The holiday gift-giving season is here!
Usable items made from metal are durable, practical, affordable and unique. If you are looking for gifts that are personal, good for the environment and available at various price points, art and usable items made from scrap metal may be the solution.
Whatever you have in mind, below are some ideas to get you inspired.
Usable gifts from steel, iron and copper
A metal gift is one that can last a lifetime. Online marketplaces offer a variety of practical gifts that can be put to use in day-to-day life at a great range of prices. Below is a sampling.
The art and design website UncommonGoods.com sells a selection of steel or “upcycled steel” gifts that are one of a kind. “Strong sentimental pieces that will stand the test of time,” states its website. Among its lower-priced gift selections are a bottle opener made from a vintage vinyl record bonded to a stainless-steel base, and a hand-forged steel pizza slicer. On the upper end of the price range is an end table made from an old 35 mm film reel sandwiched between two plates of glass, creating a one-of-a- kind steel and glass furnishing.
The online sellers Realsteel and Metalplex are two of the sites from which customers can buy pre-made or custom-made steel signs or wall art for your home, garden or business. They can be found at realsteelcenter.com and metal-plex.com.
The Forged Blade is an online store selling a rustic collection of knives for chefs and outdoor cooks. According to its website, the company uses the finest quality steel to forge unique designs that are practical and artistic. You can find them at theforgedblade.com.
A company that got its start restoring vintage pots and pans, Smithey Ironware now hand-forges a farmhouse collection of cookware. Each piece is visually unique, states its website, resulting in cookware that is beautiful and functional. The hand made cookware can be found at smithey.com.
Steel is also the customary gift for a couple’s 11th wedding anniversary. A quick online search of steel anniversary gifts will display an assortment of gifts that can be used for any occasion. Sites like Wayfair and Etsy display gifts such as a stainless-steel bar tool set, customizable steel travel mugs, carafes and pet bowls.
Copper is the traditional 7th year wedding anniversary gift. A search for copper gifts from similar online marketplaces brings up personalized copper beverage tubs, jewelry and mugs.
Gifts crafted from scrap metal
From coasters and key chains to full-size garden sculptures, you can find beautiful and fun options made from scrap metal that would otherwise be in a landfill if not remade into your gift.
The practice of using metal for artwork is nothing new. Metal is a solid, hard, opaque material used by sculptors since ancient times. Metals can be hammered without breaking or melted, used in molds, or made into wire and modeled. This makes them the ideal media for a sculptor to work with. Today, conservation-minded artists are taking this ancient practice one step further. They are using scrap metal as their media to kindle creativity and benefit the environment, breathing new life into existing metal instead of using new, virgin material.
For centuries artists and craftsmen used recycled items to first and foremost save money on materials. What started out as a prudent business practice ended up inspiring creativity. The recycled material already had its own patina from wear and use that could be incorporated into a new piece in an interesting and thought-provoking way and today can infuse that work with an environmentally conscious theme. This movement is so popular now that it’s the subject of courses in art education and even online study programs like Study.com.
At this time of the year, in anticipation of the holiday season, its customary for craft fairs and art galleries to feature local artists who create art and gifts using recycled materials. But interesting scrap metal art is available now more than ever before because of new venues. The rise of online marketplaces, that provide a platform for a variety of artists and designers, allows consumers to easily find scrap metal art at a variety of prices. Websites like Etsy, Red Bubble, Zazzle and many others feature endless options that would make great gifts. Just type “Scrap Metal Art” into your search engine to explore their offerings.
As these online marketplaces illustrate, there are metal gifts that can speak to anyone on your gift list.
To take the personalization one step further, another option is to create your own scrap metal art if you have some experience with welding. YouTube videos and Pinterest pages provide ideas and step-by-step instructions for learning to create your own scrap metal art.
Happy gift giving 2022!
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