Metal Art

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Metalbuilt, a Chesterfield Township provider of prototype manufacturing services to auto manufacturers and the federal government, decided to take a new route with some of its scrap metal.

Rather than recycle or melt down the unused material from its 40,000-square-foot facility, two years ago owner Sherry McCormick decided to donate three flatbed truckloads of scrap to the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills.

“We got tired of  having to move it from place to place to make room for new material,” McCormick says. “I have a relationship with the Cranbrook Academy of Art, so I decided to make the donation.”

At Cranbrook, the students have been using the donated metal to create artwork, some of which was on display in Detroit on Nov. 3 at the College for Creative Studies’ National Portfolio Day activities.

“We’re making use of this amazing donation,” says Iris Eichenberg, head of metalsmithing at Cranbrook Academy of Art. “My last exhibition with (artists) Alberte Tranberg and Shelly McMahon would be very different if we didn’t have all the sheet metal. The entire work of Alberte Tranberg wouldn’t have happened. The donation was a game-changer for her.”