Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Is it autumn soon?

©2019 Barry Smith - A feast for the Rainbow Lorikeets
I'm not sure if the birds and blossoms know that autumn is just around the corner. The small eucalyptus tree at the neighbour's house across the road is just covered in blossom and the Rainbow Lorikeets just love it.

©2019 Barry Smith - A Rainbow Lorikeet enjoying the morning nectar
There were many other bright fragments on my walk. The sun is rising later so there is now a softer light as I head off to walk. Still the sun was highlighting many of the blossoms that caught my eye.

©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith
And a couple of images on the block as I returned home.

©2019 Barry Smith - A new orchid over at the shed
©2019 Barry Smith - Leaves caught against a succulent
I love the clouds reflected in the water in the rusty fire pit - though you can see the water level is low because of the wind and lack of rain. I topped it up today so the birds can continue to bathe and drink.

©2019 Barry Smith - Clouds in the sky and on the water
An uplifting morning

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Compassion - book one

©2019 Barry Smith - Book 1 on Compassion
Fiona and I are taking part in an artists book exhibition in July. The exhibition has the theme of compassion. Of course July seems quite a long way in the future; but you can bet we will start to run out of time. We have committed to making 6 books - I started and completed my first over the weekend.

I like my artists books to have content. In this first book I have used a quote from John O'Donohue: "May I live this day compassionate of heart, clear in word, gracious in awareness, courageous in thought, generous in love."

The book is made from beautiful patinated copper salvaged from a very old copper laundry boiler.

©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith - Leaves of the book cut
The book pages are 12cm high by 8cm wide. It has: 7 leaves; three pages with sections of the quote stamped into them; and is held together with 11 brass rivets.

©2019 Barry Smith - Stamped pages and other leaves given a gentle grind to remove sharp edges
©2019 Barry Smith - Opening the book in the vice
©2019 Barry Smith - Beautiful patina and words (clear in word, gracious in awareness)
©2019 Barry Smith - Small 3D copper book
I love the solid feel of this book - both in terms of the metal and the beautiful words.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Form and function

©2019 Barry Smith - Guard dog at the end of the boardwalk
Does the making of a boardwalk count as creativity? I think it might if it is linked to the development of the sculpture terraces; can double as a viewing platform; and act as walkway to service the hedge and the agapanthus that will border the sculpture garden.

Anyway - today my time was spent finishing the long (9.5m) narrow (.48m) ironstone coloured boardwalk. As you can see from the photo below the supports for the boardwalk are light but strong steel and are solidly cemented into the slope.

©2019 Barry Smith - One section of the boardwalk bolted into place and the supports for the second section  are  lined up ready for the timbers
Because the supports are light the boardwalk tends to give the impression that it is floating a little above the ground. The end section is cantilevered and seems to be heading off to no-where.

©2019 Barry Smith - The supports will disappear when the agapanthus get growing
©2019 Barry Smith - Looking along the boardwalk 
I placed the Mambo style cement dog at the end of the boardwalk so that we remembered where it ended - a temporary measure until we decide on an alternative - for now we have a smiling funky guard dog.

©2019 Barry Smith - Boardwalk with guard dog
©2019 Barry Smith - Boardwalk with guard dog
©2019 Barry Smith - Guard dog looking towards the west
It was grand to get this task finished - it was meant to rain heavily today so I was not sure I would get it done. Now we will start the process of planting out agaves at the top and agapanthus along the bottom edge. We have put a jute blanket  and coir logs down to stop the soil running onto the gravel terraces and also to suppress the weeds when we plant the agapanthus.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Misty mornings

©2019 Barry Smith - Looking to the valley and mountains over the pink frangipani
The last few mornings have been misty with almost total white-outs of the valleys. The mist usuallly lifts by mid morning. Though it means there are not great views of the valley it does make for gentle starts to the day. Interestingly enough the bess are out but they do appear to be quite sluggish in the cool misty mornings.

©2019 Barry Smith - Lethargic bee
A few misty and droplet laden photos follow.

©2019 Barry Smith 
©2019 Barry Smith 
©2019 Barry Smith  - Treehaven Way
©2019 Barry Smith 
©2019 Barry Smith 
©2019 Barry Smith 
©2019 Barry Smith 
©2019 Barry Smith  - A par of pigeons on the powerlines
©2019 Barry Smith  - Starr seedpod
©2019 Barry Smith  - Kookaburra in the mist 
I enjoy the quiet subdued nature of such mornings.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Mostly about printing but a bit of other stuff

©2019 Barry Smith - Rainbow reflections on the black ink 
I did get time on Saturday to grind and polish the jewellery related bits from Friday; but today has been given over to a commission to print a poster series; and on Saturday there was also the matter of a special update on a number of unique bowls-vessels I have completed since the year began.

The two bowls-vessels below sold as a result of Saturday update.

©2019 Barry Smith - Tree of Life bowl
©2019 Barry Smith - Fractured vessel
I did manage to finish the tiny book forms of the book earrings and pendant - I just need jump rings, ear wires and chain now.

©2019 Barry Smith - Tiny riveted and stamped books (20mm long and 12mm wide) 
Below are a number of images of the poster printing process. The actual poster can't be shown yet as it is a commission. In Fiona's blog for today she has shared a few fragments of the process from her perspective. The poster was printed using large wood type.

©2019 Barry Smith - Gently revealing the print
©2019 Barry Smith - Inking up the type in the galley press
©2019 Barry Smith - We went through a lot of ink
©2019 Barry Smith - Holding the paper rock steady
©2019 Barry Smith - Colourful magnet hold the type in place
©2019 Barry Smith - Gorgeous letterpress print play
©2019 Barry Smith - Gorgeous letterpress print play
©2019 Barry Smith - Gorgeous letterpress print play
©2019 Barry Smith - Cleaning the wood type with vegetable oil
All-in-all it has been a full weekend given that the landscaping on the block continues unabated.