What Makes This Brooklyn Furniture Maker Stand Out

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Ben Erickson’s Brooklyn workshop is full of juxtapositions. You’ll find flashes of neon enamel among sawdust and smooth leather hides, and perfectly crafted furniture amid the chaos of a shared workspace. His furniture is informed by countless trials and errors with various materials and sheer artistic intuition.

Here, the furniture-maker talks about his life beyond the workshop — guilty pleasures and all.

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Walnut is one of the many woods and other materials he uses to craft pieces.

Walnut is one of the many woods and other materials he uses to craft pieces.

More woods can be seen on a wall of samples in his studio.

More woods can be seen on a wall of samples in his studio.

Erickson's EAE lounge chair is available in a variety of materials; here, it's shown in black-matte buffalo hyde, black walnut and raw copper.

Erickson's EAE lounge chair is available in a variety of materials; here, it's shown in black-matte buffalo hyde, black walnut and raw copper.

A sketch of one of his Pyramid tables.

A sketch of one of his Pyramid tables.

A cabinet of tools can be found in the designer's studio.

A cabinet of tools can be found in the designer's studio.

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My home and its style can be described as: Messy minimal.

I collect: Early midcentury chairs to study and as individual art objects.

I am currently reading: James Hannaham’s Delicious Foods

My dream meal is: Duck confit with rustic vegetables and the best wine we can afford at a chateau in Perigueux, France.

Always in my weekend bag: Crime novel and a bottle of wine.

What makes a party worth attending? Bass-heavy dance music or reggae and great friends.

My guilty pleasures: Cigarettes and trap music.

Which talent — not related to your work — would you most like to have? I wish I had the discipline and restraint to get up before sunrise, study martial arts and meditate.

Divulge your dream collaboration. A lighting designer of some kind. There’s so much advanced technology and wild creativity in that field, and that’s one area I’m just starting to play in.

What project are you currently finishing? I’m putting the final coats of epoxy resin on a very unique sculptural vanity sink. It is made from 300-year-old white oak slabs salvaged from a barn in Pennsylvania and was designed by Antonio Matres for a crazy-modern house in Amagansett.

What project are you excited to start? I’m very excited to start the final touches of my mom’s new “Swiss modern” house upstate. There is a two-story paneled, veneered “cube” feature that disguises four doors to various rooms in the house. The center spine steel staircase is offset along one side of the cube.

PHOTOS: EVAN SUNG