“I’ve always loved woodworking. My grandad was right into woodworking, I loved it since I was a little kid but never really connected with it too much. Then this place popped up. I had wanted to buy down here. Somewhere quieter than Margaret River. And yeah, the bloke I bought the house from had a heap of timber, and I started making little bits and pieces for the house, and little chopping boards and frames and stuff for family and friends, and it just grew from there.”
This new pursuit felt right to Ben, but he was young – 25-years-old – and his dream was novel and vague. He had gone from a high-paying job in Exmouth to earning almost nothing, and his property needed an enormous amount of work before he could even get started. Soon, financial pressures began to mount.
“There was a lot to do just to get started. The property needed a good clean up, the shed was falling apart, I needed to get a garden going so I could live off that and survive without too much money. That way of life just made more sense.
“I think woodworking, or any sort of art really, it’s pretty hard to make a living from it. Every artist has their journey. It’s not easy. I nearly gave up. There were some pretty tough times.”