James Bensley began his life back on the shores of the United Kingdom. His father was a mechanic and therefore James from a young age was surrounded by engines, spark plugs, wrenches and the like. His father was also a motorcycle racer and brought his son along for the ride giving him a glimpse into the intensity, the fun and the exhilaration that comes from riding motorcycles.
From an early age every day offered a different adventure for James. Dissecting an engine, examining a chair, doing a job on a neighbors house were all common activities for James with his open ended exploration into how the world around is formed and works has given numerous opportunities to learn from an early age how the world works and how it can be tinkered and toyed with.
Growing up in an culture unfiltered by Instagram or Facebook or the internet meant that when you wanted something to do you needed to go outside and do it. There were no shortage of days outdoors in the mud, chasing kids on bikes, running through the forests of Eastern England.
‘Growing up I always remember being finding a deep desire to learn more about the things around me, how they worked, what powered them and most of all how to remake them’.
As he grew James Bensley enrolled in a carpentry trade school to learn the art of working with wood to build homes, furniture and the likes. He studied and worked throughout his school year. Learning for a week per month on campus, then off to work on site for the other three weeks, and after work he’d get to work in his workshop at home. This was the life James would lead in England for his first 18 years of life. It wasn’t until he decided to jump on a plane sometime later and take a holiday trip to New Zealand that his life would begin to change yet again.
Arriving in New Zealand was only the first of many stops which would lead James Bensley to Krabi. After leaving New Zealand stops were made at Australia and Hawaii then ending up in Trang (just south of Krabi). Once in Thailand James as many of us do felt the overwhelming feeling of relaxation, the sense of liberation that nobody is judging you, the overwhelming amount of delicious food around every street corner and decided to stay longer. That was 15 years ago.
Back in 2005 Thailand, and Krabi in particular was a different place than what it is today. Krabi didn’t have an international airport, only domestic flights from Bangkok would fly passengers. There was only a handful of 7-11’s throughout the province and in general people didn’t speak English much at all. There was a tourist industry in Krabi but it’s nothing compared to what it is today. First landing in Krabi during this time was like stepping foot on another planet and when he did so, James was hooked.
Arriving in Krabi James Bensley at first didn’t start working as a carpenter, he took a few jobs teaching English for locals. At night though, he got to spend time in his workshop making furniture and personal items for himself in his spare time. As word gets out in a small town the news got out shortly thereafter that James had a workshop and was building furniture for himself. Thats all it took and people began coming to his workshop, asking for him to make tables, chairs, dressers, desks built-in kitchens and much more. This was the tipping point when James decided to open his own company, quit working at the school and make his way as a carpenter in Krabi.
Since that point James has pushed the boundaries of his carpentry skills working with a number of new types of wood. Mostly imported but also local tropical hard and softwoods rarely found in the Western Hemisphere but readily plentiful here in Krabi.
Since starting his company JB Carpentry James Bensley has taken on work both large and small. Building custom furniture for a good number of private villas in the area but also working on a number of larger projects such as:
- Eden Villas
- Gilhams Fishing Resort
- Krabi International School
- Krabi Road House Studio
James is now in the process of setting up a small studio next to his workshop showcasing his pieces for sale, the only problem is that once a piece is set up for sale there it’s sold immediately. So if you visit James Bensley’s workshop and don’t find but a few pieces keep it in mind that those pieces probably will be gone when you arrive next time.
Now with the news of his skills reaching a wide range of people in Krabi his work load has picks up and continues to do so every day. If your interested in having any work one on your villa or maybe a custom piece of furniture made get in touch with James Bensley.