John “Cappy” Osborne


John Osborne was born and raised in California's Central Valley and spent all of his formative years working and living in an agricultural environment.

In 1965 he attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo for one year but felt the need to "see the world."

In 1966 he volunteered for the draft and became a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne. He did a tour of duty in Vietnam from 1967-1968, where he earned two bronze stars and a purple heart.

In 1968 he returned to Cal Poly on the GI Bill and eventually obtained a degree in Farm Management. Upon his return from the army he purchased a pickup with a camper and basically lived out of his vehicle for the next several years traveling around the Western part of the U.S. and Canada using fishing for trout as an excuse to see all the places he had dreamed about. This is when he first started carving and when he obtained the nickname that has stuck with me for life-Captain Rainbow, with time this has was shortened to Cappy.

In 1969 he bought a cheap set of carving tools. From that point on he was totally committed to his art. He has spent the rest of his life trying to perfect his skills and increase his knowledge about art in general, art history and technique.

In 1973 after graduation he joined the Peace Corp and was offered a post in Costa Rica. He spent three years in the Peace Corp as an agricultural economist for the Ministry of Agriculture.

In 1976, he fell in love with a young Costa Rican woman, they married and decided to stay in Costa Rica, they had two sons, they devorced later.

In 1977 he started working at the Center for Human Potential as an agricultural instructor training volunteers for Latin America. The company trained for various countries and diverse programs. As a consequence he worked in Belize, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Chile, and Ecuador.

In 1978 in addition to his work at the Center, he began farming in Costa Rica, selling vegetables and grains in the Central Market and acquired his farm where he still lives and works,

In 1983 he started exporting ornamental plants, a business that he continues until today, during that time he continued his carving and sold to galleries, tourists, hotels, and friends.

In 2009 he opened his gallery for business and has dedicated Saturdays and Sundays to this project, always working on his carvings in the front of his gallery along side a busy road in La Gaucima about a half hour fron San Jose.

Besides his carvings he is also fabricating rattan items from some plant material that he imported from Indonesia 25 years ago and has now matured enough to produce useful material. With this he is trying to incorporate the rattan and his woodcarving into one of a kind sculptures and utility items.  

Every carving is unique; inspiration comes from the material available and the unique environment of Costa Rica.