meet the makers | Mar 21, 2024 |
This Brooklyn maker wants to change the way you see metal
Micah Rosenblatt and his Glass Block Chair
Micah Rosenblatt and his Glass Block Chair
Courtesy of Micah Rosenblatt

Micah Rosenblatt likes making works that draw you in and make you ask questions. The Brooklyn-based metalworker has an eye for creating unusual shapes and unexpected silhouettes with subtly surprising details. “Some of my favorite pieces are the ones where not everything about it is immediately understood or accessible at first glance,” he tells Business of Home. “I think a piece is successful if it invites you to keep looking at it all over and question it.”

Rosenblatt didn’t follow the same career path as other makers in the industry. The North Florida native has no educational background in art or design and spent many years studying Jewish mysticism. But he always had a passion for design. He moved to New York about a decade ago, and at 28 began working at a high-end wood and metal fabrication shop. He went into the job planning on being a woodworker, but within his first week the welder quit, so his boss told him: “Well, I guess you’re the welder now.” He was immediately captivated by the art and material. “I never even really considered it as a medium, but seeing the way you can put things together and how grand it can feel and how imposing and expressive it can get, I was really taken with it,” he says. “And I’ve never looked back.”

The Column Chairs Courtesy of Micah Rosenblatt
The Column ChairsCourtesy of Micah Rosenblatt

Now 36, the designer runs his own studio out of Brooklyn, and spends the majority of his time creating custom pieces for the clientele he garnered by posting his work on Instagram and promoting his website over the years. His design process for a new piece is simple: It all begins with a sketch—a very loose sketch. He then goes to the studio and plays around with offcuts and metal shapes he has lying around. “Which of these materials or which of these forms start to feel good or dynamic and feel like they can unlock the thought [process] and take the sketch to reality?” he asks himself. “Then it comes to life.”

Rosenblatt works primarily with metals like steel, aluminum, brass and copper because that’s where his ideas find the most expression. “I just love the possibilities of the material. Metal has this quality where it can be incredibly strong and incredibly stable, and it can have such presence. It can [also] be very delicate and thin-looking,” he says. “Metal doesn’t have to be cold. I want things to make you feel delight or wonder and feel like there’s this little bit of whimsy in an otherwise harsh and industrial kind of material.”

The Writer’s Desk by Micah Rosenblatt
The Writer’s DeskCourtesy of Micah Rosenblatt

One of his favorite designs is the Writer’s Desk, which he made for a client’s office; it embodies his ethos of “a moment that allows the viewer to have a sense of wonder about it, but also still trusting it,” he says. The desk was built around a cantilevered metal leg that resembles a ripped sheet of paper and supports a glass top. “When I look at that one, it feels trustworthy, but I also am quite impressed [by] how it’s continuing to hold itself and how this piece of glass that can break and shatter is just floating up there on top of everything,” he says. “It makes me want to keep exploring it.”

Even though much of his work is commissioned, Rosenblatt has also expanded his presence in galleries and shows. He is represented by Toronto’s Gallery of Ma, he had a piece at the Wilder contemporary showroom in Nashville, he has a solo show coming up the first week in May at The Front Gallery in New York, and many of his items are available on 1stDibs. The designer has also partnered on projects with his wife, Sophie Parker, who is a botanical sculptor and painter, and he also hopes to broaden his scope and collaborate with other makers in his Brooklyn community and beyond.

With all these exciting opportunities on the horizon, Rosenblatt wants to make sure he doesn’t lose sight of what drives his work: experimentation and curiosity. “Success [to me] would look like having the bandwidth to continue to discover things in my studio, to still have the fluidity for experimentation, and that I can still nurture a curiosity,” he says. “There’s room for growing and not being comfortable in the familiar or what I’ve already done or made, but continuing to explore and uncover.”

If you want to learn more about Micah Rosenblatt, visit his website or Instagram.

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