Furniture for the Wild at Heart

I incorporate many materials in my work, here I'm cutting steel.
Driftwood corraled like stalactites for a bench and a table (upside down, foreground.
Looking over my "Ex-Alt" sculpture in the shop behind the Range Cafe downtown Bernalillo, 2009
Working on a order for three beds and three dining tables for an estate on the Eastern Shore at the Airport Studio, Albq
Framed on Las Ramblas in Barcelona for a 2001 show.

It was either the Peace Corps or build chairs.

I was 26, alone in the New Mexico desert, far from friends and family, broke and finding out exactly what a BA in liberal arts was worth. It was 1991, I had a lot of time to explore the arroyo next to my two room adobe and to walk down to the Rio Grande not far from there. On those walks I began picking up interesting roots and sticks and would bring them back to the yard. It wasn't long before I was nailing them together; first a little side table, then a rudimentary couch and finally a chair. "It looks like an old grandmother", someone told me at the Santa Fe Flea market later, and also "Boy, those chairs are gonna make you famous". Maybe the fourth time out, a picker for an Italian company came by my stand and ordered five tables, five benches and 15 chairs. I went from nothing to Milan in the space of three months.

So it's been 21 years. I've probably made 2000 chairs, furnished seven restaurants, a Pueblo library, graced a hundred Italian magazines and sold to umpteen Hollywood stars. This career chose me and I followed it and have given it every inch of my being. I think about doing something else from time to time, especially when nothing's selling, but that only lasts a day or so. Then I'm back out in the shop and the phone rings -- or now I get an email from Etsy and I'm making the next great thing.
Ben Forgey
owner, maker
For years and years I've said, "I've never had a real job". Now, I know there is no job more real than melding my hands and my mind to create. Art, furniture, a walk down a lane, it's all the same.