Elegant Geometric Design With Square Steel Rods

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Dimensional Abstract Steel Art

A recent addition to my etsy shop is this simple beauty I constructed from 1/4″ square steel bar and sections of steel pipe.  The rods are all arc welded for maximum strength and color matching characteristics.  There are three distinct layers of rod intersecting at various points for added depth and multiple points of focus.  il_570xn-1493214640_meld

Artwork For Any Wall

Because of the natural brushed steel finish and pleasing lines, this wall decor looks good on any wall from a plain white painted wall to a textured stone or wood paneling decorated wall.  It is also coated with a durable rust preventative clear coat finish.  To get a chance of obtaining this one of a kind Dimensional Abstract Steel Wall Art, click on the link for more information or to browse my other items in my Etsy shop.

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Creating Geometric Sculpture

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Usually when using brazing to join steel and other metals together, I am working with rods,nails, or other small hardware.  The main theme on most of these has been mid century decor with emphasis on square cut nails.  It is only through handling of the brazing process that I am familiar with the smoothness of the weld beads.  Not have a TIG welding rig, I find brazing especially attractive as a method in construction of more conceptual metal art pieces.  Take my latest work in progress for example, I wanted to join thin 16 gauge steel squares and rectangles in a 3D space without having huge welds protruding with obnoxious weld spatter everywhere.

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The metal looks dirty and rather unattractive at this stage primarily because of the smoke, heat discoloration, and burnt flux.  Once clean, the brass brazing joints will glow gold against the shiny grey steel.  This alone will be an attractive finish with a rust preventing lacquer.   But there are many other finishing possibilities either covering or leaving the brass weld beads exposed.

Here are a few more views to appreciate the volume of the composition.

 

Mid Century Starburst Key Holder

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Mid Century Retro-style

If your decor needs a retro 1970’s style addition, then look no further than this mid century starburst key holder.  It was hand braze welded with an oxygen acetylene torch and is largely made up of masonry square cut nails.  The filler metal used was bare bronze brazing alloy.  A paste flux was used to prevent oxidation during heating.

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Brazed Masonry Nail Starburst

The second image captures a more closeup perspective of the functional art.  You will notice how the shiny bronze joints set themselves as quite a contrast to the gray steel near them.  Although this key holder may be considerably larger than my other key holders, I am quite pleased with this creation and I feel it is still quite comfortable to fit in any home or office.

Industrial Chic Steampunk Key Holder

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Steampunk Key Holder From Reclaimed Machine Gears

After the recent sale of the key holder me and my family have used for the last few years, I felt the pressure to replace it.  I immediately thought of a steampunk theme.  It is the driving force force for me to acquire steel gears from surplus sources.

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This industrial chic steampunk key holder pretty much came together as I imagined it.   I first arc welded the gears in what I thought was an interesting pattern.  Then cut a square steel bar I had handy then I hand formed my hooks.  I maintained an imperfect natural steel finish to add to the industrial chic charm.  This key holder could work in a number of decor settings.  It could perfectly fit in with a vintage country cottage or an ultramodern contemporary work space.  The possibilities are endless.

 

 

Triple Cube Pearl Blue Sculpture

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Three Steel Cubes Painted Pearl Blue

This brilliant iridescent blue three cube contemporary metal sculpture my latest creation.  It consist of three different sized cubes made from 1/8″ steel plate welded in 3D hollow forms with an oxygen acetylene torch.  You can read more about the process here.  It does take practice to do this efficiently.  It is a combination of choosing right welding tip size for optimum heat output as well as the correct travel speed to minimize warping the hollow forms.

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This sculpture was carefully assembled to get the most of the angles and perspectives available.  To add to the bold arrangement of three dimensional shapes, a pearl blue mica paint job was applied to the cubes.  This helps to accentuate the dimensional qualities of the piece.  To elevate the cubes, a stand was created with 1/4″ thick steel  plate and a 5/8″ round rod.  This stand is painted gloss black so the iridescent pearl blue cubes are able to stand out more.

 

Torch Firing Vitreous Enamel to Abstract Copper Sculpture Accents

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Melting Colored Glass On Metal

Just when I thought of every conceivable way to add to the methods of enhancing metal sculpture, I discover a whole new world of artistic exploration.  This time, encouraged by my father, I am examining the world of vitreous enamels.  More specifically, the enamels designed for metals.  In this post, I will be applying a transparent enamel directly to copper. Below, you will see the supplies I have for applying enamel.  I have a bottle of a gum solution used as an adhesive. The gum solution dries fairly quickly and when the powdered enamel is fired at roughly 1500 Fahrenheit, no residue of the gum remains.

 

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I also have a 2 ounce jar of Thompson Enamel 2410 Copper Green, a small sifter, and two fold formed copper panels.

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I first brush on the gum solution straight from the bottle onto the fold formed copper panels. Without wasting too much time, I get my sifter and extract some of the enamel powder from the jar.  I gently sift onto the panels.

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I shake off any excess enamel and put it back in the jar for later use.  I have a defunct toaster oven preheated to 250 Fahrenheit.  I place my enameled panels in there to dry the gum solution.  I usually wait fifteen minutes to be sure the copper is thoroughly hot and the adhesive is completely dry.

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I then get out my heating stand and very carefully hold a neutral oxy acetylene flame near the panels.  The oxy acetylene is actually too hot for enameling so you must be alert and intently focused to prevent burning through the copper.  A transparent enamel allows one to see all the phases of torch enameling.  First the copper oxidizes under the enamel as it begins to fuse.  Just then, the enamel will acquire a orange peel texture.  It still needs more heat at this point.  The next stage is some of the opacity is changed into a more transparent affect.  It looks as if you are driving tiny bubbles out of the enamel.  Also the oxides will start dissolving into the enamel.  This allows for a more metallic look under the enamel.  When the desired look is achieved,  the torch is turned off and the panel is allowed to cool.

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After the panels are cooled off, I place them in a copper chloride etching solution.  I made the etchant myself from water, muriatic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and scrap copper.

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For the first ever try at torch enameling, I did not do half bad.  They look rough due to the lack of metal prep but I am after the brutalism look anyway.

An Iridescent Abstract Table Sculpture

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Vibrant Iridescent Glazes

I present this finished work as a followup to my post “Braving Bitter Cold to Create Metal Art”.  Although the Reflex Violet Pearl Ex mica pigment that was airbrushed looks cool, the real magic is the layers of blue green paint on the triangulated plate.  A base of opaque blue green was followed by various shades of turquoise and blue.  The  final touch was a glaze made from gloss acrylic medium and metallic blue green.

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Playful Golden Curve

The purple and the iridescent turquoise glaze are stunning for sure but a little on the cool side.  This sculpture needed a contrasting color for the curved accent.  The royal gold color answered this call well.  It is warm and sunny but not so blazing hot that is takes the focus away from the background.

 

In the past, I usually painted the bases to my table top sculptures gloss black.  This time I used phthalo blue.  The base will look great against a light colored marble surface.

This post modern table sculpture is available in my Etsy shop.