I can honestly say that we haven’t done a great many projects that included fabricated metal art. Until recently I found this medium to be rather cold and difficult to incorporate into our overall designs. But recently we worked with an artist that has managed to capture my attention and creates so much energy and motion in his artwork that I jumped at the chance to bring it into one of our latest projects.
While we work in plenty of places that would be considered modern, I’ve always tried to create spaces that feel inviting. Much of this comes from my upbringing where there was a mix of modern with rustic. Many of the homes where I grew up had been updated in the modern style, but still incorporated rustic building such as barns and other farm buildings
Working With Metal
There are of course many challenges involved in working with metal as decor for a home. First and foremost the artist’s style has to jive with the homeowner’s. This can be one of the biggest challenges to overcome
This particular artist incorporates a great many natural scenes including animals, landscapes, and a bit of abstract. For this particular project we decided that animal and landscapes would best suit the space. We then commissioned him to come up with 7 different pieces for us to use in various locations.
Rather than just throwing these pieces on the walls we decided to try to come up with something more clever. For some they were built into the walls using nook type spaces. Others were used as transition pieces in look-throughs from one room to anther.
In fact we used the above piece in a look through from the kitchen into the great room. The house itself is situated near an estuary in Northwest Florida and the heron was an ideal piece as it helped bring the outside landscape into the kitchen even though there was an entire room between it and the outdoors.
The fabrication process itself is quite interesting. Generally the artist works with industrial tools such as welding equipment, plasma cutters, and other high powered devices. In this particular case the artist used a plasma cutter from Hypertherm. He said while this isn’t the cheapest plasma cutter on the market, it was capable of working for extended periods of time and could cut through anything thickness of material he required.
Before settling on his work I decided to fly down to his shop in Key West. It was almost mesmerizing to watch him working with the materials. Once the project is finished you will be able to find more pictures here as usual.
Here’s a fantastic video demonstrating the flexibility these plasma cutting tools offer. They can be used a wide variety of ways.