Former pro surfer Ben McBrien spends long hours in his workshop in the bowels of Kensington, Philadelphia, creating functional works of art from reclaimed wood.
Ben founded Farmhaus as an outlet for small leftover pieces hoarded and pilfered from dumpsters, other woodworker’s firewood piles and larger construction projects. His end goal is to give purpose and value to every last “scrap” of precious wood.
Inspired by the clean lines and minimalist functionality of mid-century modernist furniture, Ben’s work brings to mind Philadelphia modernist greats like Wharton Esherick and George Nakashima, while adding an industrial feel inspired by the factories and grit of the neighborhood where he lives and works.
For his show at Art in the Age, Ben has assembled a group of one offs and prototypes originating from fallen trees, scrap and firewood, leftovers and offcuts.