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Featured Artist: Joey O'Brian

Posted by Brittany Lakes on

"I am a self taught folk artist raised in the Appalachian Mountains and inspired by my father, a carpenter and a builder, who I watched as a child and worked alongside as I became an adult. Art, through wood, is my passion, my hobby, and my therapy. However, I still work daily as a conductor on the NS Railroad. 
 I enjoy creating by using a variety of woods and mixing varieties in many of my pieces. Extensive sanding, to perfect the wood’s natural glow, helps work out the impurities in both the wood and the stress within myself. I use a wide array of finishes including: painted, distressed, and satin polyurethane. In addition, I utilize numerous waxes with hand-rubbed or buffed finishes. However, many of my works are left natural. I love the beauty of natural wood and the grain that each type of wood produces.
I am also intrigued with discovering trees that are naturally decayed, distressed, and/or spalted. My family and friends tell me that I have a vision for creations. I do know that the shapes within the wood lead me to the art it will become. I also have a passion for finding unique wood to create or refurbish. My idea of a “perfect day” is to explore: a wooded area, old barn, out building, shack, or dilapidated home, and discover treasures. I “clean it up” and recreate or build using my own style and artisanship. Simply finding the wood or seeing potential in items that others have discarded is an integral part of the art itself.
Each day, as I enter my woodworking journey, I say, “Lord, what are you gonna show me today?” He always shows me something. It may be great or small, but it's always a gift! His most recent inspiration to me has been the crosses. I’ve been creating these over a year now. I currently have nine series of crosses which are: “Helping Hand Praising Hand,” “Hugging,” “Old Rugged,” “Three Crosses,” “Humbled,” “Praising,” “Praying,” “Joy,” and “Kneeling." Some are more developed than others, but I proceed forward as I am moved to do so."
                                                           -Joey O'Brian 

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