One of my favorite things about working with steel is that even though it is undeniably a man-made, industrial product, each piece has its own individual character. As it is heated and rolled at the steel mill, little differences in temperature and chemistry create unique patterns of color on the surface of each sheet, plate, and bar. I was able to take advantage of this characteristic of raw steel in a recent project.
I was asked to create a steel fireplace surround to replace an existing one in faux brick tile. The rest of the home was simple and modern, but retained some of the industrial character of its former life as a garment factory, and my client wanted the fireplace to match.
I rendered a few ideas with the help of Sketchup, talked them over with my client, and then got to work.
After cutting, welding, and grinding, I finished the piece with clear wax to bring out the raw character of the steel. Here it is, installed in its final location.