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Articles

Metal work history

Metalworking is working with metals to create individual parts, assemblies, or large-scale structures. The term covers a wide range of work from large ships and bridges to precise engine parts and delicate jewelry. It, therefore, includes a correspondingly wide range of skills, processes, and tools.

The oldest metal sculpture pieces are made out of copper alloys and bronze. These metals offer the artist strength while also being malleable. Other metals like gold and silver are softer, enabling the artisan the ability to shape the metal with tools and by hammering. Related to the sculpting process is metal casting, where metals can be poured into a mold.
It is thought that metal casting is an ancient art that dates back 6000 years with the first works made out of gold and copper.

Ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians carved deities and leaders in gold and other precious metals.They were also expert at “lost wax” casting which allowed small intricate shapes to be cast.

The Chinese used metal to honor symbols of importance such as tigers, religious figures, and leaders
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The use of metal continued with the Greeks and Romans, who used bronze to make life-like statues and figurines.
Once the Roman empire fell the baton was passed to Charlemagne and the germanic tribes. This “father of Europe” rule during Medieval times. He oversaw the use of bronze and iron to commemorate his rule. Statues were also made of the Virgin Mary and Jesus.

During the Renaissance art was a front and center part of the culture. Statues were produced made out of copper and bronze that were either commissioned by the Catholic Church (statues of saints) or of leaders.

In modern times, such as metal sculpture found in the United States, are used to commemorate war heroes (solider on a horse) as well as a place in the avant-garde art scene. Large metal sculptures are also a fixture in parks and prominent public spaces.

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