The folding of mirror finish stainless steel to create multi-faceted surfaces can result in exceptionally beautiful art works. Making full use of light and reflection they are able to take on a whole life of their own.

We have, over the last couple of years been working with Perth based cybernetics artist, Geoffrey Drake-Brockman, on some of his stunning large scale public art works. These have required the folding of many pieces of mirror finish stainless steel plate to create multiple faces. Being a tricky medium to work with, this has been a challenging and extremely rewarding journey.

Beautiful creations

Public art sculpture "Passage Through A Portal" by Geoffrey Drake Brockman. The steel is CNC Routed so that it can be hand-folded without damage to the mirror finish by Routers Australia , Perth, WA

Shown above is Geoffrey’s sculpture “Passage Through A Portal” It was installed at Shenton Park College, Perth, in late 2018, and is created from 316 mirror finish stainless steel. We CNC routed the panels so that they could be folded by hand leaving the perfect finish he required for this outstanding work of art.

Recently installed at the University of Canberra, ACT, is another of Geoffrey’s works. “One” (shown above), also features mirror finish stainless steel. Once again we were able to facilitate the hand folding of the steel for this project.

Finding the solution

Working with, and in particular, folding mirror finish stainless steel is always challenging. It requires extra care at every stage to prevent any marking or damage to the surface. Normally stainless steel is folded in a Press Brake machine. This causes the grain in the metal to open up on the bend & would destroy the mirror finish . Scuffing to the faces is another problem with this method. Clearly this was not suitable for an application such as Geoffrey’s sculptures where finish is all-important.

We therefore took up the challenge to perfect a technique which would allow for hand folding the material. It needed to preserve both the grain and the finish while maintaining strict accuracy to Geoffrey’s specifications. This was a good investment of time and effort. As a result we now have a quick and cost effective way of completing what is normally a tedious job.

We are proud to be involved in the creation of Geoffrey’s fabulous new art works as well as various other public art projects in WA and Australia-wide. Check out our Gallery for more examples of our work.