Partners in Craft: Harold Wood and John O’Brien
Harold Wood and John O’Brien met in Texas in the 1990s when both were fitting out “flying palaces” for sultans and heads of state. Wood, an Englishman who moved to San Antonio in the 1970s, ran a very successful company there decorating and furnishing the interiors of private jets. Having apprenticed under his father, a prominent English painter, he initially created murals and other finishes for aircraft interiors and eventually designed all the furnishings as well.
View Wood and O’Brien’s Work in Fine Woodworking #217
O’Brien, raised in San Antonio, had worked for many years in residential and aviation cabinetmaking when he joined Wood’s firm, where he oversaw 30 other cabinetmakers. When Wood sold the company in 2000, he thought he would be spending most of his time painting pictures. But he also had a few pieces of furniture he wanted to design, and he asked if O’Brien would like to build them.
O’Brien’s answer was absolutely. Ever since then the two have worked as a team, with Wood designing and O’Brien fabricating. And they have produced an array of pieces that combine jaw-dropping materials, outstanding design and utterly uncompromising craftsmanship.