Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A vibrant morning

©2018 Barry Smith - A circle of flowerettes within a flower
I'm always amazed that the same walk on Wednesday morning can always deliver new surprises. This morning I was just taken by: the blue of the sky, the strength of structure of the Satin Bowerbird's bower, bright blossoms and vibrant birds.

I will just share some of the beauty in the sequence I experienced them - apart from the detail of one of the flowers shared above.

©2018 Barry Smith - Tiny pink sun worshiper
©2018 Barry Smith - Satin Bowerbird's bower
©2018 Barry Smith - Touched by early morning sun
©2018 Barry Smith - Grevillea unfolding
©2018 Barry Smith - Seed pod on the road - stripped of its blossom and seed - looking like a miniature basket (about 1cm) 
©2018 Barry Smith - Fragile beauty
©2018 Barry Smith - Bunya Nuts by the vriadside
©2018 Barry Smith - Detail of Bunya Nut 
©2018 Barry Smith - Bougainvillea reaching up into the blue
©2018 Barry Smith - Two Butcher Birds in full song
©2018 Barry Smith - Rainbow Lorikeet feasting on Bottle Brush blossom
©2018 Barry Smith - Sun through a fallen leaf on the road
No wonder I came home with a smile and lift in my spirit.

Sunday, January 14, 2018


©2018 Barry Smith - Hammered section of a well worn silver-plated copper tulip vases
Fiona and I are doing quite a bit of work on our block and house at the moment - so time in the studio can be in bits and pieces.

I grabbed a couple bits of time over the weekend to make components for my flower assemblage sculpture including:

  • hammering the cone shaped sections of the flowers to be; 
  • making the circular pieces that will fit inside the opening section of the vases; and 
  • assembling the 25 stamen.

The cut down tulip vases can look pretty bad at the start - the beauty is under the grime.

©2018 Barry Smith - Silver-plated copper and brass narrow tulip vases with bases cut off
The hammering of the cone sections is done in a very systematic way using two different sized metal forming stakes. And after polishing the hammer marks become a uniting feature of the five flowers.

©2018 Barry Smith - Back from the polishing bench
©2018 Barry Smith - Five hammered and polished sections for the flowers
Again the metal for the sections that will be inside the trumpets are not really much to write home about. After pressing into their shallow bowl shape and given a first clean one can see the potential.

©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith - Pieces are cut and formed to sit inside the top of the trumpet section of the tulip vase.
The stamen are made from 1mm plastic covered stainless steel wire and 6-7mm glass beads - mainly purples and smokey grey-black.

©2018 Barry Smith - Like mini flowers?
©2018 Barry Smith
Other components to be made before assembling include: brass tubes to hols stamen, long copper tube stems and slightly larger copper sleeves to hold the stems and be glued into the base of the trumpets. These pieces will be made in the next week I hope.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Developing an idea and other bits

©2018 Barry Smith - Flower stamens?
It has been one of those days - Fiona and I have a touch of a cold - it just slows one down - so today was not as creative or productive as I would have liked.

In the end I: developed a prototype for an idea that has been lurking around in the back of my mind for some time; and tried to unsuccessfully get the old typewriter working.

Regarding the idea - I want to make a vase of 'flowers' using an old brass train horn and a bunch of silver-plated tulip vases that have sat in my stash.

With sections of copper and brass tubing I gradually built up a trumpet shaped flower on a stem for the horn vase. It is a rough prototype but I think it will work.

©2018 Barry Smith - Cut down tulip vase and copper pipe.
©2018 Barry Smith - Looking down into the centre of the 'flower'
©2018 Barry Smith - Mock-up of flower on a stem in a vase!!!
©2018 Barry Smith - Side view of flower
I plan to make 5 flowers for the vase as I have 5 good quality tulip vases. The flowers will be a lot better finished; and the sides of the tulip vases will be hammered.

I worked on the Remington-Rand 17 typewriter for over an hour; but for some reason I can't get the carriage to move. It is either locked and I can't find the way to unlock it; or it is rusted in place. I will have another go another day. The keys are working well.

It might be gentle cold white wine night tonight.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A colour filled Wednesday morning

©2018 Barry Smith 
Now by the time I walk on Wednesday morning it is already so bright. I have commented before just how much colour the hot and sometimes rainy weather has created.

The following is some colour from the roadside of Treehaven Way.

©2018 Barry Smith 
©2018 Barry Smith 
©2018 Barry Smith 
©2018 Barry Smith 
©2018 Barry Smith 
©2018 Barry Smith 
©2018 Barry Smith
And of course the colour of orchids and other blossoms on the block.

©2018 Barry Smith 
©2018 Barry Smith 
©2018 Barry Smith 
©2018 Barry Smith 
©2018 Barry Smith 
©2018 Barry Smith 
©2018 Barry Smith 
I end on a photo of the valley already showing the haze of heat at 5.45am

©2018 Barry Smith 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Time for a little creativity

©2018 Barry Smith - Polished, filed and oiled cross sections of buffalo horn
For the last 5 days Fiona and I have been working like crazy in the yard.We have been removing yuccas and dracaenas that have grown to huge sizes and threatened walls and the road way. We were able to gift the smaller sections of the removed plants to a friend for mulching; but the bigger stumps and trunks needed to go into a 5 cubic meter skip we hired for green waste.

I promised a friend that I would make her a buffalo pendant with negative space. I did a little bit on Saturday and managed to finish three off today - one needs too have choice.

As you can see from the photos below the pendants started with a pretty rugged and very old section of buffalo horn.

©2018 Barry Smith - Section of an old buffalo horn
©2018 Barry Smith - Rough cut slivers of horn - about 8mm thick
The photo at the beginning of the blog shows how it can polish up - fine sanding and then a bit of lubricant polished into the horn. The final results look pretty good.

©2018 Barry Smith - Buffalo horn pendant with stone and brass
©2018 Barry Smith - Buffalo horn pendant with found chrome bauble
©2018 Barry Smith - Buffalo horn pendant with beach glass and found ceramic bead
©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith - Bead, glass and horn
ThoughFiona and I think the person I made them for will want to go with the plain horn with negative space rather than stone, glass or metal baubles.