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Metal Art Studio to relocate to East Hills

In two short weeks, Metal Art Studio plans to make the transition from its riverside location on Monroe Avenue to Cherry Street in the vibrant East Hills business district
Scott Carey and Carol Wagen

Scott Carey and Carol Wagen /Eric Tank

Underwriting support from:


Current: 820 Monroe Avenue NW

Relocation: 978 Cherry Street SE

/Eric Tank

978 Cherry Street

978 Cherry Street /Eric Tank

Metal Art Studio (820 Monroe Avenue) will be relocating to East Hills at the corner of Cherry and Diamond Streets. Cinder blocks were removed from the facade this past winter and new windows were installed into the former bank building. The roughly 1,200 square foot of ground level space is similar in size to the current Metal Art Studio space. 

Moving to East Hills puts the jewelry workshop and showcase in a retail friendly neighborhood. 

"The neighborhood is a perfect fit for who we are. It's independent, it's owner occupied, it has character- the selection and quality there that's unmatched in Grand Rapids," says Carol Wagen, co-owner. "We're just really excited to get into a neighborhood with restaurants and other retailers and a lot of them are good friends that we've known for years. It's a neighborhood and we're a neighborhood jeweler."

Wagen co-owns the studio with her husband Scott Carey, who is the main master jeweler. His work is representative of Scandinavian minimalism with a subtle luxury. Carey started the studio in 1989 after attending Kendall College of Art and Design for graphics. He worked part-time in a trade shop above the old Fox Jewelers, now City Flats Hotel, where he first began crafting jewelry and learning under masters in the trade. 

Metal Art Studio has been in the Monroe location since 1995. The studio serves both as a studio and a retail storefront. The shop features Carey's work and also represents 11 other artists from around the country. Up to 80% of what they sell is custom made and commissioned. Collections are always changing and Carey is always working on new items.

"There's always something on the bench being made that's new," says Wagen.

Carey has recently begun a new collection, more organic in design, titled Tangled. A pendant and pair of earrings has already been made. New complimentary pieces, crafted from color diamonds and rough stones from red, green, orange and autumn hues will be introduced as they're developed and released throughout the summer. 

At Metal Art Studio, all the custom made pieces are designed to fit the stone. This creates more variations in mounting, as they are dependent on the stone instead of the more traditional practice of cutting stones to fit standard mountings. No single mount measures the same. 

"We carry a lot of stuff that's out of the box by a large stretch," says Carey.

Along with creating and hand selecting jewelry from designers, the studio also does a fair amount of repair work. As heritage items, jewelry often has sentimental and monetary value, both of which the couple hold in equal esteem. Jewelry is an emotional item, says Carey, who explains that when people bring in pieces for repair it can be a very educational process to learn from master goldsmiths and jewelers.

They will be open by appointment only at the new location during the week following Memorial Day. Doors open to the public June 3.

"We really are a neighborhood jeweler and to bring our services to a neighborhood or community is something we're really looking forward to," says Carol. "We're also really excited to have more of an opportunity to bring more designers to Grand Rapids that are not represented in West Michigan or even in Michigan."

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