Master Wine Barrel Carver - A Tribute to Earle Brown
During December of 2004, we had the chance to visit Sebastiani Winery in Sonoma, CA. There is little doubt that Sebastiani has the largest collection of hand carved wine barrel heads, carved wine casks and carved wine art in the United States. The most impressive thing about this collection however, is the fact that it was all accomplished by the hands of one man: Earle Brown.
Sebastiani provided the following information on Mr. Brown:
At the age of 68, Earle started woodcarving as a second career, following his retirement as a graphic artist.
He created over 300 carvings for our winery during a 17-year period, all carved by hand; he never used a power tool. We know he enjoyed his work, for most of his characters are smiling. August admired and respected Earle immensely. He gave Earle carte-blanche to carve anything, anywhere without needing prior approval, including posts, beams, doors, tanks, barrels, signs, murals, plaques, and even a statue. Earle passed away in December of 1984.
We took numerous photographs to document Mr. Brown's work, and appreciate Sebastiani for giving us permission to show his works here. While I can not attempt to show all of Mr. Brown's work - I would like to show a few pieces that I feel demonstrate his progression in the artform. (Left: Tom with Earle Brown's carving of Bacchus.)
Keep in mind as you look through the photographs on these tribute pages that we are only showing a handful of the pieces to you. When you stop to realize this collection was created by the hands of one man - it is an amazing scope of work!
Click on these links to see some of:
Earle's Full Wine Barrel Carvings
Earle's Quarter Carved Barrel Heads
Earle's Hand Carved Doors, Beams and Wine Art
These photographs are copyright of Tom & Dierdre Crowl. Images used here with permission of the Sebastiani Winery.
Return to the Original Barrel Carvings page.
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