John Bryan Fineart
John Bryan won an international furniture design competition in 1978 just out of college where he studied furniture design and Environmental Conservation. Since then, John has dedicated his life to the resurrection of woodcarving as a fine art medium, and the self-discovery that is inherent to the process of bringing such detailed wok to life. In an age where instant gratification is the norm, John’s work stands as an anachronism; incredibly detailed and lifelike works of art carved from one of nature’s original mediums: wood.
John has always been an avid sportsman and tailors his portfolio to reflect his long standing passion for all things ‘wild’ and love for the sporting arts. He is not limited in his scope however and enjoys a commission that takes him to new places he may not visit on his own. His clients have shaped their legacies with his work.
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John Bryan in his studio.
What artist or wood carver do you admire most?
There aren’t very many woodcarvers left in the world to emulate or admire. I love the work of Kent Ulberg, bronze sculptor, William Morris, glass artist and William Zorach.
What was your favorite piece to make?
It’s impossible to pick a favorite piece because the expectations change over time and from piece to piece. If I had to choose, it would be the Wheel Of Life entryway ( a ten panel set) I designed and carved for a gentleman’s trophy room in North Carolina. My relationship with him lasted over two years and he expected nothing but my very best throughout.
In choosing a single piece, it would have to be the Meeting At The Museum panel for the National Sporting Library and Museum in Middleburg VA. It was a retrospective of my career in subject, style and execution; as well as establishing a legacy moment for me. Most of my work has disappeared into private collections, so a public piece on permanent display is a rarity.
What one piece would you like to make that you haven’t?
There really isn’t an answer to this question. But I have wondered for a long time how I could carve a campfire.
Your favorite drink?
My fly-fishing and hunting heritage would betray me as a single malt scotch guy. Balvene! Forever living on a budget though leaves me happy with a good Irish whiskey.
What would be your last meal?
Venison backstrap, braised scallops, asparagus with hollandaise sauce and a nice green salad.