UK Liquid Metal

UK Liquid Metal | London Success

UK Liquid Metal stars at the London Surface Design Show

UK Liquid Metal is in the very safe hands of Craig and Alison McDonald of Granlyn Specialist Coatings.  Granlyn has now exhibited at the London Surfaces Design Show for three years in a row. Every year its stand is brighter, bigger and better and this year was no exception. Once again, the Metalier stand was the star of the show. And we love Granlyn’s new strap-line “Let the art begin”. That’s exactly what Metalier is all about.

UK Liquid Metal’s stand featured Metal Coated Strand-board

It was coated strand-board that received the most comment and interest. It is an excellent example of how you can take an inexpensive material and with Metalier Coatings transform it into something amazing. This finish was featured in the Dior fit-outs in Auckland and Melbourne which were recently completed.

The Metalier stand also featured a polystyrene iron coated ball. Studded with magnets it demonstrates beyond question that this is real metal you are dealing with. It also looks so real that people lean on it. This can be a little interesting!

Lined up on the stand, dressed in Metalier Black, alongside Craig and Alison, was their Granlyn super-salesman, Steve. They need plenty of staff on hand as there are so many people who are impressed by Granlyn's creativity and want to know how they can be part of the world of Metalier.

Well done again team. At HQ, we all salute you and thank you for being part of Metalier International. Granlyn also does amazing work. If you haven’t seen The Leicester Grand Hotel you should check it out here.

To contact Craig click here.
To contact Alison click here

And to contact HQ click here or complete the form below.


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Bronze bowls

Bronze bowls | Metalier liquid metal

Metalier Bronze bowls were created by a design student 

The bronze bowls created by design student, Shiri, resulted from her exploration of how traditional processes and materials could be complemented and extended using contemporary approaches - the best of the old alongside the best of the new.

The bronze bowls project were part of the second year Industrial Design and Innovation programme at AUT, Auckland. This programme is supported by Rebecca Dowie of Douglas and Bec. This company has been producing furniture and lighting since 2006. It has a particular focus on creators with an artisanal ethos who produce thoughtful, innovative ideal fit for an AUT Studio project!

To create the bronze bowls Shiri used the precision that CNC cutting can achieve to form 'nesting' wooden forms. Her original plan had been to use cast bronze linings to her wooden bowls, but the cost to prepare and finish these, along with the weight led her to look for alternatives. Metalier cold sprayed bronze allowed her to successfully meet both practical and aesthetic objectives; the CNC lining was an exact fit to the inside of the wooden bowl, something that would have been far more difficult to achieve had it been done in conventional ways.

Michael Smythe in his recent book describes New Zealand Design as 'neither opulent nor sterile. It is accomplished with a light touch rather than a heavy hand. It delights in who it's for and how it's made. It is direct and to the point, and it doesn't take itself too seriously. It offers no 'bullshit' honesty with a twinkle in its eye..." Students were asked design more or less anything within the gamut of domestic ware, but to purposefully set about acknowledging these characteristics in their work.

An intelligent marriage of materials, sensitive use of form and materials in an unconventionally conventional bowl....a good example of Kiwi design?

Talk to us to see how we can help the twinkle in your eye. Contact us here or complete the form below.


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metal hands

Metal hands | Metalier Liquid Metal

Metal hands caught Metalier’s eyes

Metal hands used as a handle in a dear little church in Little Akaroa, Pigeon Bay on Banks Peninsular, New Zealand, caught my eye on a recent visit to the South Island. The history of the church and the settlement in Little Akaroa is an interesting one.  Bishop Selwyn visited there in February 1856 travelling in his mission schooner.

It is told that as the schooner’s rowing boat neared shore the Bishop called out “Do you know who I am? I am Bishop Selwyn, the travelling Bishop”. With that he leapt out of the rowing boat into waist deep water and helped pull the boat to the beach. We expect that he wasn’t wearing his mitre at the time.

The current church building which house the metal hands was built in the years 1905-6. It was built under the direction of a Mr Menzies who was a well-known local amateur carver “of the highest order”.

The outward appearance of the church is concrete with a pebble dashed surface. The church is designed in the well-known cruciform pattern with a little bell tower. It is well proportioned. Nothing on the outside prepares you for the inside however. The church is lavishly decorated in Maori form carving, White limestone features Maori carvings, the rafters are decorated with Maori patterns and there were Maori designs in the coloured glass.

It was unusual for this period to use Maori patterns and St Luke’s is one of the earliest European buildings to feature them. It seems that Mr Menzies did not consult local Maori who were somewhat put out about the use of their designs.

The little metal hands feature as a door handle on what looks like it could be the door to the choir vestry. Metalier can design and coat door handles to enhance any door. Just try us!

Contact us by telephone 021 732746  or complete the form below.


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metal doors

Metal Doors | Metalier Liquid Metal

Creating beautiful metal doors

Creating beautiful metal doors is one of the things we like best and do best at Metalier Liquid Metals.  We enjoy it so much because it enables us to work closely with clients, designers and builders to create a special “Wow” feature for homes, apartments, offices, restaurants and shops.

Your involvement in the process can be as much or as little as you like.  There is a door on the floor of the workshop in Henderson right at the moment which is very much a “hand’s on” project.  Samples have been created which the clients love.  “Awesome” was the word they used.

And just this week the designer has been in to mark out where she wants to locate the pattern lines.  The metal being used - our smoky bronze is a sultry moody colour.  The door itself is huge 2100 x 2200 – a total of 10 sq m including both sides and the edges.  The door is going to be an indoor feature in the lounge/living area.  And feature is the operative word.  It is going to be spectacular.  Pictures are promised.

Metal doors can be created using a variety of substrates

One of the benefits of Metalier is that it will adhere to almost any substrate.  The only things which are “no go” are silicone, waxed objects and people!  Metalier will adhere to anything that can be keyed to create a rough surface.  We couldn’t do a Goldfinger James Bond lady, for example.  (I was very disappointed to learn that death by gold painting was scientifically impossible.)

The most common substrates for doors, both indoors and out are wood and aluminium.  Both deliver excellent results.

One of the things that gives us the most satisfaction is delivering to the clients expectations on budget and on time.  And don’t think that a metal door is unaffordable.  It’s not and we can show you how.

If you want to make a statement contact us by telephone or email or complete the form below.


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Opera stage design

Opera Stage Sets | Metalier Liquid Metal

The opera stage set is an important part of the art

At Metalier HQ we’re very interested in opera stage sets and opera stage design. In fact we confess that opera is our favourite type of classical music. (We’re fond of Leonard Cohen, Bob, Fleetwood Mac and the Beatles too.)

Living in New Zealand we don’t get much live opera so we’ve been devotees of the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD series. This series, which you view at a cinema, takes you to an opera at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.  A live performance at the opera is filmed and transmitted immediately to a live audience at many places round the world. It is also recorded of course and the recordings are played in cinemas.  That’s what we go to see.

Most of the popular operas have already been performed including Wagner’s Ring Cycle. One of the operas took 6 hours and we had to have a dinner break in the middle.

The opera stage set for the Ring Cycle was captivating

The opera stage for Wagner’s Ring Cycle was deceptively simple and modern. It involves 24 identical wedges which are able to rotate independently on a horizontal axis across the stage. This provides level, slopping, angled or moving surfaces facing the audience. Bubbles, falling stones, fire and all sorts of colours are projected onto these surfaces.  The visuals are linked by computer with the movement of the characters and the music. Just magical!

Rhine maidens could slip down the blue slopes of the surfaces – in fact it looked very slippery. The Valkyries rode them like horses.  It’s impossible to describe the effect in words but you can watch the opera stage in action on this Youtube video of the Ride of the Valkyries.

And the relevance to Metalier you ask? Well it looks very much to us that the opera stage is made of metal. Indeed that’s logical because only a shiny surface would be able to reflect the light, flame and bubbles sufficiently. We rather fancy doing an opera stage set or maybe a movie set so if you’re thinking about creative we’d love to hear from you. We like the Valkyries' metal costumes too - Metalier Flexible metal could be the go here too.

If you want to talk to us about your next creative idea, musical or otherwise, or want to talk to us about opera or even sing to us you could contact us or complete the form below. Either way, we’re looking forward to it.


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kinetic sculpture

Metalier saves $6.3 million dollars on kinetic sculpture

Metalier liquid metal and kinetic artists create affordable design

Kinetic Sculpture is just one way in which Metalier liquid metal can demonstrate its cost-effectiveness.  Admittedly kinetic sculpture is not exactly a mainstream commercial avenue for liquid metal.  It does, however, provide a stunning comparison between the costs of using Metalier as against sheet metal.

Len Lye Foundation Engineers have looked to Metalier.

Len Lye’s kinetic sculpture was way ahead of its time and many of his ideas are still to be executed.  Metalier has been invited to test its coating on a particular work of art that Canterbury University engineers are building.  The design which is on a civic scale involves seven 50 metre strips of stainless steel that move like a serpent and hit an end piece that makes a light flash.

The strips of stainless steel are estimated to cost $1 million dollars each.  This makes the sculpture cost well over $7 million dollars. This is big money even at a civic level, or perhaps one should say, especially at a civic level.  Manufactured in fibreglass and coated with Metalier liquid metal the strips are estimated to cost, in total, about $700,000 – 10% of the cost of the stainless steel sheet metal.  This is a saving of $6.3 million dollars.

Canterbury University are naturally keen to test Metalier for this role.  So far our own tests indicate that the metal coating will withstand the pressure put on it by the kinetic action.  Some of the strips lie in water when they are not being serpents and we know that water presents no problem for Metalier.  The real question now is how the fibreglass strips will perform.

Kinetic sculpture waves in the breeze.

I don’t know about you but I find kinetic sculptures mesmerizing.   I could watch them for hours swaying and changing as the wind blows.  Students at Canterbury University are working right now on a wand to be made of fibreglass or carbon fibre which will be coated with Metalier liquid metal.  This will be a great test for the Metalier coatings and another way we can showcase them to the world.

Please enjoy the sculpture Kinetic Rain in Changi Airport Singapore by German design firm Art+Com.  This sculpture moves by computer-controlled motors rather than the wind.  Rather better for indoors we think.

Artists, sculptors and kinetic addicts can contact us right here or fill in the form below to get in touch.


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yarn bombing

Yarn bombing | A Texan art-form

Yarn bombing - Something completely different!

Yarn-bombing was something new to the team from Metalier when it finished its world travels with a final stop-over in Austin Tx.  Austin, with its wonderful city slogan “Keeping Austin Weird” is the birthplace and home of the Metalier Nano Clear Coat so it was a fitting place for the team to visit.

Yarn bombing began in Houston, Texas in 2005 when Magda Sayeg cover her door handle with a cozy. The movement is now a worldwide one and goes under varying names such as yarnstorms
Guerilla knitting, kniffiti, urban knitting and graffiti knitting.  In fact, it is a form of graffiti and illegal in many places but its non-permanent and doesn’t damage the substrate.

It’s different from usual graffiti forms too. It’s mainly about reclaiming cold and sterile public spaces and doesn’t have the darker side of usual graffiti. It is an art form and can be very pretty – like the trees in the picture above.

The yarn bombing movement is not without wit either.  One artist calls herself Deadly Knitshade and in London UK there is a city knitting collective called “Knit the City”. There is a Knit Knot Tree display in Yellow Springs, Ohio. It was set up by the jafagirls as a thank you to trees for helping humanity. In New York City Yarn Bombing has been used for pole warming. It’s whimsical clever and fun.

At Metalier, we haven’t tried to knit with our metal coatings but we do use fabric, and lace in particular, to create stylish clever patterns. And we do have our flexible binder which can be used on fabric, cloth and rubber moulds.

We love to talk to you about your designs so contact us here or complete the form below.


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Metalier in France

Metalier in France

Metalier in France will be supported by the Hub in Birmingham, UK.

Contact details for the European hub at Granlyn are here.

But the HQ reps visiting the hub actually took a bit of time out in France to visit the Department of Ardeche in the Central Massif .  The Ardeche is one of the poorest and least populated departments in the whole of France but it is also one of the most beautiful. The hills of Ardeche couldn’t be anywhere else but France.

High on the list of priorities was a climb to the summit of Mont Mezenc, the highest mountain in the area. This was accompanied by a French lesson, largely unsuccessful, in how to pronounce differently “maison” for house and “mezenc” for the mountain. Sigh.

Mezenc is actually a very interesting area. It has developed a particular way of fattening beef by feeding them with hay. Hay was essential because of the shortage of pasture. The finest hay is fed to the cattle who are traditionally sold at Easter. A whole accreditation system has grown up around the practice.

Mezenc Fin du gras sounds elegant and sophisticated when said in French. Translated into English Mezenc Fat End is neither inspiring nor appetizing. It’s one of the examples of how a word for word translation can ruin the grace of the original.

Metalier in France – we’re looking forward to setting up there -well we sort of have a French name, don’t we? Metalier is a contrived word of our own derived from marrying Metal with the French word “Atelier” which translates as a workshop or studio, especially one used by an artists or designer. Metalier metals are an art-form and our team are artists and creators.

Contact us to find out when Metalier in France becomes a reality or if you think you would like to bring our metal system to that country. Or complete the form below.


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Metalier UK hub

Metalier UK Hub | Birmingham

The Metalier UK Hub is in Birmingham

The Metalier UK hub was the next stop on the international tour. Actually it’s also about to be the Metalier UK/Europe Hub too.

Birmingham sometimes gets a bad press but it’s actually very cultured with its orchestra, ballet, repertory theatre, library and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. They all have international reputations.  And there are also great grass roots art, music, literary and culinary scenes.

Amazingly, Birmingham is the fourth-most visited city in the UK by foreign visitors.

London, of course, is first by a long shot then Edinburgh (not unexpected), Manchester and Birmingham.

Just a quick train ride from London Euston, Birmingham is ideally located in the British West Midlands for the Metalier UK Hub. It’s also got a great compact international airport so is convenient for the likes of visitors from HQ and also from Europe. And sorry, but anything to avoid Heathrow if possible.

Not only all of this, but there are family members and friends there too. It’s just perfect!

Birmingham architecture is interesting too.

It’s a young city by European standards, having grown out of the Industrial Revolution. With the building of Selfridges in the Bullring Shopping Centre, it was one of the first cities to exhibit the blobitecture style.

What’s that, you might ask? Well “Blobitecture from blob architecture, blobism or blobismus are terms for a movement in architecture in which buildings have an organic, amoeba-shaped, building form.” The design for the 2003 Selfridges Building department store, was intended to “evoke the female silhouette and a famous ‘chainmail’ dress designed by Paco Rabanne in the 1960s.

I expect it is only coincidence that my favourite perfume for years, now sadly unavailable, was Paco Rabanne’s Metal.

Birmingham has heaps going for it, not just the Metalier UK Hub at Granlyn, although that’s right up there. Go to something artistic, eat something exciting and marvel at blobitecture. And if you want to contact Metalier UK their details are here – or you could fill in the form below.


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Welsh Castles

Architecture | Dubai to Welsh Castles

Welsh Castles are far away from Dubai!

From Dubai to North Wales, Conwy in fact, was the next stop on our 2015 jaunt  to say close to one of the most spectacular of the Welsh Castles. It sure is an architectural shift.

Castell Conwy (Conway Castle in English) was built in the 13th century by Edward I. It was constructed as part of a larger project to create a walled town in Conwy.  It and the defences of Conwy cost the gigantic sum of 15,000 pounds.

UNESCO considers Conwy to be one of “the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe” and it is classed as a World Heritage site.

It is also fascinating that it is one of the earliest stone machicolations in Britain.  Machicolation is a floor opening between the supporting corbels of a battlement.  Through these openings the castle inmates could adopt the charming practice of dropping stones and other objects onto attackers. Machicolation were more common in French castles than English ones – remember the French soldiers in Monty Python’s Holy Grail.

Architecture in Wales is not only about Welsh Castles

The Visit Wales site points out that there are many contemporary buildings adding “a sleek, stylish, eco-efficient edge” to parks, cities and heritage attractions. Buildings it singles out for mention include the Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Caerphilli Castle Visitor Centre, Galeri Caernarfon, Hafod Eryri-Snowden Summit Building, the Millenium Stadium and Senedd, the National Assembly for Wales. It’s just as well that the reception area in this building is not the main chamber. Its ceiling and tree-like funnel would have most MPs gazing heavenwards most of the time, I’m sure.

One thing which we find disconcerting about travelling by car in Wales is that as you get further and further into the country the road signs feature Welsh on the top with English underneath. Welsh seems to take a lot more and longer words to say things than English. But there is no way I can train my eyes to start reading the sign from the middle.  I’m sure there’s a word for this.

And there are in spring or autumn 47 different shades of green to be seen in the vegetation of the Conwy valley. When you’re sick of exploring Welsh castles you can drink in the green of the valley.

Even when we’re travelling there are plenty of people working hard at Metalier while we’re not there. So contact them or complete the form below to chat about metal or anything else on your mind.


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