About Honu Studio
  • Honu Studio is dedicated to the design and production of one of a kind, heirloom quality furniture. Emphasis is placed upon a strong client-artist relationship to ensure that each piece of furniture is perfectly suited to its specific use as well as to the environment of which it will become a part. The end result is both a physical and a spiritual expression of its primary user.


    About Ben Kelly
  • As a lifetime local of the Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado, it might seem odd that it was a childhood fascination with wooden boats that started Ben Kelly on his woodworking odyssey. He built his first boat, a cedar-strip canoe in his final year of high school, an experience that prompted him to take time before college to attend the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building where he learned the traditional craft of carvel-planked and lapstrake boat construction. While attending college in land-locked Boulder Colorado, Ben's focus began to drift toward furniture as he participated in numerous summer workshops at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village. During his last semester at CU Boulder, he designed and built his first rocker for a directed study project, and has been designing and building furniture ever since.

    While boat building has not been Ben's vocation for nearly 20 years, it is from these roots that he derives his building ethic, technique, and passion for joinery that influence his furniture construction. His designs are likewise infused with the symmetry, function, and aversion to the straight line inherent in nautical design. He says, "Through boat building I discovered how something dictated almost entirely by physics and ergonomics could turn out to be, in my mind, a stunning work of art and a true reflection of its functional and spiritual environments. This functional mandate creates a unique form and style in and of  itself, and it is from this template that I strive to begin every project. I then try to build upon and manipulate the creative momentum already set forth by a piece of furniture's functional constraints into whatever spaces are left over, and furniture has a lot more of this 'free space' to offer than boats ever did."

    Ben's sensitivity to beauty and devotion to perfection in both design and construction have served to develop very appreciative and satisfied customers over the years. He places great emphasis on a strong client-artist relationship to insure that each piece of furniture is a physical and spiritual expression of its primary user(s) and of the environment of which it will become a part. He currently works in Carbondale, Colorado, building custom furniture for local and non-local clientele. He also builds furniture "for himself" to experiment with art and design outside of the confines of a predetermined use or environment. These showcase pieces appear regularly in several local galleries and museums.

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