Carlos Nielbock is a master architectural ornamental metal and design artist, engineer and craftsman. He was born in Germany in 1959 of a German mother and African-American father in the U.S. Air Force, who returned to the U.S. Growing up without his father, Nielbock apprenticed in the rigorous monastery system in Europe, becoming a Journeyman, then Master. In 1984, at age 25, he immigrated to Detroit, searched for and found his father, settled in the city and began his practice. Seeing the tremendous opportunity in ornamental metal fabrication and restoration in Detroit, he quickly formed his own business, C.A.N. Art Handworks, Inc. His magnificent work is part of the celebrated Fox Theatre restoration and his installations – massive, self-sustaining windmills and stunning ornamental metalworks, can be seen outside of his workhouse in Detroit’s Eastern Market district.
Neibock produces designs, concepts and specifications by utilizing Old World craftsmanship. Each wrought iron piece that he produces becomes a work of art. He has never used a generic, automated approach to fabricating his pieces, which include ornate railings, gates and trellises. Instead, his technique employs meticulously handcrafting each piece using the centuries old skills he learned in the German monasteries. Dedicated to the history and practice of the metal arts, Nielbock has one of the most significant private collections of historic, African “lost wax technique” Benin Bronze sculptures.