- There are two main ways of working with metal: casting, in which molten metal is poured into a mold; and fabrication, in which individual pieces of metal are joined together to create a piece. I prefer fabrication because of the directness and the evidence of process shown in the end product. The hand of the maker is seen in every piece of cut, formed and welded metal. I emphasize this personal craft and hand process by constructing with hundreds or thousands of small pieces. Whenever possible I leave the welds exposed to contribute to the pattern of the surface.
L. John Andrew completed a BFA with a concentration in Art Metals from the University of Wisconsin, Stout. After graduation, he moved to Vail, Colorado and worked as a jeweler for five years, making custom gold jewelry. In the fall of 1999 he attended a two-month jewelry class at Penland School of Crafts in Penland, North Carolina. He stayed at Penland for two more years as a recipient of the Core Student Scholarship. This experience gave him the opportunity to experiment with other media and learn from great instructors from around the world. He found his interests shifting from primarily jewelry to larger scale metalwork.
After almost three years at Penland, John went on to pursue his MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The Cranbrook Metalsmithing Department, then lead by Artist-in-Residence Gary Griffin, was unique in its focus. Student work ranged from jewelry, sculpture, blacksmithing, knife making, furniture: literally all things metal. At Cranbrook, John also had the opportunity to learn from and be exposed to the tradition of America’s great furniture makers, such as Charles and Ray Eames, Eero and Eliel Saarinen and Harry Bertoia.
John lives with his family in Minnesota.
Gary Griffin often said, “there's a payoff” for the effort of putting a high degree of thought, energy and research into one’s work. In his work, John considers the historical precedents, pays careful attention to form and develops a thoughtful and energetic method of construction. The evidence of process is present and enables the viewer to make an unmistakable connection between the artwork and its maker. The “payoff” is very metal furniture and sculpture with rich surfaces and compelling forms.