John Brown

I create small, unique pieces on a wood lathe. This includes boxes, spinning tops, pendants, flowers, vases, and more - made from 90% reclaimed wood mostly from quality wood furniture about to be thrown away.  


I started wood turning in 2015, as a response to a late-in-life diagnosis with ADHD. A fan of all things guitar-related and as a woodworking enthusiast, I started by making some wooden knobs for electric guitars. This transitioned to vases, flowers, and even a set of bowling pins I made for my son as a Christmas present.


Then, I happened upon a couple online woodturning videos about spinning tops. I thought these would be fun for my kids. Meanwhile, I was exploring mindfulness and meditation (without much prior success). The tops became a source of healing. As it happens, mindful observation can be achieved by focusing on something beautiful - like a simple top as it is formed on a lathe - without worry or judgement. 


I create the tops as sculptures and colour them while they are spinning. What you see when they are spinning is how I see them when they are done. They are also great thinking tools for those who need to focus and make decisions, and they are great gifts for those of us who need to do something with our hands. 


Each of these desk tops has a spin time of over a minute.  I have timed them all and some have gone just over two minutes with a good spin. The more you spin them, the more you learn . . . and the longer they spin!


See what John has in stock at AllSorts.

AllSorts Gallery


181 Ottawa Street North, Hamilton, Ontario L8H 3Z4

Phone: 905-393-7381

Hours: Sunday: Noon to 5:00 p.m. | Monday to Wednesday, Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Thursday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.