New Artist: Woodturner Patrick O’Brien

At Hardwood Artisans we love local artists.  We have found a very talented woodturner, Patrick O’Brien.  His carefully crafted work of bowls, platters and wine stoppers are currently being shown in our Fairfax showroom.  Including this piece:  

Russian Olive Tall Bowl

Russian Olive Tall Bowl

Patrick is kind enough to be doing a demonstration at our event on June 26th, our 4th Annual Lemonade Social.  He will be doing his demonstration at 11am and 1pm and will have a small lathe with him to show and teach you what he does.  Come on it and see what he can do!  You will also get a chance to see this beautiful piece of his:  

Fluted Sycamore Bowl

This 14″ by 5″ bowl had 36 flutes hand carved with a die grinder with carbide drums and hand finished

Cherry Fluted Bottom

Cherry Fluted Bottom


Patrick fell in love with woodturning one summer when he saw the work of Alan Hollar in the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville,North Carolina. He has since studied with Willard Baxter and Bobbie Clemons at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina, many others and even the very Alan Hollar whose work inspired himto take up the art of woodturning in the first place.   

In 2003, he began a business called OhBeWood and started selling his work.  In September 2008, he moved to the Lorton Workhouse Art Center in Lorton, Virginia, a new artists’ community with more than 60 studios and several galleries where their works are sold.  A small selection is also available at the new Del Ray gallery, A Show of Hands, at 2301 Mt. Vernon Avenue.  You can view his work in our Fairfax showroom as well as on his website:  He welcomes your comments and observations about the pieces featured.

Exotic wood stainless steel wine bottle stoppers with nitrile rings

Exotic wood stainless steel wine bottle stoppers with nitrile rings

Three of his turnings were selected for inclusion in the 2005 and 2008Washington Wood shows.  He has had pieces juried into the March, April, May, July, August, and October 2004 and the March, April, May, and July 2005 Art League of Alexandria shows at the Torpedo Factory.  He is a member of the Washington Woodworkers Guild, Del Ray Artisans, and the Art League of Alexandria.  We hope you can join us to see his demonstration on May 15th in our Fairfax showroom at 2pm. 

Beaded Box Elder 12.5" x 5"

Beaded Box Elder 12.5″ x 5″


Patrick’s Artists Statement:

What I love about woodturning is the way the wood reveals itself as I work. Michelangelo is reputed to have said in answer to the question about how he created his famous statue of David from a block of marble, “I just cut away everything that wasn’t David, and there he was.” I imagine it’s debatable whether or not Michelangelo actually said that, and I am certainly not comparing myself to him, but I feel similarly about working with wood. As I ‘turn” a log or block of wood over and over again in my hands I begin to feel what it might become. Then, as I actually begin to turn the wood on my lathe and the grain, the spalting, and the “flaws” of the wood are revealed, I feel as if the soul of the wood is coming out. In all of my work, I try not to get in the way of the spirit of the wood. 

One thought on “New Artist: Woodturner Patrick O’Brien

  1. I love Patrick’s work, and am delighted to find that Hardwood Artisans has also discovered him. His sensitivity to the natural beauty of wood grain, color, and sculptural form is evident in both his functional works, as well as his pure sculptural ones. I’n certain that anyone who loves the furniture at Hardwood Artisans would enjoy also owning a piece of Patrick’s wood turning. – Linda H. Bassert, Masterworks Window Fashions & Design, Fairfax, VA

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