Patina Power: The Art of Rust


“You buy a product, take it home and use for a while, then throw it out.  I find it at the dump, re-make it into a piece of art and sell it back to you. Now THAT is recycling.”  – Kit Carson

Being raised at the Champie Dude Ranch in Castle Hot Springs, Arizona, Kit Carson has always had a thing for the Southwest. Kit met the art world at the early age of 9. By 18, he knew the path; by 25 he was in the business. His first love was jewelry making using his fine tools to engrave, adding beautiful gems to compliment his now well- known design style into magnificent jewelry pieces. Kit’s accomplishments have garnered him numerous awards as well as the well-deserved accolade, “jeweler to the stars!”

Kit’s abundance of creativity has overflowed into producing metal wall art and metal sculptures. All are constructed from what Kit calls “the rusty junk left behind in the wild west.” He describes this work as “resolving compositions of line, shape, color, texture, tone, juxtaposition, balance and rhythm”.

The challenge, he says, is doing this with found objects! As Kit states, “the pieces used already exist; I’m not making as in other art.  Add the discipline of function, if it’s furniture or functional.”

The thrill for him is in the “hunt” collecting pieces for his art.  Kit loves going to junkyard sales and thrift shops. He then takes the items home to his “library of visual solutions”. As he says, “I never found a texture I couldn’t use.  Especially a rich, sun-sanded patina with crusted and peeling paint.This is conceptual art.  It’s about the idea, not the pieces used – though, they add their own influence of history into the artwork.”

“I work on a piece long enough until it looks spontaneous” – Kit Carson