A lot of people think the best metalwork is solely about technical perfection. But after more than two decades in this business, I can tell you that it’s not.The success of a piece doesn’t lie in how clean a weld is or how well it is machined.True value is found in the craftsmanship of a work—what comes from the hand and eye of the creator behind the form.
I can work exactly like a machine if I have to. I have worked my way up to creating the perfect weld, and I have achieved the highest technical level with every tool available.But the closer and closer my skills got to matching the precision and speed of a machine, the more I realized I was chasing the wrong goal.
It’s the other way around: I am the one who has something that the machine doesn’t.
When you get a work from me, you get more than technical perfection can offer. My pieces have an educated roughness. A well thought out handmadeness. What I mean by this is that when a piece of metalwork is handmade, it has imperfections. But these imperfections are not errors—they’re signs of its creation, not just its mere fabrication.
It’s what I call an “educated roughness,” because you have to be an expert, with years of experience and an intimate knowledge of the tools and processes, in order to work like this.
When a master of their craft makes a piece, nothing else exactly like it has existed before, and no one could ever create an exact copy of it after—not another craftsman and not even a machine. As a creator, when you let go of trying to copy what a machine can do, you realize how much space it frees up to focus on what truly matters: distinctiveness, creativity, vision. This is where the true value of my pieces comes from.
Every piece of metalwork is made using the same tools and processes: Lathes, milling machines, anvils, jigs. Casting, forging, hammering, shaping, forming. But you could give me and a dozen other craftsmen the same brief, and you won’t get the same thing back.Because a piece of metalwork is more than its materials and parts.
My decades of experience have taught me that the best metalwork is a balance between technical perfection, aesthetics, and artistry. This is the ultimate knowledge I have gained as a master metalsmith. I don’t offer perfection—I offer something more than that, something that can’t be programmed into a machine. My pieces are living, breathing, organic works that fit into the spaces they are designed for in a way no work caught up in misguided notions of “perfection” could.
My work isn’t perfect—it’s deliberate. It has rough edges. But they’re there on purpose. I’ve added them during the process of making, because that is what that particular and unique piece of metalwork called for. If I have to, I’ll even create a new tool to achieve whatever it is that an individual piece needs. My works carry the traces of my hand—the signs of their creation—because that’s what makes them more than just a series of perfect welds.
Laszlo Custom Metal Design
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