Metal in Furniture Design

Furnishing a space can be a super satisfying experience and a well designed piece of furniture could last you a lifetime. Furniture is designed not only as functional and practical but also as an artistic focal point in a space. There are many different directions you can go into when it comes to style and mixing looks, as long as they are similar by line, shape or proportion, they can be displayed in unison while still accomplishing an over all aesthetically pleasing feel.

Steel is the most commonly used metal in exterior and interior furniture design. It is made up of iron and carbon and can be shaped, riveted, bolted and welded which provides us with great flexibility in designing furniture concepts. You can incorporate steel into tables, chairs, light fixtures, shelves, desks, cabinets, etc.  The thickness (or gauge) of the material typically determines the quality of the furniture. The thicker the material, the harder it is to dent or destroy. A couple options in adding a little pizzaz to your furniture is adding brass or copper accents. 

Something to consider when investing in steel furniture is rust. Rust naturally occurs when the iron in the steel is exposed to oxygen and moisture in the air or water. In some cases this is a desired look. We are even capable of speeding up the rusting process in order to get a weathered look for anything from signs to metal sculptures and so on. However, if you do not desire this style, there are many ways of preventing or even getting rid of surface rust once it starts. Corroded steel can be scraped with a wire brush or can be sand blasted. A couple ways to prevent rust is to finish your product with a protective clear coat, or a service called powder coating. Powder coating offers a thick coat of protection that can withstand the seasonal elements the longest. It also comes in a variety of colors and textures. 

If you have any questions about incorporating metal into your furniture or preventing (or creating) rust, reach out! We'd love to hear from you.


Hands On Athens

Hands On Athens is an Athens-Clarke County based program that assists low-income home owners maintain and restore their historic homes. They round up volunteers for each project who are able to manage repairs to homes in a few historic districts. Not only does this benefit the home owners, it impacts the community as a whole by keeping the real estate market at an advantage, and generates more tourism.  Although this particular project hosted volunteers, historic districts keep our communities construction and contracting business' busy! 

Hands On Athens was looking for some extra help for a home on South Billups St. and we jumped at the opportunity to get involved. A large amount of siding was deteriorating and was replaced with reclaimed wood donated by Oneta Woodworks. Working alongside our buds in Oneta and Sons of Sawdust made the experience that much more exciting. Maintaining a house could get overwhelming, especially when life is so unpredictable. We couldn't be happier help out a family that truly needed it. Thanks so much Hands on Athens for letting us be a part of this such a special opportunity. 

It's real easy to get involved with Hands on Athens in one way or another. If you live in a historic home and would like to be considered for assistance maintaining your property, would like to volunteer or donate, you can do so at


The Creative Process of a Tree Gate

Part 2

We wanted to give you an idea of what it's like to fabricate a large project from beginning to end so we started a two part blog on the subject. Part one (which you could find just a couple blogs down) goes into the steps of getting the design started and the beginnings of production. Now we will show you how to bring those branches to life with details. 

The leaves and flowers get laser cut and fitted for a custom die. The die's are then hand fabricated to fit each unique style of leaf/flower: Japanese Maple, Dogwood leaf and the Dogwood flower. The dies go into our 26-ton press and come out with their new shape. 

From there each individual leaf is hammered out to give a more realistic "curl" and add dimension. After the press and the anvil they get welded to smaller hand forged branches and are strategically placed on the existing branches of the tree.  

As the little grooves get smoothed out we finally get to see the tree come together as a whole. The last step will be to add a protective finish. Powder coating is typically the direction we go in with project like this. It's the most weather resistant and comes in a wide array of colors and textures. Keeping the "raw" metal look is an option as well with a clear coat. 

With the delivery/install confirmed we're always excited to see the final project all set up in it's new home. I hope we covered everything you would want to know about what goes into a project this size. Reach out with comments or any other questions you may have! We'd love to hear from you!

Spring Cleaning

Have clutter around the house that you're looking to place? Photographs, knick knacks or vintage finds that you'd love to display but have no space for? Wall mounted shelves are a great option for getting your spring clean on! 

Their universal design makes them functional in any room or closet in the house. They are completely customizable so smaller spaces could host a narrow design to display photo frames or you could add wider shelves to carry heavier items such as books or dishes. 

Photo Credit: Sarah Brendel @sdbrendel

Photo Credit: Sarah Brendel @sdbrendel

Here's a couple inspired ideas for a few areas of the house:

- Kitchen- add shelves under your cabinets to hold spices or between cabinets in front of a window for kitchen plants.  

- Bedroom- add above your nightstand for some extra room for a photo frame or kleenex box.

- Living area- design around your TV to organize your movies, DVR, DVD player or knick knacks. 

- Bathroom- install shelves near your tub for towels and candles or around your mirror to keep your daily necessities in order.

- Office- use around your desk to add dimension to the things that inspire you as you work or to set baskets on to organize your supplies. 

- Kids Room- add around the room to display your child's artwork or to keep those breakable knick knacks out of reach. 

You can keep them simple by incorporating reclaimed wood to contrast with a brightly colored wall or dress them up with paint or paper lining. Layer them up in whichever ways work for you and enjoy feeling less overwhelmed when everything has a place. 

Happy Organizing!  



Let's Get Started!


Have an idea or design concept that you're itching to materialize? Let's see what you've got! Our knowledgable team is exceptionally open-minded and easy to talk to. You can reach us in the contact section of our website's navigation bar, or directly:

        Andy- 706.296.4293- 

        Mike- 404.423.2868-

        Holly- 706.206.3833-


After you share your notes and ideas we'll tie up the loose ends and offer customizable options that fit within your budget. For the larger projects, or ideas that need visual confirmation, we will develop a hand-drawn sketch by one of our in-house artists.  You can voice any necessary changes, we'll get you a quote, then jump right into...


This is the fun part for us! Our blacksmiths will get to it in the workshop! Forming, welding and grinding away is their specialty. What was once just a simple idea in your head will be fabricated into a quality product you can enjoy for a long time to come. 


We welcome you to come by the shop when picking up your finished product, this way you can go behind the scenes and check out what's used in the process of developing custom fabrications such as yours. If you live too far or can't make it over, no worries at all! We always have the option of organizing a delivery- no matter how large or small the product is!


The Magic is in the Details

The details are what set an artists work apart from the rest. 100 artists could look at an image of the same tree and produce very different results on paper. This is because each artist has his own style/version of getting that end result, and this shows through in the details. Here at St. Udio we like to embrace your individual style and incorporate ideas unique to you. We want everyones product to reflect their personality and style and really capture their vision adequately. 

What are a few things to keep in mind when you want to get the details just right?

KNOWLEDGE- Research the facts- understand what it is you're creating. View it from as many angles as you can find. For example, when a client asked us to create a Dogwood Tree gate, we researched everything we could about what a Dogwood is. From size, shape, petal texture, bloom season, where it grows, etc. Soaking up all the information possible is not only going to help you perfect the details, but it could also potentially help you problem solve creatively as challenges arise. It will help you make conscious decisions throughout.

"Learn and obey the rules very well so you will know how to break them properly"- Dalai Lama

PRACTICE- Experiment with trial and error. Learn from what doesn't work and rework your game until you get the desired outcome. Try out different tools, techniques and mediums. 

TEAMWORK- Having an awesome team lined up to catch what you miss is major. If everyone's focused and making a conscious effort to contribute what they've learned during the process, the end result will prove quite satisfying.  

The Creative Process of a Tree Gate

Part 1

We wanted to give you an exclusive look into the creative process of designing and fabricating a custom tree gate. Each project we take on of this size is a fascinating experience and we do everything in our power to make it exciting and easy for you. This will be a quick look into the process from start to end.  

We begin with YOU, our imaginative client with a desire to incorporate uniqueness into your home that you can enjoy for a long time to come. Starting with technical questions such as size and installation, we quickly get into the fun stuff- the design! You can choose to go in a realistic or fantastical direction and we'll keep you on track from there while staying within your budget. Possibilities are virtually endless. We then collect all your ideas and our artists will develop a basic sketch that looks a little something like this... 

From there you can let us know if you would like to make any changes, we'll get you a final bid and get started with the fabrication process. 

The tree starts with pipe, fabricated down to a size we can forge. They get welded together like patchwork and we grind them down to a smoother texture. It doesn't look like much at first, but as we continue we eventually get to step back and see all the hard work come together.  

Stay tuned for Part 2 with more progress photos and insight on what happens next!

Hello February

Zinc Top Steel Legs 

Collaboration with Oneta Woodworks

This Walnut table was designed for ultimate leg space. Because of the tables weight- typically it would be built with a vertical support in the middle or at each end. The client in this case wanted to keep all of that leg room so a horizontal steel beam was set in place underneath with extra curved supports welded in each corner. 

Busy Shop

Just a small peek into what's been going on in the shop the past couple weeks. These are all details for a custom tropical table that is going to match the tropical gate we've recently fabricated for a client in Florida. 


Steel Magnolias


Custom Design Tropical Gate

Brass Mirror Frames

Collaboration table with Oneta Woodworks

Trappeze Pub

Here's a look at some of the work we've done for Trappeze Pub downtown Athens. 


Rails custom fabricated for a residential second story deck. 

Fanny's House

We had the opportunity to get creative in a very old space which we are so pleased to finally share with all of you! This mini house was so dated, we retired the outhouse around back and built a bathroom addition to the space. 90% of the materials added to Fanny's House are reclaimed/restored pieces.  It was a great learning experience and a blast to build.  We are very happy to have made such a cozy house even more unique than it originally was! 



Fabricated sign for the Christian Residential Youth Care Ministry in South Carolina. 

City Salon and Spa

Custom shelves have been installed! The ladies at City Salon and Spa in Athens really know how to dress these babies up!

Custom Garden Bunny

Hedgerow Farm

Chicken tractors are shelters, conveniently designed without a floor which has many benefits not only to the coop but also in fertilizing your land. This particular chicken tractor was built with large wheels and a handle for easy maneuvering across the farm. Open bottoms give the hens freedom to eat up fresh grass, weeds and bugs without allowing predators the freedom of sneaking up and taking advantage of the roost!

New Space

120 Oneta St.

Athens, Ga 30601

Flower Stand

Lexington Vintage

Unfortunately this big boy only stood by his home for a short while. This 10 ft. rooster was custom made for a sweet little vintage shop just down the street from our old shop. It pains us to say that he was stolen a few weeks ago and we have been on the search for him ever since. If you have ANY information regarding his disappearance, PLEASE don't hesitate to call us, Bonnie (owner of Lexington Vintage @ 706-227-6867) or the Athens-Clarke police department. Help us bring him home!! 

Taste of Athens

Come one come all to this years Taste of Athens event where some of Athens finest bars and restaurants will come together to offer you their greatest creations. Some will battle head to head to win some unique prizes including this custom knife rack and mug stand from the artists here at St. Udio!

Bring that appetite and enjoy the great eats, beverages, live music and great company! 

Hungry for tickets? Just click here

This even will be held at The Classic Center located at 300 N. Thomas St. Athens, Ga on Sunday Feb 22nd 2015 from 5:00pm- 8:00pm

Hope to see you all there!

Bar Stool

This sturdy bar stool was designed and hand fabricated by the artists in our studio. If you have a design in mind for your very own custom stool we'd love to talk! 

Branded Butcher

You can catch a glimpse of these hand forged bar tap handles at the one and only Branded Butcher located at 225 N. Lumpkin Street in Athens, Ga. If you get a chance to stop in I highly recommend trying out their delicious eats as well as dipping into their fine selection of wine! Enjoy!



The time has come to gracefully slip into the new year and we have PLENTY to be thankful for. We are so appreciative of everyone and every project we've had the pleasure of fabricating for you and yours throughout the year. You've kept us quite busy and we couldn't be more proud of the challenges we've overcome. 

Come 2015 you will be seeing a lot more of us within the Athens community. We are very excited to take on new projects and continue developing our skills and technique to deliver our very best, always. 

So thank you friends and families, for EVERYTHING! Wishing you a new year of positive energy, inner strength and grand adventure!

Let's take on the New Year together!  

Take Two!

Tis The Season! Here are a few outtakes from our recent Saint Udio Holiday photoshoot. Enjoy. 


A friendly visit from UGA

We recently had a fun visit from Professor Robert Jackson and his lovely students from UGA who came in to learn a bit more about metalsmithing at a larger scale.

They rolled up in a fantastic vintage red bus and walked right in eager to check out what Saint Udio was all about. 

The tour started with a bit of history involved with the shop which quickly developed into a show and tell of creative samples from recent projects along with custom built tools. Nearing the end of the visit, Andy was able to rev up the machinery and visually share tips in inspiration and technique. 

After the visit I had asked Professor Robert Jackson to tell us a little about himself and his students. This is what he had enlightened us with...

 "Like many people I had a very limited notion of what jewelry and metalsmithing processes were when I took my first metals class. And like many of my students, there was an instant spark and connection to the material and creative processes that metalsmithing offer.

Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, where I both studied as a student and later taught workshops, opened my eyes to blacksmithing as an extension of metalsmithing with non-ferrous metals.

I received both my BFA and MFA in Jewelry and metals at the University of Georgia where I have been teaching since 1987. The introduction of UGA's intensive "Maymester" gave me the opportunity to offer a special Blacksmithing class. The maymester class was 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for 3 weeks and allowed the students to fully immerse themselves into the process. Students would learn a few basic processes: forging tapers, slit and drifting, mortise and tenons and forge welding before designing and making an individually directed project. Individual projects in these classes ranged from music stands to furniture. Blacksmith Chris Winterstein from North Carolina would be a visiting artist to help kickstart the class with his expertise.

I taught the class 3 times and it always included a large scale class project where students could design a larger scale project through the idea of assembling smaller individual components. Class projects included two 7 ft. tall window grills and a bicycle rack. 

Our recent class visit to St. Udio was very special for the students. The class is an intermediate/advanced metalsmithing class. The class includes graduate and undergraduate jewelry/metals majors but also includes graduate students from Interior Design and Sociology. 

The class has focused on raising and forming copper vessels and cold forging copper. The projects themselves focus on the functional object: spoons, bowls and drinking vessels. Our visit to St. Udio was very educational and exciting for the class to see some of these same processes that we have been studying, but being done on a larger scale in steel and in an architectural format. 

I have a tremendous respect and admiration for people like Andy that follow their dreams and passion.

It was great form my class to see someone like themselves that can make their dreams happen."

If you would like any more information on Professor Robert Jacksons classes or tours at Saint Udio, reach out at any time!

BEHOLD the craftsman of an inspired generation.

Some incredibly fascinating concepts have materialized here at Saint Udio lately. Between reviving antique furniture and building a covered wagon chicken coop not one detail has been left behind. This cast of characters have made sure it happened with great style and confidence.

Marvelous things will continue to form here as Autumns chill sets in and inspired ideas progress. Visuals will continuously flow as a map of our journey and we welcome each and every one of you along for the ride.