Written by Artistic Alloys

Creating Metal Sculptures


Sculpture is arguably one of the oldest forms of fine art. It has over time influenced western culture in a variety of ways. While sculptures were a central theme in religious art during many hundreds of years, today it is a way to create lasting impressions and expressions. One of the most durable materials sculptures can be made from is metal. Creating metal sculptures takes modern tools, and moderns skills.

Methods Of Metal Sculpture

There are various ways for a metal artist to create visually stunning and durable art objects. These vary in the type of metal that is used, and how it is manipulated to make the shapes that inspire us.

Art Of Direct Metal Sculpture – Welding

With the introduction of the oxyacetylene welding torch metal work as an art form has been revolutionized. Via a combination of forging and welding objects of great beauty can be created. Welding is used to cut and joint pieces of metal. While many times its utilitarian applications are the only ones people think about, it has serious artistic merit. Welding is limited to joining tow pieces of the same type of metal will a small amount of filler. The filler material also needs to be of the same metal type that is being welded.

Brazing however differs from welding in that it can be used to join two different types of metal. In the process of brazing a joint is made from a material that has a lower melting point than the two difference pieces of metal that is to be joined. Brazing is also useful in the joining of nonferrous metals.

Forging is the cutting, hammering, and bending of metal. This is a very common element of creating metal sculptures.

Metal Casting

Casting is a process where raw metal is heated up to its melting point. Then it is poured into a mold which is in the shape of the desired object. The liquid metal is poured in and allowed to cool and solidify. This is a common technique to make shapes or designs that are too complex to affordably create other ways. Traditional methods of casting include sand casting, plaster mold casting, and lost-wax casting.

Repoussé Metal Working

This is the technique of hammering the backside of a piece of metal to create shapes or a raised surface on the opposite side. This is done using a hammer and malleable metal. The low relief that is created can be ornamentation for a variety of applications. From functional metalworking like gates, doors, or kitchen metal work repoussé is a common and timeless

Polishing And Smoothing Metal

Steel wool or emery paper can be used to rub down metal surfaces. Used with abrasives and polishes different appearances and finishes can be achieved for a desired sculpture look. Certain motifs demand a high polished near mirror like finish. While more rustic themes demand a less reflective, weathered surface to stay authentic. Many times artists will upset the expectation and finish the objects in ways that contrast their theme to make a statement.

Scottsdale Creative Metalworking

Artistic Alloys of Scottsdale Arizona creates one of a kind metal objects. Our services can be used to make both functional and purely artistic artistic additions to your home or business.

Whether it be a purely utilitarian functional piece or simply adding a center piece to your home or landscape our designers and fabricators are passionate about unmatched quality and design. Give us a call today to discus your metal project.


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