One of the first pieces Barry created was a wall shelf with a back piece that he’d used a scroll saw to cut a rocking horse into. When he took it to an auction house to sell, someone stole it. (He never got it back.) “The owner, the late John Savo, said if someone wanted it to much that they’d steal it from me, he’d pay double for it.” Brown made more than 30 different versions of the piece, but says he never really kept track. “When I found something people would like, I’d make several. Whatever didn’t sell, I gave as Christmas or birthday presents.”
About 25 years ago, several arborvitae inspired him to go into more creative work in wood. As part of the grounds crew at Keystone College, he had to cut several of the trees down and noticed that “the bark would just peel like a banana. I knew what I wanted to do with them – build them into log furniture.”
His favorite wood is cedar, but he has also used poplar, cherry and ash. He keeps some cedar logs, which he gets locally, for stock for boards. He also does custom work.
The Springville resident, now an independent subcontractor, doesn’t have a studio and relies on word of mouth for publicity. He also posts his work on Etsy – one of his beds posted there has caught the attention of a customer from England, who added it to his “favorites.”