Friday, November 29, 2019

Experimenting with form and metal

©2019 Barry Smith - Two leaves made from silver-plated brass placemat with a strong design stamped on it; and with stems that have to seam at the back
I have a commission which requires me to make leaves that can stand upright in a seed shaped aperture in a piece of timber. The leaf needs to be able to have its own stem which can be glued into a hole in the bottom of the aperture. I set about experimenting with metal and how I would incorporate a stem into the design. The metal and stem of choice are incorporated into the leaves above.

Following are a few photos of the process.

©2019 Barry Smith - An adjustment to my usual leaf forms - stems sections added to the leaf.
©2019 Barry Smith - Hammered and ready for opening
©2019 Barry Smith - In the rough - stem section opened with the leaf
Stems with metal curved to the front which required brass rod to be included; and stems with the metal curved to the back which do not require brass rods.

©2019 Barry Smith - Two silver-plated brass leaf forms with the stem seam at the back; one copper leaf with join at the front and brass rod; and one silver-plated brass leaf with seam at the front and brass rod insert.
Final five leaf forms with three different metal and two different stem designs.

©2019 Barry Smith - The experiment enable a choice to be made about metal quality and stem design. The bottom leaf form is the look I'm going for.
Now all I need to do is make about 12 leaves so I can choose the best 9.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Tough times for plants and trees

©2019 Barry Smith - Beautiful Black Pantha agapanthus - first year we have had to water them
We are still in a very dry spell with no real sign of rain. The trees and plants on the block are showing signs of stress - dropping leaves and immature fruit. The veggie garden needs to be watched and watered. This is all very unusual for where we live.

The same situation was evident on my walk this morning - leaves down and blossoms looking worse for wear; and even the bees are looking thin and tired.

©2019 Barry Smith - Leaf litter everywhere 
©2019 Barry Smith - Unusual total blanket of pine needles
©2019 Barry Smith - This bee just appeared to be clinging on 
Still some blossoms-plants were surviving - a bit more dry tolerant?

©2019 Barry Smith - Gorgeous detail of a baby stag horn fern leaf
©2019 Barry Smith - Gradually unfurling - anticipating rain?
©2019 Barry Smith - Isolated blooming plant on the roadside
©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith - I think it is a passionfruit blossom - very strange
And the Satin Bowerbird is still working on mating.

©2019 Barry Smith - An enticing pathway? 
©2019 Barry Smith - Again unusual - I have never seen agapanthus blossoms in a bower before
It is hard not to conclude that something is seriously wrong with the climate given the dry, the heat and the fires. As you can see from the photo below we still have smoke in the valley below - thinner yes but still there.

©2019 Barry Smith - Smoke haze in the valley

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Leaves, tokens and Christmas tree

Time dedicated to making over the weekend was applied to:  finishing the small daily word leaves; finishing the giveaway tokens; and rehabilitating a Christmas tree for a friend.

The daily word leaves are now ready to join shallow bowls to become Daily Leaf Words sets.

©2019 Barry Smith - Dream, love, hope, wonder......
©2019 Barry Smith - Three sets of seven daily leaf words.
I not only finished the 42 stars tokens for volunteers; but also a few more peace pieces and tree of life pieces. All to be gifted.

©2019 Barry Smith - Getting the most out of a flap sanding-grinding wheel - ground and polished (steel wire wheel) tokens on the workbench 
©2019 Barry Smith - Tree of Life tokens on the rust bench
The tree task was a matter of rehabilitating a stained and slightly grubby timber Christmas tree. After dismantling it and giving the parts a sand I diluted some old green ink and stained the timber. I think it is now good for another few years.

©2019 Barry Smith - Dismantled tree in the process of sanding each piece.
©2019 Barry Smith - Twenty-two pieces sanded and inked
©2019 Barry Smith - Rehabilitated tree with mountains - not quite as smoky at the moment.
I now need to finish the bigger giveaway word leaves so I can get on to a commission that needs to be finished in the next 4 weeks.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Tokens and other bits

©2019 Barry Smith - Peace pieces for our tree on the rust table - late afternoon sun
I have grabbed bits of time during the week, and a little today, to progress the stash of word-leaves and tokens for gifting that I'm working on.

As part of the process of making the tokens for gifting I decided to use some quite thick and hard silver-plated nickel silver to make peace pieces to go on our metal 'christmas' tree. The photo above is the set of nine that will be used I think.

In the end I have made 66 concave triangular shaped pieces.

©2019 Barry Smith - A stash of peace pieces - stamped
©2019 Barry Smith - A stash of tree of life pieces stamped
©2019 Barry Smith - Star, tree of life and peace pieces. 
©2019 Barry Smith - Sixty-six pieces drilled and pressed ready for grinding and polishing
I started to grind and polish all of them today; but only managed about 20. More photos of the peace pieces for our tree.

©2019 Barry Smith - Peace pieces on the grinding work bench 
©2019 Barry Smith - Shadows of peace pieces
©2019 Barry Smith - The joy of silver-plate and rust
We will see what the weekend brings.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Carpets of colour

©2019 Barry Smith - Jacaranda carpeted path
At the moment the pathway at the entrance to Maleny Showgrounds is a sight to behold. There is a mature planting of Jacaranda and Coral trees along the pathway. With the hot dry weather the trees are responding by putting on a total show of colour in defiance or survival mode. The result is that the path is covered in flowers - sections of the path just look like someone has laid a living carpet.

Fiona and I parked in the showgrounds a few days ago as we just could not go by with enjoying the cascade of flowers and the also we just wanted to capture the moment with our eyes and iPhones.
©2019 Barry Smith - A carpet of purple - Jacaranda
©2019 Barry Smith 
©2019 Barry Smith - A carpet of red - Coral Tree
There were many flowers caught on bark, thorns and crevices  - piles and puddles of colour.

©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith - Keeping each other company on the cement path
©2019 Barry Smith - Nestled at the foot of a tree
©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith
©2019 Barry Smith - A lone coral flower caught on bark
©2019 Barry Smith
A joy to be immersed in.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Starting and continuing

©2019 Barry Smith - Stamped star and tiny lowers
There was not a lot of time available to get into the garage-studio over the weekend - plenty of things to do on the block and in the neighbourhood.

I had a plan in my mind about what I would do this year as tokens to recognise the work of some of our local volunteers. I need to keep it simple as I need to make about 40 of these tokens of appreciation. I have decided on a concave triangle that has a star (volunteers are stars) and small flowers The photo above shows a bit of the detail of the stamped star; and the photos below just a couple of photos of the process.

©2019 Barry Smith - Deciding on the size of the metal triangles  - marking up rough silver-plated metal
©2019 Barry Smith - Comparison of smaller and larger triangles of metal
©2019 Barry Smith - Stamped concave triangles - about 60mm from top to bottom and 40mm across the bottom - hole in the top in case some want to turn them into pendants of for a keyring - still in need of grinding and polishing
I think this design will work so I will now make about 40 of them.

I used a bit of time to progress the word-leaves. The bigger ones are now ready for grinding and polishing. The smaller ones have been hammered but need opening before grinding and polishing.

©2019 Barry Smith - Small word-leaves hammered ready for opening
©2019 Barry Smith - Larger word-leaves opened and ready for grinding and polishing
Progress on multiples can seem slow - but that is just because of the numbers. Hopeful;l;y they will be done during the week.