When you think about art, you probably first think about painting or sculpting. However, metalworking has been an art form for thousands of years, and is a long-lasting medium that ranges from fine jewelry and art pieces to wall hangings and larger items. Expert metalworkers are capable of creating extraordinarily beautiful and meaningful works, and they have been doing so throughout recorded history.
Here’s a little bit of information about metal art and its history that you can keep in mind when working with a machine shop in Phoenix, AZ on custom metal art pieces.
What qualifies as being metal art?
Metal art refers, as the name suggests, to any artwork made out of metal. The metal could be a precious metal like gold, silver or bronze, it could be iron or steel or even aluminum. The piece can be decorative or functional—what one defines as art will vary widely in just about any medium. In some cases, it could be both. Many beautiful pieces of tableware, such as bowls and cups, were created in the early Bronze Age that were equally beautiful and functional. That tradition continues today in some regards—even functional metal pieces are designed to be aesthetically pleasing as well, in many applications.
What sort of historical or cultural significance does metal art have?
You can go to just about any historical museum or gallery and see different types of metalwork from different ages. The styles change over times, and different artistic designs pop up across the eras. As with any other type of art or innovation, it’s fascinating to compare these pieces to each other when you’re able to see them all collected in one place. It’s a unique way of analyzing what the human mind can create, and how one person can take an existing idea and build upon it to make it something entirely new and beautiful.
Plus, because metal is capable of lasting for hundreds of generations, metal art pieces can be dated thousands of years into the past. There are some metal art pieces that date as far back as 7,000 B.C., including hammered metal from the Bronze Age. The way these pieces are designed and decorated can tell us not just about the state of the metalworking craft at the time, but also about cultural happenings. Consider the historical figures depicted on coins, for example, or the sigils and decorations on metal shields.
In later years, metal statues also came into vogue, which gives historians a better idea of what certain historical figures looked like, or at least the kinds of physical features they had that made an impression on the artist.
Metal Pro Inc. is pleased to carry on the age-old tradition of custom metal artwork. If you have a project you’d like us to take on for your home or business, we encourage you to get in touch with us to learn more about our capabilities and how we can help you at our machine shop in Phoenix, AZ.