Sunday, February 19, 2017

Finishing the post and a couple of other images

Yesterday Fiona and I were in Toowoomba as Fiona had a full day of teaching.

I planned to use my time over there to search for silver-plated trays for my metal work. As it turned out there was no metal to be had; but I did manage to buy a great heavy copper hammer and a few light fittings; and I got to take a few photos of some local art including a couple of photos of posts as you can see at the end of this blog post.

Today I finished the community timber monolith (post) I was making on Friday. I love how the etched aluminium contrasts beautifully against the sanded and oiled timber.

©2017 Barry Smith - Etched aluminium (5cm high and 12cm long) screwed to timber post
A few images and different views of the post follow. The photos were taken with the post's feet pushed into my pile of stone mulch which is to be shovelled down onto the terraces below.

©2017 Barry Smith - Drilled ready for attaching
©2017 Barry Smith - Side faces of the post
©2017 Barry Smith- Front and side face (the plaque will sit between the two small etched plates at the top of the front face of the post - I cut a larger plate in half and reground the edges to make the two small plates).
©2017 Barry Smith - Looking down on the top plate and front face.
©2017 Barry Smith - Detail off an etched plate  (rotated on its side)
©2017 Barry Smith - I cut up another square etched plated into four to create these small rectangles at the base. A case of form and function - form is that they givs the post balance; and function is that they will reduce cracking of the base of the post.
©2017 Barry Smith - Post on top of 3cubic meters of gravel
I have ordered the plaque for the post; and hope to pick it up and attach it mid week. The post could then be installed in the community garden late next week.

Those couple of Toowoomba images.

©2017 Barry Smith - Indigenous story posts created by Aboriginal welding-engineering students over 20 years ago - and still telling their story 
©2017 Barry Smith - Corner detail of a very large granite column (post) near the Toowoomba regional gallery.
Of course there were a few more texture images that will go into my Wednesday blog post.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Post in progress and old equipment reused

Over the last couple of days my 'creative' energy has, in the main, gone into a few repair jobs and maintenance on the block - a bit more about one of the jobs later in the post.

But I did get time to start making a post that will celebrate community gardening. This post is a freebee that will go into our local neighbourhood centre community garden. I am up cycling a few components that have been sitting in various stashes. First a 1.2m long X 150cm square salvaged piece of blackout timber; and a couple of galvanised iron stakes.

©2017 Barry Smith - Cross grain sanding and oil to bring out the colour and grain and a little face?
©2017 Barry Smith - Of course some of us like it grey and with the nails still in place
©2017 Barry Smith - Post - sanded, oiled and feet bolted on - ready for etched aluminium plates
To this will be added some etched aluminium pieces left over from a commission. And of course a plaque will be added recognising the love of gardening by volunteers and others.

©2017 Barry Smith - Square plate for the top of the post
©2017 Barry Smith - Pieces for the side faces
©2017 Barry Smith - Another couple of pieces for the side faces of the post
One of the jobs I have had on the list was to replace the cross support beam under what we call the drawbridge to the top part of the shed-studio and a couple of hand rails - all had suffered from dry rot. I needed to take the  cross beam out without taking the whole structure down. I knew I had an old house jack that was masquerading as a small rusty sculpture on the car turning deck.

©2017 Barry Smith - Couple of small rusty house jacks and a rusty friend on the corner of the deck
After a bit of oiling and persuasion it was made operational again; and you can see it did an admirable job supporting the deck off the drawbridge; whilst I removed the rotted cross beam and replaced it with a super hardwood beam.

©2017 Barry Smith - The old jack did a great job and new hardwood crossbeam is bolted in place
I hope to finish the post on Sunday.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


The title of this post was inspired by a feather drifting on the breeze; but looking suspended in a blue sky. The photo was taken with the iPhone as Fiona and I were walking from the house to the car. Such a chance spectacle.

©2017 Barry Smith - A tiny feather drifts across a blue sky - suspended on a gentle breeze.
Of course suspended also applies so well to the the Aquarian moon. The last photo, this morning at about 6.30am, reminded me of the drifting feather. Moon photos were taken with the Canon Powershot.

©2017 Barry Smith  - Full moon rising behind yucca plants - colours flooding outwards
©2017 Barry Smith  - Full moon - clear evening - silver
©2017 Barry Smith  - Full moon - early morning 
©2017 Barry Smith  - Faint feather moon against a blue morning sky
On my walk the suspended theme continued with various vines and blossoms seeming to float in space. I just loved the untethered nature of the vines and blossoms.

©2017 Barry Smith  - Orchid in our yard - suspended from a hanging basket
©2017 Barry Smith  - Hanging vine with pods and webs
©2017 Barry Smith  - A suspended string of stars
©2017 Barry Smith  - Tiny floating bouquets
Sometimes the brain surprises me - how it just makes connections and developed themes is a mystery.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Cascading impacts and other bits including a new technique

I intended to create quite a bit of my Found and Formed earrings and pendants over the weekend; but the universe had other ideas.

Fiona and I discovered a bad smell in my garage-studio. We tracked the smell down to mould that was growing on the wall and books that had become wet. So this meant shifting a few biggish bits of equipment and a heap of metal and timber away from the wall. The problem seems to be caused by a blocked air conditioner drain pipe that is built into the wall. The problem provided the opportunity not only to clean the wall and dry the floor covering; but also to sort the metal and timber and to build a book wall from the books that had become wet.

As you can see from the photo below the books have created a new feature on one of the shady terraces below the house. We ended up doing a host of other sorting clean and fixing tasks but they are way too boring.

©2017 Barry Smith - Book wall - love the red contrast
©2017 Barry Smith - Red section of the small book wall with mini-agapanthus that will gradually grow over the books - books are held in place by the gravel and the occasional iron rod hammered into the ground through the spine of the books
Another impact on the Found and Formed  earring and pendant plan was a new request. I have been asked to convert a couple of blank silver rings into 'stylish time related rings' by adding copper and brass rod into the rings and also inserting watch cogs. Inlaying metal rod into silver is a job I have never done. I decided to practice on a bit of ring sized silver plated tubing I cut from a small candle holder. Using a small and sharp metal chisel I cut an s shaped groove into tubing. I then used a very small riveting hammer to hammer copper wire into the groove (inlaying); and then folded in the burred edges. I also drilled into the tubing and set a small cog at the end of the inlaid copper. I think I have a identified a technique I can practice a couple more times before attempting the real thing.

©2017 Barry Smith - Ring with inlaid copper and watch cog - bit hard to see the copper as it was hard to photograph the ring because of light reflections. The width of the silver-plated brass tubing is about 6mm
I made a bit of a start on the Found and Formed jewellery by cutting and drilling quite a stash of silver-plated tea spoons and other bits I discovered as part of the recent cull and clean.

©2017 Barry Smith - About 26 ends of silver-plated teaspoons
©2017 Barry Smith - Odds and ends that could become pendants. Spoons with leftover resin from the ring experiment
©2017 Barry Smith - Teaspoon ends drilled with 1mm bit
©2017 Barry Smith - Odds and ends drilled with 1mm or 1.5mm bits 
There is still quite a bit of grinding and polishing to be done; but at least I have made a start; and the spoons etc just won't be hanging around.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Making product and creating by-products

©2017 Barry Smith - Watch pendant - by-product of the production process
I was making a few pair of resin cuff links and watch earrings as stock for Entangle Living Art shop-gallery.

I always find that the process of making often results in other bits which I call process by-products.

The earrings started with watch bodies.

©2017 Barry Smith - A selection of watch bodies
These needed to be drilled and have posts and crystals attached before polishing and attaching earwires. Five pair of watch earrings emerged. Some of the photos are a bit blurred - too much rushing.
©2017 Barry Smith  - Rectangular watch earrings - lot of wear, history and patina on the faces
©2017 Barry Smith - The beauty of the mechanisms and rubies - round earrings
©2017 Barry Smith - The beauty of the mechanisms and rubies - small rectangular earrings
©2017 Barry Smith  - What time is that - round watch body earrings
©2017 Barry Smith - The beauty of the mechanisms and rubies - slightly larger round earrings
The cufflinks started with old cuff links and a selection of watch cogs.

©2017 Barry Smith 
After pouring resin, sanding the pieces to shape and then polishing I managed to achieve 4 pair.

©2017 Barry Smith - Rectangular resin cuff links
©2017 Barry Smith - Triangular resin cuff links
©2017 Barry Smith - Square resin cuff links
©2017 Barry Smith - Horseshoe resin cuff links
Left over resin created a few pendants.

©2017 Barry Smith - Crystals, cogs and metal punchings (these pendants are about 30mm in diameter)
©2017 Barry Smith - Crystals and rods in a small brass punched bowl (about 25-30mm in diameter)
Resin also went into creating a few watch pendants for three sisters to remember a father by.

©2017 Barry Smith 
Now of course there is the paper work and posting to be done. But it was good to achieve these outcomes today.

We will have bubbles tonight as Fiona completed another commission - adding story words to one of the large wall art pieces in our local IGA.

©2017 Barry Smith - Fragment of the story words on the artwork - I love the subtle choice of colours and font and how the words become part of the art.