of the relaunch of my online shop and some ongoing glitches I'm offering 15% off all items and a flat $10 pack and post to anywhere in the world until 30 June. You will find some funky found earrings in the shop and some gorgeous raised bowls as well as reflective light catchers.

Time for a wine I hear you say - and I couldn't agree more.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A misty 'sunrise' and gorgeous visitors

What a difference a week makes. A week ago I shared the beautiful colours of a sunrise on my early Wednesday morning walk at sunrise. Today I started my walk without rain but returned home in a shower. So the sunrise over the valley today looked like the photo below.

©2013 Barry Smith - Mist infused with sunrise light
But each day brings something special; and today brought a visit by a group (maybe an extended family) of 5 wallabies  (if you count the joey in the pouch).  We took photos of each of the group but I thought I'd just share a bunch of photos of mother and joey because the baby was so cute. Loved how it was having a good look around; and then mum packed the joey safely away. The family spent much of the day on the block munching on lots of different foodstuff. We are so lucky to have such visitors.

Many photos were taken by both Fiona and I as we enjoyed the presence of our visitors. And I played with the misty sunrise - including creating a magical sunrise of my own.

©2013 Barry Smith - Mist infused with sunrise light - altered 
©2013 Barry Smith -Creating a rainbow sort of morning
And after a printmakers planning meeting this afternoon I managed an hour of hammering metal in the studio-garage - so a well rounded day.