I'm really excited about this new column, Loving Local, because there are so many incredible places in Ann Arbor and the surrounding areas that I've been wanting to tell you all about! Though we moved here nearly 2 years ago, it's only been since we completed the gut rehab of our home about 6 months ago and got moved in that I feel like I've settled in enough to get out and explore, and finally claim this quirky university town as my home. The first place that I've been itching to write about for some time now is METAL.
METAL is a full-service design and fabrication studio, co-owned by John Walters & Claudette Stern. They create super high quality pieces of sculptural, utilitarian and mechanical forms all from, you guessed it... metal. Their brick and mortar shop at 220 Felch Street in Ann Arbor is a place of pure inspiration, as you will see from the photos below, with lofted ceilings, exposed beams and white brick walls which create the backdrop for a mixture of high-end furniture, fine art, and vintage objects. But don't fret, if you can't make it here in person METAL also has a fantastic selection of goodies in their online shop, including their newly launched line of custom furniture.
METAL also does a significant amount of custom work, which is how I first came across them. I needed to have some shelving made for the kitchen in the home we were rehabbing. I knew exactly what I wanted and had the design roughly sketched out but needed someone who understood the material to work with me on finalizing it and actually producing the pieces. I was referred to John at METAL and as soon as I walked into the place and started talking with him I knew he was the guy to do the job. You know how you can just sense incredible talent & quality, almost like a gut instinct? That's how I felt. And I was right. The shelving that John made for me turned out perfectly and remains one of my favorite parts of our kitchen, as well as one of the things that people most ask about (while oooo'ing and ahhh'ing over them). They also helped me convert a beautiful old zinc washtub that I found at the Ann Arbor Antique Market into my laundry sink by mounting it onto the base of an old metal stool. It's another conversation starter in our home, for sure.
If you're in town visiting, John & Claudette would love for you to stop by and see their blacksmithing and fabrication in action, as well as peruse their shop's unique collection. You will be so glad you did.
IMAGE CREDITS | All photographs taken by Krista Nye Schwartz of CLOTH & KIND