Metal art welding is basically a form of sculpting in reverse. Whereas sculpting starts from a block of stone and the process entails the removal of all material not part of what is to be the finished piece, metal art welding starts with nothing and keeps on adding pieces until the work of art in completed. Two processes, converse to each other, but resulting in the same end.
Unlike sculptors who work in stones like granites or marble, the metal welding artist can use just about any metal, or combinations of metals he chooses to.
Tips For Metal Art Welding
He may form his creations out of virgin metal sheets, rods or pipes; or he may assemble existing pieces of shaped metal in to final product.
Welding is, in its most simple form, the joining together of two pieces of metal by heating the surfaces and then placing them together until the cooled metal forms a joint. There are different types of welding methods that can be used, depending on the types of metal involved and the nature of the joint whether it requires strength, a fine finish, whether the metal can withstand high heat etc.
Metal art welding can be done on any scale, from the finest pieces of jewelry that are finely welded or soldered together to huge outdoor sculptures.
The beginnings of modern metal art welding lie in the emergence of junk sculpture when young artists understood that the joining of various pieces of existing scrap metal could produce works of artistic integrity and merit. The first works of modern welded metal art were made from things found in junkyards hence the name. Old car parts, refrigerator bodies, oddly shaped bits of scrap metal, you name it, they were all welded to together and the results were often surprising in their artistic expression and originality. Embellishments were done in the form of special coatings and paint applied to some or all of the metal sculptures.
The next stage was to addition of moving parts motorized sculptures. Windmill effects, rotating tables and wind driven mobiles were some of the early common design themes used. Much of early welded metal art was created for shock effect and it succeeded.
Today metal art welding is returning to its basics, and, in the opinion of many art critics, its purest form. Simple and expressive forms, created by welding together seemingly uncomplimentary pieces of metal can create a memorable effect, as in the welding of a rusty old car axle to a pair of roller skate frames to express the artists opinion of the negatives of fossil fueled vehicles.
While metal art welding can be tiny, as in small jewelry items, it are normally large in size. The largeness of the welded form adds to its impact. That is why the majority of art made by the metal welding process is in the form of outdoor sculpture.
Since most welded art is made up from existing pieces of metal, this is one art form where the mind of the artist must be able to not just envision the finished work of art, but be able to look at using existing shapes to create his vision. Like a jigsaw puzzle, the artist must be able to locate the shapes he needs to create the final effect.