Posts tagged
with metalwork

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.




Design Science

A Five-Meter Magnifying Glass Uses the Sun’s Immense Power to Melt Metal

November 2, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of a giant magnifying glass-style machine illuminated by sunlight

“The Solar Metal Smelter.” All images © Jelle Seegers, shared with permission

Anyone who spent time outside with a magnifying glass as a kid is aware of the instrument’s power to generate a staggering amount of heat and even start a fire when hit with sunlight. Designer Jelle Seegers harnesses that practice in a new project he presented as part of the Design Academy Eindhoven student show at this year’s Dutch Design Week.

“The Solar Metal Smelter” uses a square polycarbonate sheet that Seegers carved with circles to mimic the convex lens of a magnifying glass. Extending about five meters wide, the material is embedded in a frame made from upcycled stainless steel, with an attached hand crank that needs to be turned every ten minutes to keep the sun focused on the correct spot. Once heated, the smelter reaches up to 1,000 degrees Celsius and can liquefy zinc, aluminum, and other metals that are then poured into various sand molds. The designer estimates that the device generates about four kilowatts of energy.

In a conversation with Dezeen, Seegers shares that he produced the machine to reduce the reliance on electricity and to better utilize the sun’s power. He says:

Electrical solar panels, they never have an efficiency of more than about 20 percent. Only 20 percent of the sunlight gets converted into electricity, so we need a huge amount of solar panels to create a huge amount of electrical energy. But if you just take the sun’s heat, and you only bend it and direct it, you don’t need to do this complex conversion to electricity. And for that reason, you can achieve an efficiency of about 95 percent.

Seegers plans to scale up the project in the coming months and has been working on a variety of carbon-neutral machines, including the pedal-powered tool grinder shown below. For a similar solar-powered design, check out this sinter that uses sunlight and sand to make glass.


A photo of a piece of polycarbonate scratched with circles

The lens of the machine

A photo of a giant magnifying glass-style machine illuminated by sunlight

A photo of a giant magnifying glass-style machine illuminated by sunlight

A photo of a man shaping sand casts for molten metal to be poured into

Seegers shaping the casts for molten metal to be poured into

A photo of a man pressing on the petal of a metal tool grinding machine

Seegers using the pedal-powered tool grinder



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.





Welded Stainless Steel Creatures by Georgie Seccull Twist and Unfurl in Eternal Motion

August 27, 2020

Christopher Jobson

Zenith & Nadir, 2020. All images by Andrew J Bourke, © Georgie Seccull, shared with permission.

Australian sculptor and installation artist Georgie Seccull creates large-scale stainless steel sculptures of animals and other creatures seemingly locked in motion. Comprised of numerous pieces cut from metal sheets, the materials lend themselves to organic forms like feathers, scales, wings, or the armaments of crustaceans. Seccull’s work scales up dramatically in her installation practice where she’s filled entire rooms and atriums with suspended pieces.

“We are born out of chaos in darkness and come into the light—my process is much the same: I begin with a thousand pieces scattered on the ground, then working almost like a jigsaw puzzle, I pick them up one by one and allow each piece to come together organically and dictate the outcome,” the artist shares in a statement.

One of Seccull’s most recent sculptures has been nominated for a Beautiful Bizarre People’s Choice art prize, and she has an upcoming solo show at the Gasworks Art Park near Melbourne. You can see more of her work on Instagram.


The Beyond

Cancer Rising

Dancing in the Dark

The Gatekeepers, detail

Through the Dark

Resistance, 2019

Return to the Source

Artist Georgie Seccull in her studio.




A Volkswagen Beetle Fender is Repurposed into a Vintage-Style Kart Designed by Aldekas Studio

August 25, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Aldekas Studio

Those looking for an alternative to cars or reprieve from public transit can thank Aldekas Studio for a new set of wheels that’s both stylish and environmentally conscious. The Mexico-based designer repurposed the fenders and headlights of a Volkswagen Beetle— which officially is the Type 1 model that was released originally in the 1930s—into a miniature vehicle named “Bugkart Wasowski.” The kart’s curved body is attached to a bright red frame, which contrasts the olive green exterior. It has chrome handlebars and mirrors that mimic those on the original car, maintaining the integrity of the classic model.

Aldekas Studio shares many of its designs on Facebook, including a 3D rendering of a rustic version of the kart shown here. You also might enjoy this similar, two-wheeled project, aptly named the “Volkspod.” (via designboom)





The Fenders of a Vintage Volkswagen Beetle are Reimagined as a Pair of “Volkspod” Scooters

November 13, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Brent Walter is ready to pop a wheelie on old VW Bug fenders. Walter repurposed an original Volkswagen Beetle to form the dramatically curved body of his “Volkspod” and built an engine and chassis to fit below. The just-for-fun project began about a year ago, seemingly from the comfort of Walter’s garage/workshop. He has been documenting his progress on Instagram, where people have caught wind of his invention. No word yet on whether the bespoke creations will be for sale; in the meantime, you can vicariously experience the wild ride of a Volkspod in the action video Walter shared on Instagram. (via designboom)


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