There are many different forms of art. Although oil paintings are probably the most commonly recognized art forms, you can create art with almost anything - wood, paper, plaster, sound, even metal. Though most people associate metal with practical things such as factories or frying pans, you can use metal to create beautiful masterpieces. If you're thinking of creating your own metal art designs, here are some tips for getting started.

Working with metal is different from working with any other type of material. While you can pick up oil paints or second hand wood working machinery and get started rather easily, to work with metal you'll need a heat source such as a soldering iron or welding torch as well as safety equipment like goggles and gloves. It's always best to start with a metal that becomes malleable with only a small amount of heat, like tin or copper, rather than a more difficult metal like iron or steel. You can find the definition of 'malleable' here. And always watch for the possibility of an accidental fire.

You can take up metal working whether you have a garage to work in or just an extra table outdoors. It's possible to learn on your own, but for the best results you should take a metal working class at your local art college or community center or at least read a book on metal working. Methods are different for different types of art work - obviously the smaller the piece the less space you need.

Do you know what sort of pieces you would like to try? There are a lot of things you can do with metal. You could go big and create wrought iron sculptures to display in fancy hotels or you could start small and try making some silver jewelry with your soldering iron. Many types of metal design, including embossing and engraving, are useful for practical purposes as well as decorative ones.

What do you do when your metal designs start to take up too much space? You can always sell them. Rent a table at a craft show or flea market to show off your wares, create a website where people can order or request pieces online, or create a profile for yourself on, the handcrafter's Ebay. Some people are even able to support themselves or at least supplement their income this way.

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