John C. Bestwick

Woodworking
Jumbo Bottom Barrel Works
11691 Dutchmans Creek Road Lovettsville, VA 20180
Catoctin Region, Stop #6

Oak wine barrel Adirondack rocker
Oak wine barrel Adirondack rocker

Artist Statement

Each one of my creations is individually crafted by hand. The pieces come across my workbench one at a time and receive undivided attention from start to finish. There is much variance in the condition and characteristics of reclaimed barrels. They vary in the degree of wine staining on the inside and weathering on the outside. The original barrel coopers and winemakers also leave their mark on barrels so each piece has a little bit of history to it as well. When a barrel enters the shop, it begins as a retired, discarded vessel but, it is full of possibilities. I visualize the barrel's true potential as the curves, unique marks and characteristics of the wood are revealed. The dismantled barrel may look like a pile of random pieces of wood to most people but to me, they are pieces of a unique, customizable puzzle. I sort, calculate, and align the curves, creating artwork that is not only beautiful, but functional and ergonomic as well. It is these beautiful curving lines that make my furniture pieces both pleasing to the eye and naturally comforting for the body.

It is my goal is to operate an environmentally friendly business that produces a long-lasting, green product. The barrels are locally sourced from vineyards in Loudoun County, Virginia, and my small, one-man shop requires minimal resources to operate. My few finishing products are water-based. With two small children bouncing in and out of the shop, I am constantly reminded of the need for small, local businesses that have environmental sustainability in mind for the next generation.

Biography

John Bestwick is a second generation woodworker who operates a small workshop in Lovettsville, Virginia. As a youngster, he worked alongside his father building barns in Pennsylvania. In 1989, his family moved to Loudoun County, Virginia. After high school, he continued to work intermittently with his father building barns and remodeling homes but also expanded his woodworking experience to include building wine cellars, custom cabinetry, historic remodeling, and timber framing. In June of 2014, he started his own woodworking business. Soon thereafter, he came across his first retired wine barrels and began exploring the possibilities of reclaiming oak barrel wood. The business officially became Jumbo Bottom Barrel Works in April of 2015. Since then, his primary focus has been creating beautiful, functional pieces from reclaimed barrel wood.

Visiting the Jumbo Bottom Barrel workshop is a unique experience. In warm weather, the doors are wide open during the day welcoming visitors. John is also a musician and the shop is often filled with old-time fiddle music. He is always ready to grab his fiddle or guitar for an improv jam session. The shop has a warm, friendly atmosphere, a place to hang and exchange ideas, cheer, and good tunes. John and his family hope to see you this June for the arts tour.

Oak wine barrel planter
Oak wine barrel planter
Oak wine barrel cuddle bench
Oak wine barrel cuddle bench
Oak wine barrel fountain
Oak wine barrel fountain
Oak wine barrel-head side tables
Oak wine barrel-head side tables
Oak wine barrel swing
Oak wine barrel swing
Oak wine barrel cafe table and chair
Oak wine barrel cafe table and chair
Oak wine barrel bistro table
Oak wine barrel bistro table
Oak wine barrel adirondack set
Oak wine barrel adirondack set
Oak wine barrel stave wall hanger, bottle balance, candle votive, and bottle openers
Oak wine barrel stave wall hanger, bottle balance, candle votive, and bottle openers
Oak wine barrel Adirondack
Oak wine barrel Adirondack
Oak wine barrel birdbath
Oak wine barrel birdbath
Oak wine barrel bar stool
Oak wine barrel bar stool
Oak wine barrel stave votive
Oak wine barrel stave votive
Workshop interior
Workshop interior
Workshop exterior
Workshop exterior

Offering on tour: Finished creations ranging from small (votives, wall hangers) to large (chairs, benches, and tables). Custom orders. Music and refreshments.

Catoctin Region Stop #6

Directions to Jumbo Bottom Barrel Works:

From Route 287 travel north heading out of Lovettsville towards Brunswick. Turn left on Purcell Road, turn left on Dutchmans Creek. Studio shop immediately on right.