Any type of art produced from the earth’s ores is called metal art. The metals can be copper, lead, gold, aluminum, iron, silver, bronze, brass, etc. In ancient times, people used stones primarily for art.
They also used bones and wood, etc. after some time, people started extracting ores from the earth. Then they used them to make ornaments, weapons, sculptures, utensils, etc. this metal art can be used for decorative or functional use.
The techniques used in ancient times are still used, like, hammering, embossing, inlaying, chasing, gilding, etc. But nowadays, new methods are used, like casting, chip craving, enameling, engraving, stamping, studs, turning, a laser cutting, etc.
Hammering and Casting
All type of mental work starts with hammering. There are many parts in an article. In the hammering, each part of the article is hammered separately. Then the several parts of an article are combined with the help of welding or soldering.
It is also used in making sculptures. Hammering has remained an influential art in casting statues in molds with cores.
Embossing is the art of creating a raised design, art or image on any material. This material can be a metal sheet, paper, leather, etc., other than metal art. It is widely used in paper cups, leather notebooks, cards, stamps, etc. it creates a three-dimensional art on the material.
In embossing a metal, the first step is to create a design or image on the metal. Then the design is pushed from the back of the metal with the help of a stylus or any embossing tool. Embossing gives a texture and volume to the metal.
Engraving is the art of making a design on a flat metal surface. It’s done with the help of hand pressure and mainly a cutting tool. Making prints on the surface of the metal is usually done with a burin (cutting tool).
It is widely done on copper plates called copper engraving. There are three types of engraving; laser engraving, rotary engraving, etching, and inside ring engraving. The type of engraving used depends upon the material being used.
The process of inlaying is also called damascening. It is the inlaying of one metal into another metal, mainly gold and silver, into a dark background. It produces a beautiful piece of art. Metal can also be inlaid in wood. It is used in making sculptures and ornaments. It is mainly used in decorative items like precious metals; even diamonds are engraved into other metals or wood.
Gilding is the art of coating a very thin layer of gold on solid surfaces. It can be coated on metal (mostly), wood and stones etc. it is known to be the easiest method for applying the thin layer of gold on metal and even non-metals.
The method of gliding can also be used for other metals. It is very cost-effective compared to total gold items. There are different types of gilding depending on the type of material being glid. It can be done with hand application, gluing, chemical gilding, and electroplating.