Sunday, February 11, 2018

An artists' book about war and peace.

Futility 2 is the second artists' book in a series about the futility of war.

©2018 Barry Smith - Cover of Futility 2 with brass button, bullet  and bullet casing from the battle fields of Ypres 
The inner pages have excerpts from three poems stamped into the metal.

The poems and poets are: Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen; The Farmer Remembers the Somme by Vance Palmer; and In Flanders Fields by John McCrae.

©2018 Barry Smith - Excerpts of poems stamped on the pages
©2018 Barry Smith - Excerpts of poems stamped on the pages
The deaths of so many in war is a futile way of achieving peace.

©2018 Barry Smith - Patinated brass uniform button and bullet 'lead' from the battle fields of Ypres

Friday, February 9, 2018

Scroll book container finished

I have finished the body of the sacred scroll artists' book. It has been ground, polished, riveted etc - I have deliberately left much of the age patina on the scroll case.

©2018 Barry Smith - Scrolls
©2018 Barry Smith - Scroll case open
©2018 Barry Smith - Scroll case locked
A gorgeous little latch I made - it is locked in place by using a crystal and post from a dismantled earring. I put a rivet post into the body and drilled a 1mm hole through it to take the earring post.

©2018 Barry Smith - Locking last and pin
I did a test of the scroll to see what width I required and if the winder worked. The answers were: the scroll needs to be 12.5cm wide; and yes the winder works.

©2018 Barry Smith - Testing the scroll fit
©2018 Barry Smith - Scroll rolled and nestled in case
The only task now is to print the peace related wording  on the scroll.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Reflections, soft light and other matters

The walk this morning was cool and soft. We seem to be on our way to autumn.

Before heading out I was attracted to the reflections of the soft morning light on the still surface of the water in the the old rusty fire pit - now really a huge (1m in diameter) avian font.

©2018 Barry Smith - Clouds, water, sky, camellias and mountains
©2018 Barry Smith - A pastel morning
This little visual feast was followed up by the blue of the hydrangeas and the pumpkin flowers - the vines are starting to spread over everything as is their way each year.

©2018 Barry Smith - Pumpkin vine reaching up to entwine Bending 6.
©2018 Barry Smith - Rampant pumpkin vine
©2018 Barry Smith - An early morning gatherer
©2018 Barry Smith - Deep blue of the hydrangea with morning dew and webs
Most of the flowers on the verges on my walk along Treehaven Way were reflecting the soft cool morning light.

©2018 Barry Smith 
©2018 Barry Smith - Delicate gum blossom
©2018 Barry Smith - A profusion of fiddle wood (?) blossoms
©2018 Barry Smith - African tulips paint a blue morning sky
©2018 Barry Smith - Delicate pastel beauty emerging out of roadside weeds and grass
©2018 Barry Smith - Can you call something that looks like pink wool on a stick a blossom?
Uplifted by nature.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Progressing the sacred scroll slowly

©2018 Barry Smith - The stand that will hold the sacred scroll is given a test run before the brass bits are ground and polished and the Camphor Laurel timbers is sanded and oiled - the photo gives a pretty good idea how the winder sits within the brass body of the scroll holder.
Much of the weekend was spent on a heap of paper work that Fiona and I needed to do. So the container that will hold the sacred peace scroll was progressed but not completed. It is a fiddly job so it all needs to be done mindfully and slowly.

I share a few photos of progress and mock-ups of the progress.

©2018 Barry Smith - I have created a central tube that will support the winding rod to which the scroll is attached. The winding rod is a hollow brass tube.
©2018 Barry Smith - The winding rod is threaded and I have added a threaded and drilled out brass fitting that slips over the newly created support rod; and it will also provide an edge for the scroll.
©2018 Barry Smith - Using some 'blutak' to test that the cover will work
©2018 Barry Smith - This photo gives an idea how the hinges will look when they are riveted into place on the scroll container cover.
The container is now up to the stage where I need to spend a couple of hours on the grinder-polisher before starting to assemble the lot. I don't want to lose the patina on the extinguisher body and handle so I hope to get the finish I want using a brass wire polishing wheel.

I did locate our stash of pianola rolls; and I chose one.

©2018 Barry Smith - Pianola roll that will provide the length  paper for the scroll
The paper is fine but tough. I like the aged colour of roll. I will be cutting a strip about 1-1.5 m long and 14cm wide off the left edge of the roll that has the least perforations. And then I will print this with Fiona's help.

Friday, February 2, 2018

A new artists' book

©2018 Barry Smith  - Handle and top of a vintage hand held fire extinguisher
Not a lot of time in the studio/garage today; but I did make a start on a new artist book. It will take the form of a ancient scroll in a brass scroll holder - in this case a vintage hand held and hand pumped fire extinguisher I have had in my stash for about 5 years with this very artists' book in mind.

The worked started with an idea in my head; but I thought I'd sketch it out for the sake of recording where I started and where I was going with the book.

©2018 Barry Smith
I cut up the extinguished with a side grinder. This included cutting out the corroded pump section inside the extinguisher - a bit tricky given I didn't want mark or cut into the opening I had created.  You can see the result of the cutting below. And then the filing of sharp edges and creating of the other elements was started. You can see the corrosion of the inside of extinguisher

©2018 Barry Smith - Scroll winder, holder and cover cut and ready for further work.
©2018 Barry Smith _ Hinges, latch and brass sections that will support the cover.
©2018 Barry Smith - Another photo of that gorgeous handle.
I think this piece will make a statement on a couple of levels - form and content. I plan to make the scroll itself out of an old piano roll and print the words on it using one of our galley presses.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Bits from NZ

Fiona and I went to NZ for a few days to celebrate my birthday. It was a few days of art, nature and relaxation. Following are a few images from the trip away - not a lot of people photos.

©2018 Barry Smith - Can you see it?  LOTS carved into Oneroa library wall
©2018 Barry Smith - Spiral Waiheke Community Art Gallery
©2018 Barry Smith - The Carrying of the Waterfall by Maria Llyod - part of a temporary sculpture trail in Oneroa 
©2018 Barry Smith - Big wooden heart - Dead Dog Bay Wetland Garden and Sculpture
©2018 Barry Smith - Tentatively hiding?  Wetland Garden and Sculpture

©2018 Barry Smith - Large ceramic 'woven' bow in front of flax plants used for weaving 
©2018 Barry Smith - Intrepid photographer crosses the wetlands
©2018 Barry Smith - Woven - by spiders or by ants?
©2018 Barry Smith - Flax seed pods against a very blue sky
©2018 Barry Smith - Bronze cockle shells on a weathered post - Oneroa
©2018 Barry Smith - Patinated beaten up name plate
We are back on the mountain; and doing a bit of catch up.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A few fragments

There was no time for a walk on Treehaven Way this morning as we had to be up very early and on the road. So in this Wednesday iPhoneographic post I share a few images taken during the week.

First some fragments of a new wall in our local optometrist made from washed rough cut thin slices of timbers from railway sleeps or a bridge. The square holes seem to suggest "dog spikes" that held the railway tracks in place.
©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith
And a couple of photos of the setting sun shining through a western window and catching a rose and an orchid on the dining table.

©2018 Barry Smith
©2018 Barry Smith