Andy is the nomadic designer and founder of Brackish and Whitcomb & Company. He is always beaming with positive energy and constantly coming up with new ideas for businesses and product designs and his obsession with salvage yards, raw materials and old machines is infectious. Right now Andy is splitting his time between Seattle and Los Angeles, where we recently spoke.
Photographs by Mr. Christian Sorensen Hansen.
"I just got a place in Eagle Rock, which is an up-and-coming neighborhood with a high concentration of artists, designers, boutiques, and galleries. We have an amazing art walk, and lots of really good little bars, restaurants, and cafes. The best part is it’s still fairly rough around the edges, so the rent is cheap and the bars aren’t crowded. I’m a big breakfast person, so typically I like to make a good, solid breakfast in the morning. When I’m at my place in LA I like to eat breakfast outside. I have a beautiful orchard in my backyard that overlooks the hills and canyons in the distance. I like to go out there in the morning to soak up the sun and think about what I need to accomplish that day. There’s nothing like a little sun in the morning to set your day on the right trajectory."
"I wear my Wolverine 1000 Mile boots just about every day, even though my cobbler tells me I need to alternate. However, I think if they were to be taken away from me I’d still live. So, aside from the obvious things like air, food, and water, I would have to say inspiration. Everything that I am exists and thrives off the inspiration that I get from my surroundings on a daily basis. This inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. The opportunity to see it, combined with the ideas I get as I process it is what keeps me alive nearly as much as the air I breathe. I get most of my inspiration from the materials. I use salvaged and reclaimed materials; things that most people would never think to use for furniture. I like to use mundane materials that are often overlooked and discarded. After I’ve identified an inherent beauty or unique quality in a material, I design the furniture piece around that. I usually discard the first couple ideas, because I believe if they came to me that easy, then it is too obvious. I want my designs to be fresh and inventive; so that when people look at it they’ll say “wow, how on earth did he think of that?”
"The best part of my job is getting to have a personal relationship with my clients. I get to meet face-to-face with many, visit their home, and listen to everything they want and dream of in a piece of furniture. Then, I get to design, build, and deliver it. My absolute favorite part is when I’m leaving their home after I’ve delivered their new piece, and I can hear squeals of excitement from grown adults just after the door is closed."