William Carlson was born in 1950 and received his MFA in 1976 from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Carlson is currently an Endowed Professor at the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Miami. William Carlson resides and works in Coral Gables, Florida. He was formerly a Professor of Art and head of the Crafts and Sculpture programs at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Carlson creates laminated sculptures that incorporate materials ranging from glass of his own making, to bits and bands of commercially produced safety glass and Vitrolite, as well as a wide variety of granites. Addressing his concern with issues of interior space, geometry, texture, and color, William Carlson has significantly impacted the contemporary art glass movement as both an artist and an educator.