About Ben

As you can see from this website, I have an eclectic range of creative interests and specialist skills. This is the story of how I came by them all.

My family owned Fearnside & Co Art Supplies in Worcester. As a child my toys were paint, glue, clay and plaster. Making and playing were the same thing to me (and on a good day, they still are). In my teens I spent many years travelling and working round the world and eventually landed on my feet at High Wycombe University on the prestigious Furniture Design and craftsmanship course. My graduation pieces were exhibited at the New Designers’ Exhibition.

After graduating I did my time in various unheated cabinetmaking and joinery shops, learning both craft and trade from old school silver haired craftsmen. I also had a job as an architectural miniaturist for Bekonscot model village, where I learned about specialist exterior finishes. I moved to Brighton in the 1990’s and started as workshop manager at Limited Editions part of the Richmond Fellowship an organisation offering training and support to people with mental health issues. I spent seven rewarding years there, running a bench and machine-shop, teaching wood-working skills, French polishing and designing pieces for make-and-sale.

When my job at Richmond Fellowship ended, I started working with a fellow Wycombe student Ben Fletcher at his built-in furniture business Spaced-In. Around this time I also fell in with the theatre scene, making scenery and props including six radio-controlled lobsters and the coffin that nearly killed my future wife... but that’s another story.

Brighton’s vibrant arts scene also brought out a neglected side of my work: colour. I started to work on canvas, using techniques from furniture and architectural finishing. I’ve had several solo exhibitions in London and Brighton and am now in the privileged position of working mostly to commission.

Big paintings and furniture need space and workshop space in Brighton is expensive. I moved out along the South Coast to Lancing and set up a studio, workshop and beach-house, where I now live with my wife the writer Anita Sullivan and two Jack Russells.

So that’s me and how I was made into a maker. If you’d like to discuss my work or have ideas of your own, please get in touch.