6. Combining utility and style, this wooden table is perfect for a cabin or mountain home.
About the Artist
Initially a builder by trade, artisan Ben Smith took up welding as a hobby. Teaching himself to harness the flame of a torch, and tapping into the woodworking skills learned in over a decade of building homes, Ben quickly discovered a passion for creating something new and unique from basic materials like iron, steel, and reclaimed wood.
He started out playing around with his own designs, while also making specialty pieces for the high-end homes he was working on at the time—recreating a vintage door hinge here, reproducing an era-appropriate light fixture there.
Ben and his wife, Ginny, co-owner of Maison de France Antiques, soon realized his tinkering was far more than a hobby. “He came in one day and showed me a chandelier he had made,” Ginny recalls. “It was beautiful and I thought, ‘I can sell this.’ So I put it in the shop and, of course, it sold not long after.”
Though he maintains his home builder’s license, Ben now runs Welded Wood, a custom metal and woodworking business. His love for the trade is evidenced in the gorgeous array of pieces on display in homes and businesses across the country. Some of his other work includes beautiful iron bed frames, sophisticated chandeliers, rustic lanterns, modern kitchen hoods, and much more.
Ben’s creativity knows no bounds—if he can sketch it, he can make it. Working with private homeowners, a solid clientele of professional architects and interior designers—not to mention making pieces to sell in his wife’s shop and at the Round Top Antiques Fair in Texas—Ben is constantly creating.
Whether starting from scratch with a sketchpad, recreating antiques and vintage designs, or pulling inspiration from magazines to create the piece a client has dreamed up, his work is consistently high quality and always one of a kind. Though often covered in welding soot by the time his day ends, Ben has clearly found his niche and loves his work. “Every day is a different challenge, and I thrive on being able to come up with a solution,” he says. “I love coming to work. I love what I’m doing, and I’m good at it.”
Get more vintage style ideas like these in our Vintage Cottage issue!