When it comes to creating metal artwork, we consider each project an opportunity to experiment.  Our most recent Mt Hood project provided us with a unique challenge.  Fill an empty space in an entertainment center with the client’s view of Mt Hood!

Friends Paul and Rose love their view of Mt Hood.  Problem is, the view disappears on rainy winter days.  And, their entertainment center needed some re-purposing.  Gone are the days of those big televisions that weigh a ton.  What do you do to fill those deep spaces with fixed width?  Create custom metal artwork, that’s what!

Creating Metal Artwork

The Beginning

The first challenge we faced was filling that deep space.  And, capturing the perspective of foothills and Mt Hood view.

mt hood view

What a view!

After talking with Rose and Paul about their vision and getting dimensions, Mike proceeded to work on the design.  Also, he needed to incorporate the free standing aspect of the finished piece.

The Design

The mountains we create usually have valleys and canyons as cut outs of the steel.  In order to highlight those cut outs, we decided to add a back layer with a dark patina.  So, the back layer of the piece would be the total finished size.  The mountain would be a separate design that would be affixed to the back layer.

The mid-range of foothills have golden colors in the fall, so Mike designed a second layer to highlight those colors with pewters and bronze.

A treeline front layer was designed with larger pine trees on each side.  This represents the view that Rose and Paul see closest to their home.

Once they approved the design, Mike proceeded to work his magic in the shop.

Vision Becomes Reality

Once Mike cut the pieces out, we sent a photo of three of the layers in raw steel.  This gave them an idea of the layering effect.

mt hood art raw

Creating metal artwork – raw steel.


Their response – “Looks fantastic so far!  Getting excited!”

After grinding the steel, we apply the patinas.  This is the fun part!

Colors and Finish

The back layer patina is copper with bronze to give that dark, far away look.  The polished steel mountain is permanently affixed to this layer.  You can see the holes in the bottom and middle layer for the attaching bolts.  The middle layer patina color is bronze to give a dark green effect with pewter for the golden hills.  The top layer is a combination of bronze and pewter, to differentiate between the mid layer of colors.  Bolts are welded on the back of this layer.


Each layer is finished individually with an automotive clear coat before assembling.

The Finished Piece

It’s always enjoyable to deliver a piece and see the reaction.  They couldn’t wait to get it installed in its new home.  Rose sent two photos that night so we could see what it looked like with lights.  We love it!