Mike Prieto sources European wine barrels to use as the primary material in his unique home furnishings and modern entertaining pieces. From beer flights and bar accessories to Adirondack chairs and Lazy Susans, each of Prieto’s pieces is carefully handcrafted and finished in Norfolk, Va.
It was in Germany, however, where the artist began his journey. Shortly after Prieto and his wife were married, in a move overseas, the couple lost all of their household goods in a warehouse fire. Out of necessity, he took up woodworking and rebuilt the couple’s tables, benches, bed and other essentials. It was then that the artist had the idea to make a bar from a wine barrel.
The barrel bar was extremely popular at the woodshop and Prieto’s friends started ordering. New ideas began quickly popping into his head about the other products that could be built using wine barrels. There were so many, in fact, that he decided to turn Barrel-Art into a full-time business upon returning to the U.S.
It takes patience, strength and a lot of sanding to transform the rustic material into a beautifully finished piece. “The barrels are over 100 pounds each,” says Prieto. “Moving them around and pulling them apart to make our craft is not easy.” Despite the enormous amount of effort that goes into his line of home goods, Prieto does not shy away from custom work. “A customer will bring us a sketch or photo of something and ask if we can make it from a barrel. Our answer is always YES!”
Look for Barrel-Art’s newest line of garden art along with its popular barware and wine barrel creations this summer in Dallas!
Company Name: Barrel-Art
Studio Location: Norfolk, VA