Metal Wonder (
Metal Wonder by Heather Miller

Title: Metal Wonder
No longer available
Year: 2009
Size: ~17″ x 9″ x 2″

Metal Wonder was created using aluminum flashing panels, copper pipe fittings, and adhesive.

The Story:

I’m writing this story in 2016, the piece was created in 2009 so I’ll do my best to remember.

I don’t really remember what inspired this piece exactly.  I remember I had recently discovered the aluminum flashing panels at The Home Depot.  I buy the 5″ x 7″ panels for the most part, but you can get aluminum in rolls of various widths & lengths.  I think the last time I bought them, they were $19.99 for 5oo sheets, but I bought the large pack.  These are super thin & flexible, thin enough to cut with scissors. That flexibility was a liability for this piece

I love using the copper pipe fittings.  They are relatively inexpensive and come in a variety of shapes.  When I made this piece, along with earlier pieces like The Daily Grind, I wanted to showcase that beautiful art can be made using materials purchased only at hardware stores.  The Home Depot was the closest one to me at the time so that’s where my materials came from.

For whatever reason, it never occurred to me to put any kind of wood backing on this.  Metal Wonder is literally made of the three sheets of aluminum.  There may have been a fourth on the back, but even if there was,  it didn’t add any stability to it.  I glue mounting hardware on to the back so it could hang on the wall.  However, after an exhibition a few years ago, I was unpacking it & dropped it as I went to hang it on the wall.  The bottom panel popped off.  Oddly those heavy copper pipe fittings stayed on, it was just the bottom panel.

I ended up scrapping the piece.  Or at least I disassembled it.  I recycled the aluminum due to the glue residue.  At some point I will probably remake this since I really liked it. Next time I’ll glue the panels to wood to make it a bit sturdier.