Meet The Craftsman: Benjamin Berryman
Nobody is a self-made man. I have been immersed in tools, shop, and craft all my life, starting as a child in my dad’s shop. He likes to tell stories of me sitting there with circles drawn on the floor to define my boundaries as I watched him work. Though my dad’s medium wasn’t wood, I learned the basics of hand tools, measurements, and how construction works.
Later I was introduced to woodworking by a family friend. Before I even finished my first bookcase, I knew that woodworking would be a lifelong pursuit. It opened the floodgates of design and curiosity for me, and from that point on I haven’t stopped studying and building. Little did I know then that the man who helped me build that case would become a longtime mentor to me. He taught me the fundamentals of woodworking, but also an approach to excellence. How to take a tree from log to finished product, including methods of sawing and air drying lumber, restoring vintage machinery to execute the work, building a shop with pennies on the dollar. I count myself fortunate to have learned the craft in this old way – a relationship that has taught me the process of creating quality pieces from standing tree to finished product.
After I followed the common path of postgraduate decisions - college, graduate school, etc.- I found myself coming full circle to a life of tools, problem solving, and design. Since 2011, I have embraced the craft I love as my full-time livelihood and my daily pursuit. I count it a privilege to step in my workshop every morning to work on clients’ projects and to construct each piece with the most precision my skills allow.