Patrick O’Brien began his career in the Detroit area in 1989, working with friends and gaining experience in
cabinet-making, wood working and home renovation. After striking out on his own he established a complimentary working relationship with a local architect and had the opportunity to take on more challenging projects. In the summer of 1995, with this experience and a handful of references, Patrick, his wife Lisa and young son Conner moved to Taos, NM. They built a small off-grid, load-bearing Straw Bale house (Patrick’s first) out on the Mesa west of the Rio Grande Gorge and lived there for 11 years.
During this time Patrick had jobs in Taos working in a local cabinet shop and then partnering in a small firm with a local architect and another builder where they built a few Adobe houses. After a time, Patrick and his step-father, Ivy, formed a partnership and The Salamander Company came into being.After nearly 20 years of building Straw Bale homes, Pumice-Crete, Adobe and Frame homes and many re-models Ivy has retired and Patrick is carrying on with the tradition of applying a creative energy to the work and maintaining a high level of honesty and integrity with clients.