5 different types of materials used in metal arts and crafts

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The art of metalwork has been respected for its complexity and exquisite craftsmanship, which is why most companies have a huge demand for such craftsmanship. Moreover, what makes such expertise appreciated by many is that it applies to other industries as well. Metal art is commonly seen on fences, gates and railings, however, its focus is not solely on the decorative aspect. It is also used for functional purposes where it is incorporated into devices used daily such as clocks, watches, furniture, pens, cutlery and playing pieces.

There are many items developed with built-in metal art and its many features make most of the customers to have custom metal parts made on their items. But what makes metal art good among other decorating crafts is that it can last for years, if not decades. As you can see, most of the antique items that are auctioned for extremely high prices are usually those made with metal craftsmanship.

Go back in history, the common ancient artifacts that were naturally preserved were mostly metals. Items ranging from metal tombstones, spears, headdresses, metal scrolls and more. Regardless of the civilizations that were established during ancient times or the rise of industrialization, those that have survived are still complete, even without the latest manufacturing technology available to us today. Even those monuments or statues that were manually built by slaves stood tall despite years or centuries of direct exposure to various weather conditions. Today, these numbers have become famous tourist destinations that people all over the world could visit. Only minimal changes have been made to these metalwork, such as cleaning and polishing to maintain their shape.

Due to recent technological advancements in the metal fabrication industry, there are massive changes in said craftsmanship. Now metal cutting has become both precise and precise. There are different types of metal cutting devices, such as plasma, die and laser cutters, which can meet all types of cuts depending on the material. Metal craftsmanship has become more refined and detailed, as have preservation methods to prevent deterioration in quality. The traditional craftsmanship and techniques of metal did not disappear but were only improved through technology.

Iron ore metal

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There are different variations of metals, but iron is the most abundant in the environment. In ancient times, it was almost as valuable as gold was first found in places in Egypt, Rome, and China. Iron was not considered entirely a pure metal due to certain substances it contains such as carbon, sulfur, phosphorus, and silicon.

Iron is mainly used for commercial purposes due to the carbon compound it contains. Such a substance will also distinguish its characteristics in terms of durability, longevity and malleability. These characteristics will then form the different variations of iron such as steel, wrought iron and cast iron. Of the three, cast iron has the most carbon while wrought iron has the least.

More details on the three types of iron are described below:

  • Melting – contains the average carbon count, resulting in a higher level of brittleness. When it comes in contact with hard objects, it breaks easily. This type of iron is not stretchable and bendable, which is generally not recommended for decorative purposes due to its rough texture, but is used more for creating fireplace tools and stoves.
  • Steel – is known as the alloy and a small amount of carbon which is commonly used for construction and engineering purposes. The hardness quality of steel is somewhere between wrought iron and cast iron. In addition, it is lighter than both and more malleable when subjected to higher temperatures, but becomes harder when exposed to cold temperatures.
  • Wrought iron – is mainly used for decorative ornaments due to its versatile qualities. It is much easier to shape or hammer iron into different sizes or shapes due to its malleability. It can be used to form different types of metal products which require transforming the figure of said metal. That is why it is used for jewelry, fencing and other business purposes.

Tin metal

When you hear tin, what probably comes to my mind are cans. Although most cans are aluminum, that doesn’t mean tin isn’t relevant. Tin is not that easy to find compared to iron, but it is widely used for corrosion prevention and glass production. It is a metal that is mined from cassiterite ore and is essential for the production of bronze.

Metal copper

Like tin, copper is also used to produce bronze since the latter is an alloy of copper and tin. Copper is both a mineral and an element that exhibits high malleability and ductility. But one of its major advantages is its ability to conduct electricity. It is also corrosion resistant and even has antimicrobial properties.


As mentioned earlier, bronze is an alloy of tin and copper, which was also considered the most durable material in ancient times. Known for its dark brown color, it is more corrosion resistant and harder than the pure iron that allowed the ancient Egyptians to use it for the creation of weapons and carvings. This is also due to its ability to expand when subjected to heat, which makes sculpting easier.


Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc which often has a brilliant golden hue. Its acoustic properties make it suitable for use in the creation of musical instruments. Other characteristics include high malleability, low friction, high thermal conductivity, and lower durability than steel.


Those listed above are not the only metals used for metal art production. There are several variations of metals that exist today and researchers continue to search for new types of metals that are still under investigation. However, there are metals readily available that allow us to create art with any metal design to provide the best decor products that can be used in homes, workplaces, and other establishments.

Authors biography :

Daniel is a content writer who writes on general topics. He has fun writing and likes to share ideas that come to his mind. In his spare time he enjoys reading novels.

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