Sculptures made from stainless steel rods

Here at The Metals Warehouse, our custom-cut metals get used in a variety of different ways.

From construction projects to DIY, there isn’t a problem they can’t solve. Recently, we wrote a feature looking at a few different ways our stainless steel sheets and aluminium were being used by businesses in Nottingham – from replacing glass-displaying panels to parts for a prototype jet board.

But, our products also get used as part of creative projects, with international sculptor, Grahame R Tucker, epitomising that with the launch of his Spring Collection.

Until recently, Grahame’s art has usually come to life through wood. However, he has recently explored using ceramics to create freestanding sculptures.

And so, his ‘Inspired by Nature’ series was born. 

Grahame told us: “It all began with my love of natural forms and being able to appreciate the shape and form, curvature, and elegance of such subject matter as grasses, seed pods, and flora. 

“My first love is shape and form, and I have a natural affiliation with that. I just want to create beautiful forms that reflect the enjoyment I see in nature which inspires me.”

As well as switching to ceramic, Grahame had been seeking a product that would enable him to give his collection a life-like presence.

That search led him to our 3m stainless steel rods.

Our custom-cut rods used in the collection have been cut to size using an angle grinder with a metal cutting blade to either six millimetres or eight millimetres in diameter and provide delicate stems to the sculptural forms Grahame creates, thus giving a sense of elevation to the pieces. 

Why stainless steel rods? When cut, the use of six-millimetre rods allows a degree of flexibility that brings the sculpture to life, particularly when there is a breeze. 

Grahame explained: “Within this series of sculptures, I see the potential of combining natural and manmade materials, and in particular, the potential of using stainless steel rods sourced from The Metals Warehouse Limited, which have become a major element of the sculptures I produce.

“As soon as I was creating the ceramic forms, I knew precisely that the stainless steel rods would give a feeling of elegance to the pieces, which was required to really set the forms off to their best

“With the sculptures being set in the garden, then nature rules, in that you may have a gentle breeze or strong wind, and they just flex accordingly. They also give a quite contemporary feel and elegance to the pieces, which also complements the glazes I use for the ceramic pieces.”

Durability is also a major consideration when using stainless steel as it does not rust. So, as well as providing flexibility, stainless steel would provide protection for the sculptures that were based outdoors.

“It was really a natural progression to produce these pieces as ceramic forms and the fact that I saw these pieces as being garden sculptures, of course, producing stoneware ceramics, which are completely frost-free,” Grahame said. 

“This reassured me that I could create these sculptures, and put them in an outdoor setting, knowing full well that they would stand the test of time.”

Grahame recently completed an exhibition at Showborough House Garden Exhibition near Tewkesbury, where his ceramic sculptures were on display, receiving much acclaim. 

Grahame’s ceramic sculptures from the collection will next be on show at Batsford Arboretum in October, alongside his original woodwork pieces if people wish to visit and either view or purchase his pieces. 

Gary Peters, Director at The Metals Warehouse, said: “It’s fantastic to see the diverse way in which our products are used, and Grahame’s sculptures epitomise that. We were blown away when we first saw pictures of what Grahame had created. 

“The flex in the bar and the anti-corrosive properties of stainless steel means that it helps bring the product to life, but also offers the longevity that Grahame needed for his collection. And when the product does meet the end of its lifespan, it can be 100% recycled.”

You can view Graham R Tucker’s ‘Inspired by Nature’ Collection on his website now: