Tightly connected with the history of humanity, metal is such an influential material that it gave names to the entire epochs—bronze and iron. Incredibly versatile, it is still extremely important in modern production that includes many ways to treat metal. This is the next stage of our study of materials dedicated to metal fabrication methods and techniques.
Metals stand out from the rest of materials by their shiny appearance and the ability to conduct heat well, however, there is a special structural property present in all substances of the kind. Atoms in metals are connected by metallic bonds—located in an ordered crystal structure, they are not neutral particles but positively charged ions. This happens because negatively charged electrons in a metallic bond leave their atom and move freely between different parts of the structure.
This peculiarity translates into the physical properties of metals that make them unique: malleability, high thermal and electrical conductivity. The reason for the latter two is the flow of electrons within the crystal structure that carries energy or charge, and plasticity of metals is conditioned by the fact that the atoms form layers that can easily move.
Melting, bending, pressing, and cutting metals, manufacturers and inventors found many ways to treat the material to produce the variety of objects. Metalworking techniques have been existing for centuries, like blacksmithing, but the wide range of them appeared or significantly evolved after the Industrial Revolution when the power of machines became available.
Most of the techniques of metal fabrication use heat and pressure to form the material. Metal can be melted or softened by heat, as in the process of forging and casting, or it can be treated just by application of mechanical force, for instance, when the metal is rolled. Especially impressive are methods that are based on automatization of machines—running on algorithms, they create extremely precise shapes and patterns by milling, drilling, or turning.
While some techniques are mostly practical, other are used purely for the aesthetic purposes. Treating the surface of metal with a grinder, designers and manufacturers can create a difference of lustrous and matte textures on a single object, manipulating the tactility and appearance of it.
In our exploration, we tried to experiment with different states of metal—to test its strength and flexibility, to play with texture and coating. Taking different shapes as the basis, we were able to demonstrate all the functionality of the material, its aesthetic and technical properties.
Creative and Art Direction:
Igor Sordokhonov, Anna Reshetnikova
Denis Semenov, Sergey Shurupov, Roman Eltsov, Artur Gadzhiev, Anna Reshetnikova, Pavel Pitaev, Roman Kuzminykh, Alexey Schipachev, Denis Unishkov