Patrick Hotra began to design and construct furniture and cabinets in 1976. While pursuing a career with a local regulatory agency, woodworking became an evening and weekend pursuit. Upon retiring in 2008 Patrick turned his attention full time to crafting functional art work.
Patrick selects the best domestic and imported hardwoods for each project paying particular attention to figure, color, and grain orientation. He chooses pieces for each component based on an intention to match or contrast the chosen wood species, and follow proven construction methods which recognize seasonal wood movement. After initial milling, much of the final dimensioning is completed using hand tools. All of the dovetail joints, used in drawer construction and certain apron attachments is done by hand. Finishes are hand rubbed, using as many as ten to fifteen coats.
Patrick’s first opportunity to show his work came at the Artwood Gallery in Bellingham, Washington, while he was living there. A piece that was accepted for showing, sold the next day. Shortly afterward he returned to Southern California and began looking for additional opportunities to show his work. He was associated with the Forest and Ocean galley in Laguna Beach for approximately seven months, during which time he sold serving trays, jewelry boxes and coffee tables.
Beginning in 2015, he began submitting his work to the Orange County Fair’s Visual Arts Competition and has won several awards:
- 2015 – Coffee table – Second Place in the Woodworking Division
- 2016 – Jewelry box – Second Place, Coffee Table – Honorable Mention, and a Staff Choice Award.
- 2017 – Jewelry box – First Place, and an Industry Award, Cabinet – Second Place, Coffee table – Honorable Mention.