5 Smart Ways to Add Metal to Your Art


Mixing Metal Into Your Art

Every time I sit down in my studio to create art, I stop and think. What do I want to make today? What ideas have been floating around my head and want to be explored today? Sometimes I know exactly where I’m going, even if I don’t know what the final destination will look like. Sometimes, I need more help.

found-metalI have a big bag of tricks in my “get in the zone” arsenal. The one I use the most is looking to a new medium or one that is not oft used in my work, and I start to play.

In my quest for new media to try, I have taken classes in stained glass, glass blowing, and even blacksmithing. (The latter made a very fun date night experience with my husband—I won’t tell you who made the better forged S hook—wink!)








Most recently I’ve been looking to metal to breathe new life in my art. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite mixed-media metal ideas with you.

5 Ways to Add Metal to Your Art

1. Search old flea markets for hinges and handle parts. The filligree pieces sans handle make lovely flourishes to an assemblage, and old hardware adds interest (see altered skateboard at right).

2. Use roofing metal (available in a roll at your local hardware store) to make a magnetic interactive collage.

3. Use metal letter punch stamps to "pound" your message in.

4. Employ a little wire as a method of attachment. The older the wire looks, the better.

5. Research what other metal and wire-workers are doing with their core medium and work that inspiration into a new piece of art.


Recently, I had the chance to watch Mary Hettmansperger’s new Quilting Arts Workshop(TM) “Metal Embellishments.” Color me impressed! Although the subtitle, “Incorporating Wire, Foil, Metal Sheeting & More into Fiber Art,” may lead you to believe this DVD is only directed to fiber artists, I can ensure you that I want to try every metal trick and technique Mary demonstrates, including the very cool ball draw, (demonstrated in this photo).

Fire + Wire = Fun (in my book!) Mary’s DVD is just what I needed to stir things up in my studio. I can’t wait to pick up more wire at my local bead store this week! I hope these tips help you to stir up things in your studio space as well. I'd love to hear your ideas for "getting in the zone" too! Leave a comment here to share your expertise with the Cloth Paper Scissors Community.






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