Interlochen’s Memorial Benches

In northwest Michigan’s landscape of creative learning, the Interlochen Center for the Arts approached us about bringing a memorial sculpture/ bench to life for their artistic community. In a meaningful partnership, EA Craftworks was selected to realize a unique concept that the center’s students had envisioned — a set of sculptural benches that would become a lasting part of Interlochen’s campus life.



The Project’s Inception

It all started when Interlochen challenged us to translate a student-designed sculpture into a functional work of metal artistry. The winning design, selected from a pool of entries in their Public Artworks course, needed to represent the center’s legacy and fit within specific budget parameters.


From Concept to Reality

Our initial site visit, which involved discussions with Interlochen’s senior class, gave us valuable insight into the project’s significance. Faced with budgetary constraints head-on, EA Craftworks exercised flexibility and creativity, iterating the design to meet financial targets while upholding the designer’s core vision. In a gesture of commitment to the project’s collaborative spirit, EA provided a significant discount to help make the students’ vision feasible.


The CAD Conception

Once the budget was finalized and the designs honed, we launched into the CAD development phase, carefully navigating the project’s nuances while respecting the privacy of any commemorative aspects.


Fabrication: Precision and Skill

The fabrication phase presented a complex challenge, with precision-cut parts designed to interlock seamlessly and form the benches’ fundamental structure. This stage was marked by meticulous metalwork—bending, shaping, and welding the flat sheets to create a smooth, cohesive form. Our team’s expertise was crucial in ensuring that the material maintained its integrity and avoided distortion from the welding heat.


A Labor of Detail

Preparation for installation day started with the Interlochen staff laying concrete pads for the benches. The installation process was a testament to EA Craftworks’ detailed planning—efficient, precise, and carefully executed, ensuring that the benches were perfectly positioned to welcome future artists and visitors.


The Legacy

Now, these vibrant orange benches sit gracefully on Interlochen’s campus, harmonizing with the backdrop of Green Lake. Aside from its seating functionality, they have become integral to the landscape—a space for contemplation and inspiration, blending artistry with remembrance. These benches embody a partnership beyond a commission; they reflect a synergy between student creativity and EA Craftworks’ dedication to craft. As they stand in testament to the past and present, they invite those sitting on them to dream of the future.



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