Posts tagged
with metal


Thousands of Meticulously Layered Strips of Metal Bring Selçuk Yılmaz’s Big Cat Sculptures to Life

April 27, 2023

Kate Mothes

“Jaguar.” All images © Selçuk Yılmaz, shared with permission

Thousands of thin, intricately placed metal strips form powerful wildlife portraits by Selçuk Yılmaz (previously). Adding new meaning to “big cats,” his recent series explores the legendary power, courage, and resilience of jaguars, lions, and the prehistoric saber-tooth tiger. A painstaking process of hammering, layering and welding individual pieces links realistic representation and the addition of artistic elements, such as the regal adornment on the forehead of the lion, which is titled “King.”

Minimal, abstracted contours delineate the form of Yılmaz’s saber-tooth tiger, a huge cat that roamed what is now North and South America for millennia until they became extinct about 10,000 years ago. Combining a realistic face with a simple outline, the artist draws attention to its snarling expression and the fact that we can only imagine what the early mammals actually looked like. In “Jaguar,” a lifelike portrayal of a muscular feline interacts with the light through layered textures. “Since light and metal have opposite properties, they can create an interesting balance and contrast when they come together,” the artist tells Colossal. “It gives the feeling that light has a soul.”

Find more of Yılmaz’s work on Instagram and Behance.


A woman stands beside a metal sculpture of a lion's head. The lion has a crown-like adornment on its forehead.


An abstracted metal sculpture of a sabertooth tiger with a realistic face and outlined edges.

“Saber-tooth Tiger”

A detail of a metal sculpture of a sabertooth tiger's teeth.

Detail of “Saber-tooth Tiger”

A detail of a metal sculpture of a sabertooth tiger's eyes and nose.

Detail of “Saber-tooth Tiger”

A metal sculpture of a jaguar's head in profile.


A metal sculpture of a panther in profile, with light shining on it and reflecting onto the face of the artist, who faces the sculpture.

The artist with “Jaguar”

An artist welds a sculpture of a sabertooth tiger's face in his studio.

“Saber-tooth Tiger” in progress




Art Design

Rick Salafia’s Wildly Shaped Aluminum Rulers Measure Impractical Proportions

April 19, 2023

Grace Ebert

An aluminum measurement instrument shaped in a circle with a central whole

All images © Rick Salafia

With dramatically bowed edges, coiled shapes, and fragments jutting in opposite directions, Instruments by Rick Salafia defies many standards of measurement. The ongoing series, which currently comprises more than 200 works, disregards the one-foot rectangle in favor of a playfully diverse array of shapes. Semi-circles stretch like a croissant, ends expand into wide, asymmetric forms, and a segment stretching just a few inches breaks free from the rest of the metal tool. While the pieces in Instruments take on impractical shapes and proportions, the individual inked lines and numbers remain relatively uniform, evoking the systemized nature of a typical ruler.

Salafia produced each work in an edition of three and has some available in his shop. You can find more from the series on his site.


An aluminum measurement instrument with segments jutting out on the left and right sides

An aluminum measurement instrument shaped in an angular twist

An aluminum measurement instrument with bowed edges

An aluminum measurement instrument with a central segment appearing to be cut and spliced

An aluminum measurement instrument with wide curved edges

An aluminum measurement instrument shaped like a croissant

An aluminum measurement instrument with crisscrossing lines

An aluminum measurement instrument shaped like a semi-circle

An aluminum measurement instrument with what appears like loose markers




Intricate Sculptures by Zheng Lu Suspend Splashes of Water in Stainless Steel

March 16, 2023

Kate Mothes

“Water in Dripping – Group of Warblers” (2022), stainless steel, 102 3/8 x 68 7/8 x 122 inches. All images © Zheng Lu, shared with permission courtesy of HOFA Gallery

Harnessing the energy of water in motion, Zheng Lu’s metallic sculptures appear frozen in time. The Beijing-based artist defies utilitarian or industrial associations with steel, creating tension between the material and the fluid forms. Challenging our expectations and understanding of physics, smooth, chrome-like surfaces reflect the surroundings and change in the light as the viewer moves around them, further adding to the perception that the sculpture itself is in motion. In some of the works, Zheng composes surfaces of thousands of Chinese characters derived from historical texts and poems, nodding to early Chinese philosophers who studied physical principles of the natural world to better understand cosmological mysteries.

Zheng’s exhibition Liquid Narratives runs March 16 to 29 at HOFA Gallery in London, marking the artist’s first show in the U.K., and you can find more of his work on his website.


“Water in Dripping – Heartflower” (2022), stainless steel, 39 3/8 x 35 3/8 x 61 3/8 inches

Detail of “Water in Dripping – Heartflower”

“Water in Dripping – Yong” (2019), stainless steel, 92 7/8 x 30 1/4 x 40 1/2 inches

“Water in Dripping – Music and Dance” (2022), stainless steel, 59 x 40 1/8 x 76 inches

“Water in Dripping – Water is Silent” (2022), stainless steel, 61 x 48 3/8 x 92 1/2 inches

Detail of “Water in Dripping – Water is Silent”

“Water in Dripping – Winter Rain” (2019), stainless steel, 46 1/2 x 48 x 76 3/4 inches



Art Craft

Metal Sculptor Shota Suzuki Crafts Exquisitely Detailed Blooms That Express the Passing of Time

November 25, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images © Shota Suzuki, shared with permission

Tender stems bear lush blooms and windswept leaves gather around new growth in artist Shota Suzuki’s delicate metal sculptures. Rendered in painstaking detail, the forms are inspired by flora around his home and studio in Kyoto, such as Japanese maple trees and dandelions that have gone to seed. “Recently, I have been adding rain and wind to my work,” he tells Colossal, sharing that he’s inspired by the way nature demonstrates the passing of time. He adds silvery water droplets to ginkgo leaves, ruffles the petals of flowers, or portrays a branch of cherry blossoms as if it has blown from a tree.

An early interest in jewelry led Suzuki to study metalworking, and the exquisite detail of florals and foliage suited his ability to work on a small scale. A wide range of patinas create a life-like appearance, achieved by combining an array of chemicals that produce specific hues and textures, including traditional Japanese copper coloration methods such as niiro. “I don’t want to create works in which time stands still,” he says. “I want to express a moment in time.”

Suzuki’s work is included in Natural Mastery: Lacquer and Silver Works from Japan at Stuart Lochhead Sculpture in London from December 1 to 9. You can find more work on his website and Instagram.


A realistic sculpture of a tree sapling growing from dead leaves, made from metal.

 A realistic sculpture of flowers made from metal, photographed on a table.

A realistic sculpture of flowers made from metal.

A realistic sculpture of ginkgo leaves made from metal.

A realistic sculpture of a stem of cherry blossoms made from metal.

A realistic sculpture of dried leaves made from metal.

A realistic sculpture of gold ginkgo leaves with silver droplets, made from metal.




Mysterious Creatures Emerge from Recycled Materials in Sculptures by Spencer Hansen

November 8, 2022

Kate Mothes

Two sculptures by Spencer Hansen in the snowy mountains near Aspen, Colorado.

“BADU” and “FINCH” in collaboration with Jason Siegel. All images © Spencer Hansen, shared with permission

Long-legged creatures don otherwordly masks in sculptures by Bali-based artist Spencer Hansen, whose work explores identity and connection through a cast of uncanny characters. Using primarily natural, found, and recycled materials like wood, metal, bone, plant fibers, and ceramic, he draws inspiration from surrounding environment and frequent travels. Originally from Idaho, he relocated to Bali where he built a workshop that houses studios and live-work space for a team of skilled artisans who help to bring the pieces to life.

Alongside business partner Shayne Maratea, with whom he founded independent clothing and art company BLAMO, Hansen often collaborates with artists and photographers to merge sculpture and performance. Intended to inspire curiosity and play, the characters are carved and assembled in a variety of scales, from toy-like figurines to life-size suits, with mysterious faces.

Hansen will be showing work with Skye Gallery at Aqua Art Miami at the end of this month and has a solo exhibition opening in December at Samuel Lynne Galleries in Dallas. You can find more of his work on his website and Instagram.


A sculpture by Spencer Hansen of a bat-like mask.


A sculpture by Spencer Hansen of a fuzzy suit with a metallic, faceless mask.

“Eternal Embrace” collaboration with Naomi Samara. Suit worn by Aleph Geddis. Hands: Naomi Samara, Chantal Ka, and Shayne Maratea

Two sculptural figures by Spencer Hansen.

Left: “EQUUS.” Right: “Tikus”

A group of wooden, abstracted, figurative sculptures by Spencer Hansen.

Two mask sculptures by Spencer Hansen.

Left: Head of “LELA.” Right: “M11 Topeng Barat”

Artist Spencer Hansen standing next to a life-size sculpture with a bat-like mask, all in white.


Three wooden mask-like sculptures by Spencer Hansen.

“M11,” “M12,” and “M13”

A group of ceramic sculptures by Spencer Hansen in progress with carving materials.



Art Craft

Expressive Wildlife Portraits are Captured in Elegant Scrap Metal Sculptures by Leah Jeffery

October 26, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images shared with permission © Leah Jeffery. Photographs by Katie Jeffery

When it comes to scrap metal, Hogansville, Georgia-based artist Leah Jeffery has honed an instinct for transforming old bike parts, cutlery, and offcuts into a captivating menagerie of expressive animals. During her senior year of high school, she began exploring different trades, and after signing up for a welding class, discovered a natural skill with metalworking. She became interested in re-using discarded materials, and her first project was a great horned owl, which spurred an ongoing series portraying an array of wildlife.

Now working as Bruised Reed Studio, her practice centers around the proverbial turning of trash into treasure. “There is something about taking what was discarded and giving it new life,” she says. “I use any scrap metal I can find—mostly old bicycle parts and flatware, or people will give me their random metal junk.” Each sculpture is one-of-a-kind, formed from in a wide variety of textures, densities, and patinas to expressively capture an eagle’s intense gaze, a butterfly’s wings, or a sloth’s lazy grin.

You can follow Bruised Reed Studio on Instagram, and find more work on her website.