John Whitmarsh started his artistic career as a photographer, but after finishing film school, he promptly shifted to sculpture. "I've always been making things with my hands," he says.
Today, Whitmarsh's sculpture work is characterized by a desire to blur the line between what is made by nature and what is manmade. "It's flattering when people think something is naturally created when I really sculpted it myself," he says.
Read on for Whitmarsh's unique take on design today, and how he maintains a business without compromising his artistic message.Designed to leave gaps shaped like curvy and winding roadways, Whitmarsh created this wall mosaic with asphalt salvaged from demolished roadways. The piece is large — 6 feet by 10 feet — and was installed in an architecture and engineering company in Phoenix, Ariz.
Q: How did you get started in product design? What makes you excited about this particular area of design?
A: I really got interested in sculpture after college. I wanted to work with every material I could get my hands on — plaster, fiberglass, ceramic, metal, wood, etc. It’s the process that I enjoy the most, not just the end result.
Creating dimensional wall sculpture is great because the imagination can really run wild with all the possibilities for different textures and patterns. It isn’t restrained by needing to be functional like a table or lamp — its purpose is to inspire and encourage discussion.