How to make metal garden sculptures

Metal can be cut, shaped, welded, colored, or textured to bring it to life. Scrap metal, rod, bar, or sheet metal can be made into almost any design you desire. Wood and metal can be mixed for a pleasing effect. Recycled iron or other metals can be used also. Pieces of junk metal can be transformed into something beautiful. There are very elaborate types of work such as evaporative pattern casting, laser cutting, etc. which can be complicated and time-consuming. For the average person to create a sculpture out of metal for their yard or garden, the 20th-century technique of welding will be all that is needed.

Metal sculpture is the oldest form of sculpture in the world after stone. Metals such as steel, bronze, iron, and copper can be formed into human figures, wildlife figures, or any form you can imagine. Metal sculpture is an art form. If you don’t want to weld the piece yourself, you can learn to use a torch or grinder to cut metal into specific shapes or bend the metal into flowing pieces. If thin metal is being used you can even use a small soldering tool, which is very easy to learn to use.

Garden decor varies to each individual’s taste. Some designs of garden metal art are large and some are small. You will need to decide if the piece will be mounted on a base or be free-standing. Decide on the thickness of the metal and the design that will work for that specific metal piece. Remember that rust is the enemy of steel, but some pieces today can be made to look rusty without the actual damaging effects of rust.

Make yourself a paper pattern and use welders chalk to trace the design on the metal. Use a torch or die grinder to cut out the piece. The more delicate the piece, the more you would need a plasma arc cutter or laser. So make a design that does not have such tiny cuts. After the piece is cut out you will want to grind it smooth using a metal wheel grinder. Kokopellis, angels, animals, silhouettes, fish, windmills etc. can be designed and cut out.

You may want to make a large star by welding pieces of metal together, giving it a 3D look. You can easily weld pieces of re-bar together to create shapes of birds, horses, etc., any size you wish. Re-bar bends fairly easy if not too large in diameter. You can design a free form type of sculpture for your yard or garden. Take a large piece of metal and cut it in a swirl shape. Then bend it around a large pipe as you heat it up and hammer it into the new shape. The pipe is then removed. The new piece of metal is now a sculpture and you could call it Prosperity or any symbolic name to go with your home or area you live in.

Use your imagination when using metal as an art form. Take scrap metal and put pieces together to create something totally new. If you don’t know or don’t want to learn to weld, you can just piece metal together by using nuts and bolts or by using wire to tie pieces of metal together. Think of something new and different. You can even use tin cans to create a whirling wind metal art piece. Have fun with it.

Use your imagination

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