Stainless Steel, mild steel, wrought iron, aluminium, copper, tin and brass, these are the metals most predominantly used in the creation of modern day metal wall art. Coloured, anodised, etched, painted, lacquers or enamels, are the most frequent finishes and techniques applied, so we will take a closer look at them here in this guide of things to consider when buying stainless steel Contemporary Metal Wall Art.
One of the most important things to consider, other then the obvious choice of design, is probably the materials used to create the finished piece. All metals have different qualities and thus different life spans and display options i.e.: for internal or external use. As I have had over 15 years experience of working with metal I feel able to offer a little advice and help.
In my opinion and it is only that, I think that stainless steel is by far the best value for money that you can get when it comes to metal wall art, as it is purely and simply the hardest wearing of all the above mentioned with great versatility in its design capabilities and a sophisticated style all of its own.
It is beautiful in its finished and untreated state and provided that it is a good quality grade it will not rust unlike, untreated mild steel, tin or wrought iron can, and doesn't tarnish like copper or brass, neither does it bloom or become brittle, like aluminium will do with age.
Stainless steel remains perfectly reflective catching the light brilliantly, without having to add lacquers to provide a sheen, or high gloss finish and just lends its self to making stunning eye catching artworks. The surface can be etched and each different etching style gives this marvellous metal a totally new, sometimes fluid like appearance, so from an artists point of view I have an ever-changing canvass upon which to create.
If colour is important within the design, then what can be better than the array of the iridescent metallic rainbow palette that stainless steel offers and naturally holds within, the colours are a joy to see as they dance across the metals surface. You can display these artworks in no end of natural or artificial light and those colours will not fade or become dull, the surfaces will not crack, peel or craze when exposed to different temperatures or humidity levels. and there is no extra expense for the alternatives of paints or enamels or necessity for other protective coatings to provide colour or keep your creation looking pristine. I have often come across metal artworks, made from the cheaper alternatives like mild steel that have then been finished in silver, to look like stainless steel. They cannot be left in the raw material state as if they are not painted or finished with a lacquer they will start to corrode and I wonder why stainless steel although initially a more expensive material, was not chosen as the medium to use in the first place, it really is a fantastic metal to work with and offers great value for your money in the long term.
I think another really important thing to think about when buying your wall art is whether or not you are buying from the artist that has actually created the piece originally, individually, and from there own range of designs, is it part of a set of artworks that form a limited edition, or a series or are you buying from a distributor of mass produced, production line products, where each item will not differ from one to the next or maybe someone who has taken anthers idea. It is important to consider these facts, as if you are buying an original direct from the artist, even if it is a limited edition or series of the same design, chances are that you have already made a great investment, purely from the aspect that the artwork you now have in your possession, is a totally individual and unique hand crafted item and remember that the more the artist grows in popularity the greater the value of your artwork on your wall. You cant say that about the alternative mass produced production line products. Normally if the artist that you buy from is worth their salt they will offer paperwork with the details of the artwork, this should be kept with it as this will help with identification and to enhance the artworks value in the future. Also a point to remember is if you are buying direct from the artist and the piece you have seen is too big or too small for your requirements the artist should be used to working to commissions and would probably be able to custom build the size required or even create your very own design.
The online auction houses such as ebay are great places to look for great deals when buying art and don't forget to check the shops on ebay as well as the listings for a greater variety of choice. Also give the feedback ratings a good look and actually read the comments left by others and remember that so long as the feedback is quality feedback you should be able to make a purchase that will be a happy rewarding and a successful experience.