September 6, 2016

CAN Art Handworks @ Model D

On the fringes of the Eastern Market district, curious passersby can see an anomalous little compound where a collection of metal windmills peeks above a wooden privacy fence enclosed by an elaborate metal-wrought gate.

Inside that fence and gate is Carl Nielbock’s CAN Art Handworks, a metalsmithing facility that specializes in the restoration of historic architectural metalwork, but also the living and working space for one of Detroit’s most dynamic and esoteric thinkers.

“Remember Bygone Battles. Prepare for the Next.”

This directive is printed on one of the many reference boards that populate the research and development floor of Carl Nielbock’s sprawling campus of innovation. Nielbock’s work—which has unfolded over the last 30 years in Detroit and has roots reaching back to his native homeland of Germany—contains myriad and overlapping ambitions, but might best be summed up in this simple mission statement: learn from history in preparation for the future.

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