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Unique Handmade Metal Art

Updated on May 11, 2017
jbosh1972 profile image

I work in metal. I love abstract metal art. I am an avid learner and always growing.

Nail Sculpture with hand formed copper accent bowl
Nail Sculpture with hand formed copper accent bowl | Source

Inspiration Comes From Varied Sources

This article is about the metal work I create for my Etsy shop. I draw inspiration from architecture, nature, or the spontaneous inclination to create. I like to work with salvage and scrap material when applicable. Otherwise I use drops and cutoff pieces and I try to use waste material from previous projects. Metal art indeed can be a green endeavor.

I work mainly with steel but I also use copper, brass ans stainless in my work. I have not done much with aluminum as of yet but I am in the process of teaching myself torch brazing of aluminum. The styles I work in are as varied as my work. I have made midcentury, memphis, art deco, art nouveau and many contemporary pieces. The work can be inspired by what metal I have or the image in my head can dictate what metals I choose and how to arrange them into completed works of art.

Modern Minimalism Metal Art

Minimalist Metal Art
Minimalist Metal Art | Source

Scrap Metal as a Source of Material

The assemblage above consist of various remnant scraps I had lying around. Other pieces I pulled from personal stock. Never ceases to astonish me how unwanted metal clutter becomes a highly desirable work of art that can pull decor elements together. The work is signed and dated and available here in my Etsy shop

Style of Metal Art

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Star Spangled Panel

I created the small panel to add some mid century pizzazz. This rectangular panel consist of 7 hand made stars made from nails, with three hemispherical end caps. The magnificant star spangled panel is framed with skillfully torch welded 5/16" square cold rolled steel bar.

Distressed Industrial Abstract


Industrial Abstract Metal Art for Man Cave

If you are looking for a distinctive metal wall sculpture made with strong and solid materials, look no further than this distressed abstract metal wall hanging. The composition consist of a very heavy duty piece of expanded sheet background with scrap steel found objects placed strategically for aesthetics. The piece was lightly and sparingly spray painted to give a rustic if not shabby chic feel to the composition. This piece would fit in nice into any man cave, garage, or den.


Midcentury Nail art

If the name Charles Eames means anything to you, then you are probably already familiar art made from masonry cut nails. I make these sculptures out of these nails using bronze brazing rods as a joint but also to create a contrasting color finish.

Cut masonry nails are a versatile medium to work in, they come in sizes from 2 inches long all the way to 4 inches in length. They can also be cut and bent to any form imaginable. Just using them like they are still affords numerous poosibilities. For instance the sculpture to the right is a simple geometric arrangement that would add sophistication to any décor. Just click on the photo for more details.

To see the latest offerings in this category of metal décor, check out the brazed nail art section of my Etsy shop.

How I work

Aside from the fact I do not have a garage or dedicated studio, I do like to work outdoors. The fresh air, the birds singing, are part of the creative process. Sometimes the weather conditions are adverse. I have worked significantly below freezing temperatures in January to torrid days in the upper 90's with humidty during the summer.

I try to make the most of the fewest tools. Sometimes I improvise and I can make my own tools out of available materials. I learn a lot from youtube videos and books from the library. But the best instruction is hands on classroom instruction. When I can, I take classes in welding and in sculpture.

Using Different Metals in Sculpture

Metal art has almost unlimited finishes and textures possible with every color of the rainbow possible. Sometimes though, using two metals or different alloys might get the desired results. For example, nothing comes close to mimicking the look of gold like polished brass. A very attractive look can be had with steel minimalist sculpture with brass accent. Especially if the steel is painted flat black.


Memphis Style Wall Panel

This addition to my Etsy shop is a retro Memphis style metal wall décor. It is made from some scrapped prefabbed 1/8" steel panels that I purchased for projects such as this. It is all painted in bold glossy oil based rust preventative paint. The simple form and clean geometric lines convey a sense of sophistication and intrigue. But what really sets off the whole piece is the nature of the colors chosen. The contrast between red, deep blue, and white, and black set off the different lines and accents of this piece.

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    • jbosh1972 profile image

      Jason 6 months ago from Indianapolis, IN. USA

      Couldn't have said it better myself.

    • profile image

      Metal3dart 6 months ago

      I believe the key to making metal art, along with any endeavor, is just getting out there and doing it. Learning from your mistakes and getting advice and help wherever you may find it. With YouTube and the online forums, access to helpful and educational information is way more widespread than ever.

    • jbosh1972 profile image

      Jason 2 years ago from Indianapolis, IN. USA


      I sat on my hands for 15 years before picking up a torch and trying. Would have been much better off if I started when I was still in my 20s.

      All I can tell you and your husband is read up and just dive in. Learn how metal reacts to heat. Find out what it takes to cut and drill metals. Just do it!

    • profile image

      Keara Littner 2 years ago

      Each one of those is actually really cool. I kind of wish I knew how to work metal so I could start making some of my own things like these. It's also something that my husband has mentioned being interested in, so it might be fun to look into it with him in the future.

    • jbosh1972 profile image

      Jason 5 years ago from Indianapolis, IN. USA

      Thank you so much ripplemaker! I appreciate the compliment.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      This is really unique, not the usual kind that I see. Hmmmm very nice! Thanks for sharing your work of art.

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination. Join the team while dancing and reading and voting right here

    • jbosh1972 profile image

      Jason 5 years ago from Indianapolis, IN. USA

      You are so kind thank you. There is more to add for sure.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      I really like your artwork made with metal. It is unique and very attractive. Congrats on your Hubnugget nomination.

    • jbosh1972 profile image

      Jason 5 years ago from Indianapolis, IN. USA

      Thank you. Metal art initially started as a stress relief. Not sure where it will go for here. I always lament that I do not have enough time or energy to work on metal art like I would like.

    • joanveronica profile image

      Joan Veronica Robertson 5 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi, welcome to Hubpages, and congrats on your Hubnugget nomination! I admire your courage to make original things and run a store on Etsy, it must be very time consuming. Be happy!