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Studio Repurposes All Things Metal

Sparks fly inside an Ann Arbor studio every time John Walters goes to work. The artist and designer is one of the co-owners of METAL, a unique fabrication shop, art gallery and studio on Felch Street just off of Main.

“We do architectural and sculptural primarily. We also do performance restoration, which is the restoration of machines and furniture,” said Walters.

“I like the weight. I like how heavy it is. I like the texture and the finishes.”

Virtually anything that is metal can be made there. So, what makes the place green?

“In the build out that we did here, almost every piece of machinery came out of industry, even our lights came out of the old Ice Cube and were repurposed for our use. What was in the ceiling of our space became gallery walls. We tried to reclaim it and utilize as much as we could,” said co-owner Claudette Stern.

She said both owners have a passion for protecting the planet and reusing things that might otherwise go to waste. In fact, her house is full of found and discarded items. The eco-friendly home is one of the first in Michigan to receive a platinum rating for green construction.

Back at METAL, you’ll find quirky furniture, objects and works of art. So, where do all these unusual items come from? The owners find them at salvage yards, garage sales and flea markets, even artists’ studios.

The facility just celebrated its one year anniversary. To learn more about METAL or to take home a piece of it, visit


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