Tom carter

Glass artist and Carnelian Bay, California resident Tom Carter embodies the natural world, as does his artwork. That’s not surprising when you learn that Tom, a native Californian, has spent most of his adult life rock climbing and skiing alpine peaks ⎯ both for pleasure and for work. He’s been employed as a certified professional mountain guide, avalanche forecaster, and ski patroller. Lately, though, when he’s not in the studio, Tom has found himself more in the water than onshore ⎯ either swimming, paddle boarding, or free diving in Lake Tahoe.

Tom’s mountain-water aesthetic is present in all of his pieces. There’s no mistaking the source of his muse, nor that his intention is to inspire you. His pieces are simultaneously bold and delicate ⎯ and sometimes playful. His consistent use of the color blue makes sense when you consider the enormity of the alpine sky from the eyes of a mountaineer atop a high Sierra peak or a diver’s perspective from below the surface of Lake Tahoe. When observing Tom’s work, you can almost experience a calm abiding with a sense of respiration, like a great big underwater exhale.

Much of Tom’s work evolves from an unruly medium most dare not touch: recycled window glass. This requires a lot of experimentation. He keeps meticulous notes about each type of glass he fires and the outcome. His process ensures that many pieces are one of a kind.

Some of Tom’s art incorporates historic metal objects he’s found at the bottom of Lake Tahoe. He enjoys the concept of re-use and finds intrigue in the discovery process. While performing ongoing cleanup work, he’s always looking for treasures he might transform into something unique. In 2013 his lake cleanup efforts were acknowledged regionally when he received the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Spirit of the Lake Award.


watery shard

Streamline bowl


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