Building masterpieces out of metal

Travis Rankin is having a wrought-en good time. The Duncan metal artist runs Wroughtenart

Travis Rankin is having a wrought-en good time.

The Duncan metal artist runs Wroughtenart, a business that specializes in creatively crafting steel into everything from gates to home decor — all part of Rankin’s mission to bring out the beauty of metal.

“I’ve been doing it off and on for years,” said Rankin, who is from the Cowichan Valley originally and moved back here from the mainland three years ago.

“This is my home, this is where I grew up, so people know me here,” Rankin explained.

In Vancouver, Rankin was more focused on other metal work including custom-building a $600,000 hot rod.

“Over there I was building more hot rods and trucks and a little bit of wrought-iron stuff, just doing every kind of fabrication there was,” Rankin said.

“Now I’m just focusing on the artistic side.”

Rankin specializes in crafting upscale gates, railings and home decor pieces, and particularly enjoys making scenes from nature into imaginative creations. He generally obtains his steel and metal from Duncan Iron Works on Allenby Road and works from one-eighth-inch steel all the way up to three-quarter-inch.

He recently began using a computerized system in his shop, which has made intricate design work easier, but before that cut by hand with a blow torch.

Rankin said while there are many fabrication shops in the area, what sets him apart is his focus solely on art.

His most requested work are gates, interior railings and art pieces to hang on the wall.

He also makes unique pieces such as the coat hanger he created shaped in the symbol of the Indic letters for Om, the sacred universal sound in Hinduism, and a steel design of the genesis pattern, an ancient symbol of life depicted with concentric circles. Pieces are sanded with a grinder once they are cut out, then finished with powdercoating or spraypaint.

From gates to metal scenes for inside the home, it’s all work Rankin loves doing, starting with a customer’s initial idea or inspiration and building it into a masterpiece.

“It’s really all up to the customer,” Rankin explained.

“I basically take a vision from the customer and what they think and then creating it. My biggest thrill is finding customers that want something creative.”

Customers often come to him with only a general idea of what they have in mind which is fine with him, Rankin said.

He then starts by suggesting ideas, such as animals and themes and works with the customer from there.

“I generally do a rough sketch to give them a rough idea what we’re looking at so we can work with budget and how detailed we want to go, and then I’ll do a final budget and final quote,” Rankin explained.

To find out more about Rankin’s work visit his Facebook page at, e-mail him at, or call him at 250-709-7585.

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