I love having the opportunity to sing the praises of Matt Michalec, affectionately known by me as “Detroit Matt”. I had the good fortune several years back of meeting Matt, while being in the middle of building an experimental, Modernist house in Upstate NY. I had commissioned the architect William Massie to design a home for me on a very special chunk of land in the Hudson River Valley. This architectural project, which had started out conceptually as a “pre-fab” building, took several years and phases to finish, for a multitude of reasons ( a whole other story! ) and ended up being more like building a fantastic modernist sculpture ( requiring lots of custom and labor intensive work ). Not long into the start of construction, Bill Massie accepted an academic position at the very prestigious Cranbrook Academy of Art. This took Bill away from the house often, hence slowing its progress. As frustrating as this was, one fantastic thing occurred due to this logistical adjustment…. DETROIT MATT!! Bill met Matt at Cranbrook and brought him on to the house project for several phases and needs. I had the pleasure of being around the house to watch the progress during this time and therefor got to see Matt in action and even more importantly, becoming his friend. Matt is the consummate professional and also fun to be around. The dream blend of artisan, craftsman, technician and personality. I watched first hand as Matt provided fantastic, focused work in wood and metal, always with the highest level of skill and commitment. There seemed to be nothing that Matt couldn’t do! It was obvious watching Matt work that he took great pride in his craft. His work ethic was top-tier and his attention to aesthetic subtleties was at a level you rarely see in craftsmen or contractors. The time and energy that Matt dedicated to my home really contributed immensely to the special place that it now is. When I am enjoying time at “The Skull”, I often look around and see all of the love and skill that went into my fantastic kitchen, the puzzle-piece cherry wood walls, etc. and I think of my friend from Detroit.
I say with great honesty, that my house wouldn’t be the home that it is without the contribution and artistic love provided by Matt Michalec. He put his skill, vision, chops and heart into my home and for that reason, it will always be his home too.
Greg Wooten (design purveyor and home owner)
Partner in the Los Angeles based design store THE WINDOW
“We could see at first meeting Matt “dug” our “style” and was eager to build something to suit our needs… perfect blend of taking direction, yet springing forward from that point to create the best he can… functional art is extremely important – we helped pick out the wood, we helped develop the “feel” of the table and the ironworks…. we visited it at his studio…. feels like together we gave birth!”
To whomever may be considering retaining the wood working skills of Matt Michalec:
My wife and I contracted with Matt to replace, resurface and paint the entire wood deck surrounding our home and the wood deck, storage bins and steps leading to our lake front.
Matt’s commitment to his work was timely and exemplary and our endorsement of the quality of his work is without any reservation.
Dede and Oscar Feldman