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John Barrow

Artisan Organization: John Barrow

Country: Peru

John Barrow was born in London on September 22, 1934. After studying Engineering he traveled to Peru, in 1969, to work at a paper mill. His original contract was for eight weeks, but John ended up staying in Peru permanently.

John has always enjoyed woodwork; he learned the craft from his father, who was a carpenter. Carving became one of John's favorite pastimes, a spare-time hobby.

"Living in Peru allowed me to get to know a variety of beautiful wood types. When I found time I would carve various furniture pieces," John explains. "When I retired, I was finally able to dedicate myself completely to my passion, carving!"

"I love to make all sorts of things. I am a perfectionist, so I prefer to look for the perfect wood type and take great care with each detail. I want to make something that is different than what you might usually see, so I have designed my own machines and tools to help me work wood in a different way.

"Once a famous pianist saw some chairs I had made, and fell in love with their design. After buying a piano, he bought my chairs and asked me to paint them black, to match his piano. Honestly, painting those chairs was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do for a customer, because I love the natural look of wood." "