Sheet Metal is one of the fundamental forms used in metal working and it can be cut and bent into variety of shapes. Many everyday items are fabricated through a sheet metal. Thickness can vary. Thin sheets are usually used for crafting foils and leaves while the thick one is considered the plate.
There are many different metals made out of sheet metal such as aluminium, brass, copper, steel. A popular use of sheet metal is to use it for art work. Spectrum of grades, textures, and thickness is decided according to the art to be made out of it. There are many categories of sheet metal like stainless steel, heat tinted, mild steel etc. Preference is to use aerospace grade aluminium for most the work. It gives brilliant light reflection and takes grinding and colour very easily. It can be indoors as well as outdoors without causing any damage to the art. For durability of sheet metal, consider to clear coat it. So that it is protected from UV rays, scratches and finger prints.
The process to use sheet metal in art is by the following steps:
- Grinding– It takes years of practice to create clean, symmetrical grind patterns. One can consider high manual grinding pads, high powered high held grinders and grinders with spinning pads. The type of material, grit, power, intensity of grinding will determine the appearance on the sheet metal.
- Bending– If the sheet is thin, then you can bend it to funky shapes and sizes. And bring in new dimension to the art work. It can be used for a 3D wall displays if the bends are more subtle and gentle. There are tools and machines to make bends, twists, curls, loops etc. Otherwise one can use their own strength and bit of leverage.
- Colouring– Colouring sheet for art work is a tricky thing. Certain metals like copper, bronze and steel, it can be torched at high degree of temperature and bring out some beautiful natural colours. It depends on the duration of the heat application and patterns used to torch the metal, a variety of colours will emerge. To use more vibrant colours, an automotive grade paints can be used. Using different types of paints, different type of application method have to be used.
It takes years to get skilled in the art work. Initially for a beginner there will be many errors and finishing of the product won’t be great but eventually the person will grow. If the person wants to personify their outdoors with a great art, they can choose from metals like Galvanised Steel – used foe making commercial building roofs, Aluminium – often used for framing of store front doors and windows. Copper, Brass and Bronze, Stainless Steel is used for outdoor industrial and commercial purposes.
Metal art works are creations produced both for practical or aesthetic purposes. Art works are designed for decor purposes, benefitting functional objects or ornamental pieces. The magnificent statues still standing today in Rome and Greece are made out of casting the copper, Pyramids of Egypt are variations of metal work.