metalwork

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metalwork.

Copper, gold, and silver were probably fashioned into ornaments and amulets as early as the Neolithic period. Goldworkgoldwork,
ornaments, jewelry, and vessels created from gold. Such works have figured in almost every stage of civilization as symbols of wealth and power. The Ancient World

The earliest-known fine goldwork is from Ur in Mesopotamia. Dating from c.3000 B.C.
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 and silverworksilverwork,
utilitarian objects and works of art created from silver. Silverwork includes ecclesiastical and domestic plate, flatware, jewelry, buttons, buckles, boxes, toilet articles, weapons, furniture, and horse trappings.
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 have since employed the talents of leading artisans and artists in making jewelryjewelry,
personal adornments worn for ornament or utility, to show rank or wealth, or to follow superstitious custom or fashion.

The most universal forms of jewelry are the necklace, bracelet, ring, pin, and earring.
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, plate, inlays, and sculpture. The first great advance in metalworking occurred when techniques for making bronze sculpturebronze sculpture.
Bronze is ideal for casting art works; it flows into all crevices of a mold, thus perfectly reproducing every detail of the most delicately modeled sculpture. It is malleable beneath the graver's tool and admirable for repoussé work.
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 were developed during the Bronze Age. Brass, an alloy of copper with zinc, came into use later (see brasses, monumentalbrasses, monumental,
or sepulchral brasses,
memorials to the dead, in use in churches on the Continent and in England in the 13th cent. and for several centuries following.
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; brasses, ornamentalbrasses, ornamental.
Brass, a copper-zinc alloy produced since imperial Roman times, is closely associated in art with bronze, a copper-tin alloy (see bronze sculpture). Brass was generally fashioned into utilitarian objects such as bowls, pots, and jugs.
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). The Iron Age provided a cheaper medium used chiefly for tools and ornamental ironworkironwork, ornamental.
The shaping of wrought iron, used almost exclusively until the 16th cent., is primarily an art of the blacksmith, who must work with the metal while it is at the desired stage of heat and flexibility.
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 until modern times, when improved methods, alloys, and machinery made iron available and essential to the industrial and structural trades. Pewterpewter,
any of a number of ductile, silver-white alloys consisting principally of tin. The properties vary with the percentage of tin and the nature of the added materials.
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, tin, and lead have been used in industrial and art metalwork. Methods of shaping metals include drawing, spinning, hammering, and casting; various decorative processes include chasing, damasceningdamascening
or damaskeening
, the art of decorating iron, steel, or bronze with inlaid threads of gold or silver, or producing a watered effect in forging, as in sword blades, gun barrels, and various metal objects.
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, embossingembossing,
process of producing upon various materials designs or patterns in relief by mechanical means. The material is pressed between a pair of dies especially adapted to its hardness and the depth of the design needed.
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, enamelenamel,
a siliceous substance fusible upon metal. It may be so compounded as to be transparent or opaque and with or without color, but it is usually employed to add decorative color. It was used to decorate jewelry in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
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 work, filigreefiligree
, ornamental work of fine gold or silver wire, often wrought into an openwork design and joined with matching solder and borax under the flame of the blowpipe. Filigree is used as a decorative treatment for jewelry or other fine metalwork.
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, gildinggilding,
process of applying a thin layer of real or imitation gold to a surface. The process is employed on wood, metal, ivory, leather, paper, glass, porcelain, and fabrics and is used to embellish the decorative elements, domes, and vaults of buildings.
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, inlayinginlaying,
process of ornamenting a surface by setting into it material of different color or substance, usually in such a manner as to preserve a continuous plane. Inlay is employed in connection with a great variety of objects, both of major architectural character and of minor
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, nielloniello
[Ital. from Latin nigellus=blackish], black metallic alloy of sulfur, copper, silver, and usually lead, used as an inlay on engraved metal. The metal surface is brushed with a borax solution as a flux, dusted with powdered niello, then heated.
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, and repoussérepoussé
, the process or the product of ornamenting metallic surfaces with designs in relief hammered out from the back by hand. Gold and silver are most commonly used today for fine work, but copper and tin are suitable for the purpose, and bronze was extensively used
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.

metalwork

1. the craft of working in metal
2. work in metal or articles made from metal
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