I’d heard about this young couple running a blacksmith operation in Detroit. I’d heard they were both MFAs who had wanted to teach blacksmithing at a college, but the likelihood of two jobs like that existing in the same city was unlikely. So they started their own thing. I guess you could say that starting a mom & pop blacksmith shop was the likelier thing to do.
Founded in 2012, Smith Shop is a craft-centric metalworking studio based in Detroit, Michigan, an industrial area known for innovative metal design and fabrication. Smith Shop produces metalwork of all descriptions specializing in the custom fabrication of gold, silver, copper, brass and steel while also producing limited-production wholesale runs ranging from jewelry to architectural hardware. In addition to their own creations, Smith Shop offers access to its metalworking facilities through classes, workshops and private lessons.
The owners of Smith Shop, Amy Weiks and Gabriel Craig are the designers of the work, and a crew of apprentices help them complete each object. Custom work is carefully brought from customer input to design concept, to fabrication and installation.
I curated Smith Shop into a Culture Hustlers exhibition because I wanted to show that seemingly unique works of art come become successful lines of replicable art. This episode includes questions written on sticky notes by visitors to that exhibition.