Gold is the most malleable, ductile and valuable of all the pure precious metals. Early metal working tools were made of bone, stone, and wood, all sufficient to work into sought after soft, shiny gold.
The discovery that smelting ore produced other, malleable metals expanded the materials available to include metals such as copper, tin, and lead, and stimulated the development of a variety of new tools, techniques, and processes to make it possible to work with these harder materials.
Combining metals produced beautiful and hardwearing alloys such as Sterling silver.
Craft makers working with metal often cross boundaries between disciplines to produce everything from exquisite jewelry in gold and silver, through functional objects for the home, to large-scale sculptures in copper, iron, and steel.
Contemporary makers working with metal utilize three main techniques: forming, cutting, and joining.
These include various forms of casting, bending, spinning, stamping, snipping, turning, machining, filing, welding, riveting, and soldering.
Some specialize in hot forging modern metals such as mild steel, stainless steel, bronze, and titanium to produce contemporary, architectural ironwork.
Others work on a smaller scale, creating decorative objects from layers of contrasting textures that combine hammered wire with smooth sheets of silver and gold. Perfectly cast metal bowls are deliberately cracked and then fixed with decorative gold staples.
Silver, copper, brass, and steel are used to create a rich tapestry of color and patina, and then chased and etched into articulated metal objects inspired by mythical beasts.
You can search for Scottish metal artists on the Craft Scotland website and browse our database of talented makers.