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 majestic living tree. The wood continues to live for us, providing enjoyment through sight, touch, and use.
Phil Brown 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 were enhanced through workshops organized by Albert LeCoff, and demonstrations at the American Association of Woodturners, Capitol Area Woodturners (CAW) and Montgomery County Woodturners (MCW). He was a founding member of CAW and MCW, and he continued to be active in these organizations as well as in the James Renwick Alliance, Collectors of Wood Art. Creative Crafts Council, and The Center for Art in Wood.
He primarily used the wood of local trees that must be cut down, and he often allowed the wood to spalt to increase the natural patterns. He was inspired by the work of such contemporary sculptors as Isamu Noguchi, Constantin Brancusi, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, and Wharton Esherick, and he admired the pioneer wood turner Bob Stocksdale. He was known for his thinly turned open vessel forms and for his fine finishes. Phil Brown exhibited his work nationally and internationally in galleries and juried or invitational shows. His bowls are in eleven art museum collections and in hundreds private collections, including those of major wood collectors.
Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
- The Center for Art in Wood, Philadelphia, PA
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA
- American Association of Woodturners, St, Paul, MN
- Tudor Place Historic House and Garden, Washington, D.C
- Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI
- Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL
- George Washington University, Brady Gallery Collection, Washington DC
- Federal Reserve Board, Washington, D.C.
- Belair Mansion, City of Bowie Museums, Bowie, MD