Friday, July 20, 2018

Process of the pieces for peace

©2018 Barry Smith - 77 pieces for peace on a rust background
One of the many things I have learnt from working with Fiona on art stuff is that the material matters and the meaning of the material matters. When I decided to make peace pieces for International Peace Day 2018 I made a conscious decision to chose one silver-plated round tray and to cut my pieces from that. The reasoning behind this decision was that the round tray for me represented the world; and only using the metal from this one tray was about unity through peace.

So my one tray was marked up and when cut into the rectangles of metal I wanted there were 77 pieces. So 77 was to be the number of my pieces for peace for 2018.

©2018 Barry Smith - One tray, one peace, one world
©2018 Barry Smith - Potential for peace
Another decision I made was that all pieces would be stamped with the peace symbol but that symbol would be accompanied by four other symbols: the tree of life, dandelion seed pod, a lotus flower and intwined hearts. For me all these have meaning associated with peace - though folk might say how does the dandelion seed pod fit in - well for me it is a tenacious little thing that floats on the breeze and has the potential to germinate and multiply - hopefully like peace.

The 77 metal blanks were: stamped; corners trimmed; and a hole for a cord or a ring punched.

©2018 Barry Smith - Lotus flower and peace symbol stamped on 10 silver-plated blanks - the metal  has a satin finish as I stamped the back of the blanks which was the underside of the tray
©2018 Barry Smith - Stamped, punched and corners trimmed ready for grinding and polishing
After grinding and polishing the 77 pieces for peace looked gorgeous on the workbench.

©2018 Barry Smith - 77 pieces for peace
Though lurking in the stash of 77 were three imperfect pieces. Because I had made the decision to only use metal from one tray these imperfect ones could not be replaced. One had a corner clipped as part of the original metal cutting process, one was punched upside down, and the metal peace symbol stamp jumped when I went to stamp peace so I had to over stamp it with the tree of life. I think these three represent the fact that peace itself can be a bit imperfect; but imperfect peace is so much better than violence, aggression and oppression.

©2018 Barry Smith - Imperfect peace 
The 77 pieces for peace 2018 are now ready for distribution on or before 21 September.


  1. These are wonderful - and the thought and care and understanding behind each piece is special. So lovely to understand the thinking of the maker - and the heart that is imbued within them - bravo!

  2. AS always, the glimpse of your process is fascinating. Thank you for showing how you go. The tags are gorgeous.

  3. Imperfect has its meaning too. I love the things you do.

  4. Imperfections perhaps, but perfection is overrated in my not-so-humble opinion. Differences catch and hold the eye ... fertile ground for metaphor

  5. yep, 77 is a good number, too. well done!

  6. F, MC, R&S, P, LA & V - I should be ashamed of myself given how I welcome visits and comments on my blog and yet neglect those who do - sorry. F- I have learnt much from you regarding materials and meaning. MC & R&S - may there be magic in there giving. P & LA - I agree there is very little perfection so imperfect is good. V - I like 77. Peace. B


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.