Tempe Festival of the Arts
Tempe Festival of the Arts

Andrew Carson - Fall 2008

Born in Boulder, Colorado in 1962, Carson began to experiment with the tools he still uses today at a very young age. Each year of maturity brought more motivation to mine his past, sometime very distant past, for clues to his future. His palette includes electronics, illustration, the camera, and mechanical systems, all woven together to interact with the spirit of the human being. carson_1 Carson personally executes every step of his process, which includes design, engineering, protyping, metal cutting, pounding, and finishing as well as glass and cement casting. He has an assistant that helps with sanding as well as shipping. carson_2 Every one of Carson's designs starts in a rough sketch on a napkin or the backside of a discarded piece of paper. He believes a good sketch begets a good piece, and over time when he is looking to do something new, he looks to his piles of sketches and executes from the most intriguing. From there he works digitally, sizing the parts, figuring the mechanics, reflecting the rotations and clearances. When the design is done he breaks this digital sketch up into pieces and prints them at full scale. From the stage he drills and cuts the parts and begins to assemble the final piece, including the glass balls, the hubs and the transitions. It is not easy to weave functionality with form. Not many of the things he dreams are realized, and not every realization matches the rough concept in style and grace. Embarking on each new project destroys his fantasy of its ideal potential; replacing it with a reality that can be frighteningly vivid or painfully dull. There is no book he refers to. Andrew Carson creates original pieces today, based on the cruder ones he made yesterday.