Hello!  I’m Jessica, and I am excited to share a glimpse behind-the-scenes of my metal cerusing fine art. Influenced by my art background and experience with decorative metal patination, my technique and body of work is unique and unexplored.  I hope you enjoy learning the process that brings my artwork to life.

Image of Metal Cerusing Art called Aurora by Jessica Mayer Fine Art.  It has red, black and gold lines with turquoise in the background

metal cerusing

I have chosen to call my art medium, “Metal Cerusing.” Cerusing is typically a wood finishing process but I’ve coined the phrase for my metal art because it has a similar effect. In this layering process I apply paint and pigment to a custom in-house textured metal “canvas” (a whole other conversation to be had on textured metal!). In the end, the color is left in the deeper pits of the textured metal canvas. 

Each metal canvas has its own custom, unique texture. The patterns and one-of-a-kind texture variation often show a picture of what the metal canvas wants to be. I then apply paints, pigments and waxes to the metal canvas to create the image I see that is naturally forming in the texture. Sometimes I force an image that I want to see on the canvas, but usually I let the metal texture decide for me what it wants to become.

patina & Texture

I sometimes include patina to my canvases. Metal patination is an acid etching process to darken and antique the metal surface. I work with a variety of metal alloys in my field, aluminum, cold rolled steel, hot rolled steel, brass, bronze and stainless steel. All of these metals have their own color variations. But my favorite is steel. Steel is pretty heavy and a 4’ x 8’ sheet can get challenging to handle. It takes planning and coordination to hang one of my pieces – no matter the size. 

Patina added to the steel canvas can add depth and drama but it darkens the metal and I often want to see the metal light, softer and transformed from its usual state, to offer a way to look at metal differently.

Textured metal is popular in the custom metal design world I come from. When clients are looking for something interesting in a metal surface they are drawn to textured metal. In the past, textured metal was typically found in barnyards or industrial areas where the metal was left exposed to the environment, buried by the years, covered in dirt and debris. In this environment the metal surface naturally breaks down and starts to pit and decompose. We have developed a way to manufacture this texture without having to find it or wait years for it to decompose.

Our process is to accelerate the metal decomposition. We texturize 4×8 sheets and are able to control the texture, pattern and depth and do this in a very short period of time. Not only do I use this textured metal for my art canvases, but we also use this material for custom furniture, wall cladding, fireplace surrounds, architectural details and so on.

the inspiration

Metal is one of my favorite elements. It’s natural to the planet, found in many places around the world and one of the simplest forms of matter. Since I have worked with metal for years it was an obvious choice to use it as a canvas for art.

I am inspired by nature and natural scenery. I’m also inspired by what metal can do. I begin by looking for the expression in the textured metal canvas and then apply my own interpretation of the world, the environment and what I see onto the metal with paint and pigments and an abstract, natural world appears.

My process typically starts with a water color, a sketch or a photo of what I plan to paint on the metal. What comes through the metal cerused scene is abstract, but there is a picture there and a place it relates to. 

Jessica Mayer standing with one of her art pieces in her metal shop in Seattle, WA

the possibilities

I came to metal cerusing through the custom metal patination I do for my company, Mayer Designs.  It’s an artistic expression of my trade. I’m inspired by the possibilities of metal patination and always working on new finishes for projects. This proprietary technique, metal cerusing, is much more than a fine art medium, it is also an architectural statement when cladding an entry wall or applied to furniture to create a one of a kind piece. 

With metal patination and metal cerusing, my goal is to continue to push the envelope and stay ahead of the curve, offering something that has never been seen before. I’m always innovating and developing new techniques and finishes to offer to our clients and my exploration leads me down many paths, metal cerusing, fine art and who knows what’s next!

To view Jessica’s gallery of work please click here.

If you re interested in purchasing an art piece or collaborating on a private commission please feel free to reach out by filling out the contact form below.

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