Andrew Werby, born in 1952, started making ceramic sculpture while in elementary school. At the University of California at Berkeley, he started becoming involved in the technique of lost-wax bronze casting, which Peter Voulkos and others were reviving as a skill for artists to master directly, in contrast to the then-usual practice of consigning a maquette to a professional foundry for enlargement, molding, and casting. The ability of molds to capture sculpturally significant information from natural objects was a cause of particular fascination. Borrowing specimens from the paleontology, anthropology, and geology departments of the University, he made a series of molds, which became the nucleus of a mold library representing hundreds of natural objects. From these first molds, wax casts were made, then combined into composite creations which were cast in bronze and aluminum. Since receiving his design degree in 1974, he has continued to pursue further applications of this idea, producing sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, holograms, architectural hardware, computer graphics, and various art objects in this “juxtamorphic” style. An innovator in matters of technique as well as in aesthetics, he developed the Sculpted Paint process to produce colorful and highly detailed but durable sculpture and jewelry.
In an effort to fill a perceived need for an all-around custom sculpture service, Andrew Werby founded United Artworks in 1986. United Artworks offers a range of choices in material and technique, and specializes in solving real-world problems with style and grace. Joining together with Michael Bush, whose background in stagecraft and construction gives him a complementary set of skills, United Artworks set up an industrial facility in Oakland, California, equipped with a metal foundry, ceramic kilns, woodshop, smithy, and general fabrication facilities.
United Artworks also draws upon the abilities of various experienced sculptors, painters, designers, jewelers, and skilled craftspeople from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, if warranted by a particular job. They’ve created furniture, beaten copper sheet into sculptural reliefs, built decorative concrete walls, made garden statuary both figurative and abstract, and have done installations in private residences as well as public spaces. They are always looking for interesting jobs and chances to extend their range of skills by trying something that is new. They believe that art should regain its historic link with architecture, and welcome opportunities to create functional as well as decorative work that is integral to a built environment.
United Artworks also runs ComputerSculpture.com. Computer Sculpture sells the tools necessary to create physical objects through the use of computers and was created from Andrew Werby’s journey with CNC technology for his own work. Computer Sculpture has made deals with manufacturers which allow it to sell these tools at a substantial discount; usually lower than buying directly from the factory. If you compare the prices at Computer Sculpture, you’ll find that it offers the best deal on the Internet for most of its products.