Ladies and Gentlemen,
I'd love it if you would like to record your fond memories of that metal working school, weird stories of things that happened at that metal working school, realizations you had while attending one of our classes or workshops, epiphanies you experienced while enjoying that metal working school and whatever else comes to mind that you'd like to share.
Please email your written comments to: We'll post them here on this blog to share with everyone.
This is a great way to mourn our loss and celebrate our accomplishments.


From Melanie..

My first visit to the SmartShop was also my first date Alex Drummer, who was an intern at the time. He had told me about the Shop, and as a former metalsmith and current artist, I was very curious about the place.  We met at the Shop and he gave me a tour, even though it was closed for the day.  The shop was was dark and empty, but I could almost hear the sounds of the roar of the furnaces and the hammering of metal, and I definitely felt the presence of great work and ideas that happened in the space.  I was impressed with the machinery and the tools and metal everywhere and was even more impressed when I met Holly.  She was full of energy and life and was excited about Alex and his work.  I loved how supportive she seemed with him and her other interns and students.  I had a feeling that SmartShop was a pretty awesome place to work.

As Alex and I continued dating, I visited the SmartShop many more times, during my visits to Kalamazoo to visit him from my home in Detroit.  I always looked forward to our trips into the Shop while I was in town.  One afternoon at the Shop, watching Alex experiment with a pewter pouring into one of my ceramic molds, I saw the love for metal in his eyes for the first time, and I felt the encouragement of Holly and the staff and other interns.  I fell a little in love in that moment, not only with Alex, but also with metal and with the SmartShop itself.  I cherish that special moment, and it is an integral part of my early memories of the relationship that has grown between us.

I attended a few Art Hops and enjoyed the evening music and party atmosphere in the Shop.  I mingled and chatted with artists and patrons in the gallery while nibbling on snacks.  I loved the short time I spent at the SmartShop, and I am sad to see it go.  I am sure that many others share the same kinds of  happy memories that I have.  The many students and interns who spent time in the Shop have grown and learned over the years, and that degree of inspiration is an amazing thing.  Holly and her unique vision are to be celebrated and respected.  Thank you, Holly, for sharing the SmartShop with the world!

~Melanie Brooks~
Earthenwood Studio

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