Bridging the Gap between Welding and Art

This week’s guest blog comes from Alex Smithson, 31, Montana, USA.

Ialex smithson first started making metal art when I learned to weld, which was during a construction job around 10 years ago.

I bought a 110v arc welder and began making small sculptures and things at home.

Over the years, I have developed good relationships with the local scrap metal yard, thrift stores and junk yards, which has really helped me make sure I have a steady supply of metal coming in, which ultimately means I can continue to make new things.

I generally use any scrap metal that I can find to use in my artwork. Most of it is plain steel such as gears, chains, nuts, bolts, and old tools.

Although making metal art originally started out as a hobby I just did my spare time, more recently it’s become a source of income. I’ve been selling my artwork at a local gallery called Montana Mosaic for over a year now, and it seems to be going well!

Some of my work has even won awards, such as a set of guitar sculptures which won 1st Place ribbon at my local State Fair.


More recently, I completed my largest project so far – two 20′ x 20″ x 84″ towers with lights inside, installed on a walkway bridge that I worked on during a renovation project 14 years ago


The city Recreational Trails Committee commissioned me to make the towers after I created and donated a giant pinecone sculpture – made from about 125 old shovel heads – to the city.

I had originally made a “shovel-pinecone” for my grandmother, and the local newspaper did an article on it, asking the community to donate old shovels to me so I could make one for our local “River’s Edge Trail”, which was a great honour. Not only was it great for me as an artist, but it was also great in bringing the community together.cone

It was also a huge honour to then be asked to create the towers for the entrance to the walkway bridge, and hopefully it leads to bigger and even more challenging projects for me in the future.

plaqueIt was fun to make and gave me a great sense of pride to be asked and trusted to create something for the city that will last for generations, with my name to it.

I hope to have a display set up at my local museum in the next couple of years, for people to visit and enjoy looking at my work as much as I enjoy creating it.

If you’d like to see more of Alex’s amazing work, please visit Metal Art by Alex on Facebook.

If Alex’s work has inspired you to try your hand at metal art, you can find a range of Welding essentials here, as well as, of course, range of metal for all sorts of metalwork projects.

You can also find our previous guest blogs at, Horsing Around with MetalOn the Ball with Metal and Going Ape with Scrap Metal.

If you’re interested in being a Guest Blogger for The Metal Store feel free to get in touch with us, we’d love to showcase your work!

Facebook: The Metal Store UK
Twitter: @TheMetalStoreUK


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