Thursday Salute to Originals: Decorative Metal Animals

Animals are not strangers to being the subjects of artwork throughout history, but it’s rare that we see those in a fragile state depicted by a harsher medium. Today we’re introducing you to a Japanese artist who builds creatures like birds, potbelly pigs, and smaller primates out of metal – but he still manages to maintain their delicate charm.

Tokyo-based artist Taiichiro Yoshida excels in the ancient Japanese art of hot decorative metalworking. However, Yoshida brings new life to the practice by adding floral concepts that accentuate the softer side of each creature.

Still, the blooming flowers serve a greater purpose for Yoshida. The flowers themselves are a way to hide the animals’ bones and skin while giving them a new breath of life. They represent beauty and growth, an allusion to the circle of life.

The intricacy that goes into each piece is admirable and can be seen in the smallest details of an animal, particularly the birds. After completing the process of smithing (beating hot metal), Yoshida then colors the metal which remains relatively true to the representation of each animal’s skin, fur, or feathers.

This week we salute Taiichrio Yoshida for putting a fresh spin on an ancient technique. Yoshida lets us know that just because something is old, dying, or dead doesn’t mean it cannot be given a new life.

Sources: Taiichiro Yoshida, This is Colossal, Tree Hugger