Fine Wood Turner

About Phil


Fine Turned Wood

7807 Hamilton Spring Road, Bethesda, MD 20817-4547 301-767-9863

Wood and wood turning stimulate my imagination. Turning provides an opportunity to discover and experience form. It is exciting to expose a tree’s figure and find a bowl inside. A vessel is like a flowing object, revealing the inner beauty of that once majestic living tree. The wood continues to live for us, providing enjoyment through sight, touch, and use. — Phil Brown

Phil Brown has loved working with wood since he was a boy in Denver, Colorado. In 1975, he purchased a lathe and began to teach himself wood turning with the help of a book. His knowledge and skills have been enhanced through workshops organized by Albert LeCoff, and demonstrations at the American Association of Woodturners, Capitol Area Woodturners, and Montgomery County Woodturners. He was a founding member of CAW and MCW, and continues to be active in these organizations as well as in the James Renwick Alliance.

He primarily uses the wood of local trees that must be cut down, and he often allows the wood to spalt to increase the natural patterns. He is inspired by the work of such contemporary sculptors Isamu Noguchi, Constantin Brancusi, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, and Wharton Esherick, and pioneer wood turner Bob Stocksdale. He is known for his thinly turned open vessel forms and for his fine finishes. Phil Brown exhibits his work nationally and internationally in galleries and juried or invitational shows. His bowls are in five museum collections and in hundreds private collections, including those of major wood collectors.

Represented by:The Byrne Gallery, Middleburg, VAInternet The Artful


Museum Collections:

GW Permanent Collection, George Washington University, Washington DC

Mobile Art Museum, Mobile Alabama

Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin

Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC

The Center for Art in Wood, Philadelphia, PA


Phil Brown’s bowls are included in many major private collections of turned wood.


Work Published in:

Turning to Art in Wood: A Creative Journey, THE CENTER FOR ART IN WOOD, 2011, p. 239.

Conversations with Wood: The Collection of Ruth and David Waterbury, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2011, p. 66.

Revolution in Wood: The Bresler Collection, by Nicholas R. Bell, 2010, p. 117.

Best of America: Pottery and Wood Turning, Volume 1, Kennedy Pub., 2007, pages 65-66.

Step Up to the Plate, American Association of Woodturners, 2006, page 27.

Preserving the Past, Building for the Future, United States Embassy Dushanbe,

Art in Embassies Program, 2004, p. 3.

500 Wood Bowls, Lark Books, 2004, pages 310, 363, and 382.

From Maryland to Bucharest, United States Embassy, Romania, Art in Embassies Program, 2000, page 23.

Pathways (catalog), Curated by Gene Kangas, 1998, page 22.

Contemporary Crafts: Sourcebook of Craft Artists, The Guild: Madison Wisconsin, Gallery

Edition 1, 1994 (page 65) and gallery Edition 2, 1995 (page 57).

International Lathe-Turned Objects: Challenge IV, 1991, page 8.

Gallery of Turned Objects, edited by Albert LeCoff, 1981, page 3.


Articles and Interviews:

“Hobbyist Turner Aims to be Professional,” Woodshop News, August 1988.

Member Shop Visit – Phil Brown, MCW Newsletter, September 2007, pages 18-21.

Finishing References and Notes from My Experience@ 2008, and AHow I Turn Green Wood,


Designing with Numerical Ratios & Thin Wall Turning@, Turning Journal, Montgomery County

Woodturners, May 2009, pages 11-14.

AAs the World Turns: Exploring the Art of Wood,



Life-Time Member, Capital Area Woodturners, 2013

First place – wood, 1998, 2007, 2009, and 2013; Second Prize- wood, 1992; Honorable Mention 2001;

The Crafts Collection, Creative Craft Council at Strathmore Mansion, Bethesda, MD.

Best in Show: Turnedwood 2009″, Columbia Art Center, Columbia, MD,.

Honorable Mention: “Arts Council GRACE”, Greater Reston Arts Center, Reston, VA, Jack Rasmussen, juror, November 3, 2006.

Best in Show in 1997 and 1999:  Washington Woodworking Guild, Washington Wood, The Art Barn, Washington, D.C.

Craftsmanship award in 2001 and 2003. Best Design Turning & Carving 2005: Washington

Woodworking Guild, Washington Wood, Del Ray Artisans, Alexandria, VA.

Equal Award: ASmall Works Show. The Art League, Alexandria, VA,, December 2004

Sculpture Award: AAll-Media Membership Show, The Art League, Alexandra, VA, Oct 2000.

Best in Sculpture: Kent Island Federation of Art, Annual Art Show, May, 1990


Solo and Two/Three-Person Exhibitions:

Inspired by Nature, Congregation Har Shalom Art Gallery, November 1 – December 21, 2013

A Trio of Turners, Phil Brown, David Fry and Clif Poodry, Farquhar Gallery, Sandy Spring

Museum, March 30 – May 30, 2011

Vessels from Our Trees, Congregation Har Shalom Art Gallery, January – February, 2011

Vessels from Our Trees, Arts Barn, Gaithersburg, MD, November 6, 2009 – January 3, 2010

Wood Vessels, Sandy Spring Museum, Sandy Spring, MD, Sept. 20-Nov 30, 2006

Woodturning by Gary Johnson and Phil Brown, Highlight Gallery, Mendocino, CA, July – August 2003

Vessels from Our Trees, The Gallery, Greenbelt Library, Greenbelt, MD, June 2 – 27, 1997

Vessels from Our Trees, Lobby, Federal Reserve Bank, Baltimore Branch, Oct – Nov 1996

Fine Turned Wood, Kent Island Federation of Art, Stevensville, MD, April 1990


Invitational Group Exhibitions:

The Grace of Craft, Capitol Arts Network, Rockville, MD, June 2014

ROBIN WOODS CORES RECYCLED: Exhibition and Fundraiser, The Center for Art in Wood, Philadelphia, PA, November 2, 2012 – February 16, 2013

Art Reinvention, Columbia Art Center, Columbia, MD, June 2011

Selections from the Collection: Donations by Bruce Kaiser and Joe Seltzer, The Wood Turning Center, Philadelphia, PA, March 6 – April 11, 2009

Contemporary American Woodturning, Rochester Art Center, MN, Jan 23 – March 19, 2006,

American Association of Woodturners, St. Paul, MN, May 5 – August 4, 2006

Between a Hard and Soft Place, Rockville Arts Place, Gaithersburg, MD, Oct 23 – Nov. 26, 2005

Vessel Invitational Series, Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester, NY, Nov. 12 to Dec 18, 2004, and Biola University, La Mirada, CA, Jan 21 to Feb 25, 2005.

Ambassador’s residence, Dushanbe, Tajikistan, Art in Embassies Program, USDS, 2004-2006

From Maryland to Bucharest and Back, AMOK Arts Program Gallery, Adelphi, MD, July -September 2001

Ambassador’s residence, Romania, Art in Embassies Program, US Dept. of State, 1999-2001

6 TURNING 7″, Boarman Arts Center, Martinsburg, WV, April 12 – May 24, 1996

Art Exhibit, The Governor’s Office, Baltimore, MD, Fall 1995 – Fall 1996

Selected Works, Prince George’s Craft Network, Publick Playhouse, May 19 – July 19, 1993

Celebration of Craft from Prince George’s County, Lowe House Office Building, Annapolis, MD, Jan 20 to April 1, 1993


Juried Group Exhibitions:

Tree Spirits, Kramer Gallery, Silver Spring Civic Building, July 11 – November 1, 2013

The Crafts Collection 1992, 1994, 1998, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013, Creative Crafts

Council at Strathmore Mansion, North Bethesda, MD

Turnedwood 2009″, Columbia Art Center, Columbia, MD, September 12 – October 11, 2009

Members Exhibition, Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA, November 17, 2007 – March 3, 2008

Capitol Area Woodturners Artisans Center of Virginia, Waynesboro, VA, July 14 – Sept 5, 2007

9th Annual All-Media Exhibition, Touchstone Gallery, Washington DC, February 7-March 3, 2007

Craft Forms 2006, 2004 and 2003, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA, December 2, 2006 – January 24, 2007, Dec. 3 2004 to Jan. 20, 2005, and Dec. 6, 2003 to Jan. 21, 2004.

“Arts Council GRACE”, Greater Reston Arts Center, Reston, VA, Nov 3-Dec 1, 2006

The Art of the Wye Oak, Academy Art Museum, Easton MD,  October 5 ? 30, 2006

Step Up To The Plate, Louisville Slugger Museum, Louisville, KY, June 21 – September 4, 2006; and AAW Gallery, St. Paul,  Minnesota, September 15 – December 15, 2006

2005 International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, Strathmore Hall, Bethesda, MD Nov. 20 to Dec. 30, 2005

Small Works Show, The Art League, Alexandria, VA, December 2004

2004 International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, Strathmore Hall, Bethesda, MD Nov.21 to Dec. 30, 2004

2003 Open Exhibition, Verizon Gallery, Northern Virginia Community College, Oct 30 – Dec 1.

All-Media Membership Show, The Art League Gallery, Alexandria, VA, Oct 2000, Dec 2003

Contemporary Wood Turning, Wave Gallery, New Haven, CT, August 30 – Oct 1, 2002

Contemporary Woodturnings, Maryland Federation of Art, City Gallery, Baltimore, August 21 to September 28, 2002.

Branching Out: Contemporary Woodturning In 2002, Ellipse Arts Center, Arlington, VA, March 15 to April 4, 2002

Alternative Vessels, Mosely Gallery, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD, March 12-April 16, 2002

All Things Small and Beautiful, GRACE, Reston, VA, Sept. 10 – Oct. 20, 2001

Of Substance: A Juried Sculpture Exhibition, Harmony Hall, Ft Wash., MD. Nov 13 to Dec. 29, 2000

All-Media Membership Show, The Art League Gallery, Alexandria, VA, Oct 2000 (Sculpture Award), and Dec 2003

Time Will Tell, Target Gallery, Alexandria, VA, Nov 24, 1999 – Jan 2, 2000

The Fine Art of Craft, Mitchell Gallery, St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD, June 24-July 25, 1999

Knock on… Artwork in Wood, Target Gallery, Alexandria, VA, March 24 – May 2, 1999

PATHWAYS ’98, Cleveland State University Art Gallery, June 10-30, 1998

National American Association of Woodturners Chapters Woodturning Show, June 12-14, 1998 Akron, OH, and other locations

Guests of United States, Museum for Arts and Crafts, Hamburg, Germany.  November 28 - December 18, 1996

Prince George’s County Juried Exhibitions: The 8th Annual – touring Oct. 4, 1996 to Jan.29, 1997

The 7th Annual – jurors award, toured Oct. 6, 1995 to March 31, 1996

National Lathe?Turned Objects Exhibitions, Highlight Gallery, Mendocino, CA, Aug 1989-1999

Second National Exhibition of AAW Chapters, Fitchburg Art Museum, Jan. 28 to March 24, 1996, and Spurill Art Center, Atlanta, GA

12 x 12 x 12 – 5th Annual, Rockville Arts Place, November 30, 1995 – January 5, 1996

Juried Woodworking Competition, Savage Mill Foundation, Savage, MD, April 8 – 30, 1996

Lathe-Turned Vessels & Sculpture, Maryland Federation of Art, Annapolis, MD. April-May 1995

Turned Wood Arts ’93, New Horizons Gallery, Greenwich, CT, June 1993

Collector’s Show, The Artisans, McLean, VA.  October 22 – November 12, 1993

Prince George’s County 4th Annual Juried Exhibition, Montpelier Cultural Arts Center & Harmony Hall Reg. Center, Nov. 6, 1992 to Jan 19, 1993

Beyond the 3rd Dimension, Artisans United, Annandale, VA. May 7-10, 1992

Juried exhibitions, American Federation of Art, Annapolis, Maryland,  Jan. 1992, May 1992

International Lathe-Turned Objects: Challenge IV, Port of History Museum, Philadelphia. May 17 – August 11, 1991.  Toured in AZ and CA

Lathe Turned Vessels Defined II, The Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, 1991

Woodturning: Vision and Concept II. Gallery, Arrowmont, Gatlinburg, TN, Oct 24 to Dec 8, 1990

Annual Art Show, Kent Island Federation of Art, May, 1990

1990 Objects Art Maryland Federation of Art, Annapolis, MD, .June 12 to July 8, 1990

Erasing the Lines, Foundry Gallery, Washington, DC. Aug. 1987

The Art of Turning Wood, John Bacon Associates, Baltimore, July 1987

Brandeis ’84, ’85, and ’86, Strathmore Hall, Bethesda MD

Small Objects, Foundry Gallery, Washington, DC.  July l984

Turned Objects Show, Amaranth Gallery, Philadelphia, PA which toured to seven locations, 1981-83


Other Group Exhibitions:

Carderock Creates!, Carderock Springs Club House, December 8, 2013

Wood Craft, Montgomery County Fair, 1st Place in Bowls and Adult Champion Rosette, August 11, 2013, 2nd Place in Bowls, 2012

Chesapeake Woodturners, Patuxent National Wildlife Visitors Center, Laurel, MD, April 1-30, 2013

Chesapeake Woodturners, Maryland Federation of Art, Annapolis, MD, February 1-24, 2013

The Power of Artful Light II, Senior Artists Alliance, Edison Gallery, Washington, DC, November 22 ? December 23, 2011.

JRA Day, Chevy Chase, MD, November 13th, 2010.

ASenior Adult Art Show 2010″, Jewish Community Center, Rockville, MD, May 16-June 6, 2010.

From our Trees … Artistry is Revealed, Del Ray Artisans Gallery, Alexandria, VA, October 10 – November 2, 2008.

Creative Expressions, Ratner Museum, (juried by The Senior Artists Alliance), Bethesda, MD, September 3-28, 2008.

MCW Wall Case Exhibit, one month each , Davis Public Library, Bethesda, MD, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012; Potomac Public Library, 2008, 2009 and 2010; Quince Orchard Library, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012; Silver Spring Library, 2011.

Senior Artists Alliance, Columbia Art Center, Columbia, MD, January 3 – February 5, 2008.

Senior Artists Alliance, Blackrock Center for the Arts, Germantown, MD, July 10-August 13, 2007

Washington Wood, Washington Woodworking Guild, ’84, ’86, ’87, ’88, ’91, ’93, ’95, ’97, ’99, ’01, ’03, ’05, Bethesda MD, Washington, DC, Alexandria, VA.

The Unbroken Circle: A Tribute to Quita Broadhead, Wayne Art Center, March 3-24, 2003.

Chesapeake Woodturners Spring 2001 Show, Montpelier Mansion Gallery, Laurel, MD, March.

Chesapeake Woodturners in the Park, Quiet Waters Park, Annapolis, MD, Oct 6 – Nov 7, 1999, Oct. 25 to Dec. 14, 1998.

Group Wood Show, White Bird Gallery, Cannon Beach, OR, 1996, 1997, and 1998.

Annual Lathe?Turned Object Shows, Sansar Gallery, Washington DC & Bethesda, MD, 1988-96

Selections from the Creative Crafts Council, Franklin Square, Washington DC, June – Sept, 1993.

Wood Turning, Greater Reston Arts Center, Reston, VA. September 10 to October 4, 1992.

The Collector: Selected Works from Major Private Collections, Rockville Arts Place, Rockville MD, November 1991.


Professional Memberships:

Montgomery County Woodturners  (Former President)

Capital Area Woodturners

Chesapeake Woodturners

The American Association of Woodturners

The Center for Art in Wood

Collectors of Wood Art

James Renwick Alliance

American Craft Council

Washington Woodworkers Guild



BS, Colorado State University, 1959; and MS, University of MD, 1963.  Agricultural Economics.

Initially self taught wood turner beginning in 1975.  Attended Woodturning Symposiums, Newtown, PA, 1977, 1978 and 1981; attended demonstrations at annual meeting or the American Assoc. of Woodturners, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011; numerous workshops with leading turners, and demonstrations at MCW, CAW and CW meetings.


Support activities for the woodturning and craft-art community:

Assisted Tudor Place, Georgetown, Washington DC with request to obtain bowls from their white oak tree by members of three area woodturning clubs in 2013, and secure equipment and volunteers to demonstrate woodturning at the Tudor Place arbor day in March  2014.

Secured equipment, recruited members of Montgomery County Woodturners, and assisted in demonstrating wood turning to the public at the Forest Friends Festival, Brookside Nature Center, Wheaton, MD, April 28, 2013.

Participated on a 3-person committee to select the Smithsonian Craft Show wood exhibitor to receive the Excellence in Wood award sponsored by Collectors of Wood Art, April 24, 2013.

Assisted Brady Art Gallery, The George Washington University, to locate, select, and obtain invited turned work by members of three area AAW Chapters for Turned and Burnt, on exhibit October 8, 2012 to March 29, 2013.

Helped plan and recruited volunteers from MCW, CAW and CW for 26 wood-turning demonstrations at the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery from September 20, 2010 to January 25, 2011 in support of the exhibition:   A Revolution in Wood: The Bresler Collection  Demonstrated wood turning twice.

Organized exhibit of juried members work from Montgomery County Woodturners and Chesapeake Woodturners at the Columbia Art Center, Columbia, MD, September 12 -October 11, 2009.

In conjunction with Jane and Arthur Mason, secured participation of other turners for display of 20 pieces in wall cases at the Bethesda Public Library, May 1 to June 3, 2007

Leader in organizing Montgomery County Woodturners, Rockville, MD, January 2007;  president for three years, 2007-2009; and treasurer, 2011-2013.

Chaired MCW exhibit committee installations at Davis Public Library, January 2008 and June 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013; Potomac Public Library, July 2008, May 2009, April 2010 and July 2013; and Bethesda Public Library December 2008- January 2009; Quince Orchard Public Library, March 2009, September 2010, and October 2011; and Ring House, May 2011.

Compiles and writes AAbout Our Members for monthly Capital Area Woodturners newsletter, 1999 to date; and for the Montgomery County Woodturners newsletter, October 2007 to date.

Prepared maps on chapter locations and membership count by state, for AAW Resource Directory, 1992-2009.

Organized wood turning demonstration during the Smithsonian Craft Show at the National Building Museum, April 14-17, 2005, at the invitation of Jane and Arthur Mason and the Smithsonian Women=s Committee.

Assisted with DC area recruitment of wood-working demonstrators during furniture exhibition at Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, in 2004.

Proposed and helped organize and facilitate ABranching Out: Contemporary Wood Turning in 2002″ at the Ellipse Arts Center, March 16-May 4, 2002.  Trudy Van Dyke, Director and Curator, Michael Monroe, Advisor, and David Ellsworth, juror.

Arranged for equipment and obtained commitments from members of Capital Area Woodturners and Chesapeake Woodturners for 30 demonstrations at the Renwick Gallery, SAAM, March – July 2002, in conjunction with the exhibit AWood Turning in North America since 1930, and demonstrated twice.

Board Member, James Renwick Alliance, 1994-2000, Treasurer, 1997-2000.  Participated on Finance Committee and  Acquisition Committee in selected years.

Jointly with David Fry, proposed equipping wood shop for wood turning classes at the  Chevy Chase Community Center, August 2000.

Prepared proposal with financial projection for operation of wood turning educational programs and independent turning at the Millennium Art Center, Washington DC, Sept-Oct 2000.

Founding member and first Program Director for Capital Area Woodturners, 1991-1998 (7 years). In recognition of continuing contributions, on July 14, 2012 CAW gave a David Ellsworth/Crown Tools long and strong gouge engraved with: AAwarded to Phil Brown: In recognition for your contribution to the success of CAW.


Wood turning demonstrations and teaching:

Participated together with other members in demonstrating at the MCW booth for one or two days at the Montgomery County Fair, Gaithersburg, MD, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Demonstrated to Montgomery County Woodturners, Rockville, MD:

Use of Oneway coring system, May 9, 2013.

Tree to Lathe, preparing green wood for turning, November 10, 2011.

Designing with numerical ratios, April 9, 2009.  Described in May MCW Newsletter, p 11.

Spalting stored wood, bandsawing blanks, turning and drying green wood, February 8, 2007.

Discussed ratios in designing turned vessels and demonstrated turning to Catoctin Area Turners, Leesburg, VA, March 14, 2013.

Demonstrated to Capital Area Woodturners, Alexandria, VA:

Discussed ratios in designing turned vessels and demonstrated turning, January 10, 2013.

Green wood turning March 11, 2006 and May 8, 1999.

Epoxy and lacquer finishing techniques April 10, 2004 and April 12, 2003.

Showed finished work, discussed the woodturning field, and turned a bowl for a local Brandeis University alumni group of 20 members as arranged by Margie Lappen, September 21, 2012.

Demonstrated at a Chesapeake Woodturners meeting in Annapolis, MD.

Discussed ratios in designing turned vessels and finish turning thin vessels May 21, 2011

Green woodturning April 21, 2001.

Demonstrated bowl turning in conjunction with the MCW exhibit at Ring House, Rockville, MD, May 2011.

Described the turning process applied in creating the vessel on display in the Luce Foundation Center for American Art, case # 54b, SAAM, for the Art + Coffee event on October 17, 2010.

Demonstrated small bowl turning at Colonial Fair, Arcola Elementary School, Silver Spring, MD, for 4th graders, June 4, 2008 and March 4, 2009.

Demonstrated bowl turning in conjunction with Aturnedwood 2009″, Columbia Art Center, September 21, 2009.

Demonstrated wood turning and discussed finishing with members of Mid-Maryland Woodturners, Frederick, MD, October 7, 2008.

Described my work, processes, and jigs to Howard County Woodworkers Guild, Columbia, MD, August 2, 2008.

Demonstrated wood turning at Strathmore Mansion, North Bethesda, MD,  June 27, 2007.

Demonstrated wood turning and discussed related aspects of our local woods to the class, The Biology and Beauty of Wood, at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, George Mason University, October 4, 2006.

Demonstrated turning of green and of dried solid wood to Apple Valley Woodturners, Winchester, VA, April 2, 2005

Demonstrated turning on lawn at Strathmore Mansion, June 13, 2004, on occasion of Fine Art show, as arranged by Millie Shott.

Demonstrated to tour group from Smithsonian Women=s Committee on May 25, 2004 at my studio.  Arranged by Jane Mason.

Demonstrated woodturning at Lee Arts Center, Arlington, VA, April 6, 2002, in conjunction with  ABranching Out: Contemporary Woodturning In 2002 at the Ellipse Arts Center.

Conducted walk-through talk for Wood Turning Since 1930 at Renwick Gallery on March 21, 2002.

In cooperation with other turners, taught a 2 week cycle of the Intermediate Class in 1998 and 1999, taught a 3 week cycle of the class in 2000 and 2001 at Maryland Hall, Annapolis, MD.

Discussion and demonstration of turning process to Smithson Society tour group on patio at Bresler apartment, October 14, 2000.

Participated with David Fry in demonstration for James Renwick Alliance tour, April 30, 2000, and for JRA tour stop at Bresler apartment, 1998.

Demonstrations and display of work in conjunction with David Fry in Sansar booth for Bethesda Row Arts Festival, October 16-17, 1999; October 15, 2000; Oct 20, 2002; May 10-11, 2003; Oct 18-19, 2003; Oct 16-17, 2004; and Oct 15-16, 2005.  (20 years of representation in Sansar ended in April 2008, when it closed.)

Coordinated three-year donation program among members of Capital Area Woodturners in support of funding new Wood Studio at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN, 1995 – 1997.  CAW becomes largest AAW Chapter donor.

Demonstrated turning of green and of dried solid wood at annual AAW Symposium, Gatlinburg, TN, 1990.