While humanity has been no stranger to brass since prehistoric times, the last era brass was in fashion was in the 70s. However, as of 2014, Dezeen Magazine reported that the metal is in vogue again:
“Brass has never gone away but there’s definitely been a resurgence in popularity over recent years,” say Holmes and Minimalux co-director Tamara Caspersz.
“Solid non-lacquered brass is a material that ages beautifully to create a rich natural patina but it also has the capacity to be brought back to life and returned to a bright polished shine.”
“Part of the attraction in this is the idea that if it is nurtured and taken care of it will last forever – a refreshing concept in this day and age and our present throw-away culture.”
The popularity of the metal’s usage has resulted into uses as varied as curtain rods made out of polished brass tube, mirrors lined with flat strips of brass, ornamented doorknobs, and door handles. Even bathrooms can get their own brass makeovers, as boring grey handles, faucets, pipes, and mirror frames can be given a brilliant sheen.
Characteristics of the alloy
Brass is not a recent innovation or discovery. In use by various civilizations around the world since the 5th millennium BC, the metal has a bright gold pigment that can be rolled, bended, thinned, and sliced easily into various shapes and sizes. It has a low melting point, and therefore higher malleability than bronze and zinc.
It’s very easy to shape and cast, whether one needs a refined brass square tube, a nut and bolt, a fitting for a home ornament, or any other component; the versatility of the metal is such that it can be used for almost anything. It is also non-ferromagnetic, which means that brass cannot attract other metals and is fully recyclable.
Trendy and in vogue
Nowadays, brass is deemed to be a classic and timeless ornamental piece. However, while previous eras have placed a premium on shiny and lacquered metal, today’s décor designers aim for an aged look that imparts regality and a sense of deep time, a quality that is only achievable by the unique sheen of brass.
Where to look
Pre-made brassware can often be found in vintage and antique shops. As for those who are interested in experimenting with the alloy, it is available in various forms and sizes from established suppliers such as the New York-based firm Rotax Metals.
Source: (“Nostalgic comfort” brings brass back into contemporary design, Dezeen Magazine, May 26, 2014)