My name is Obray Lyman, named after legendary banjo picker Obray Ramsey. I was born in North Carolina but grew up on both coasts of America. I spent much of my youth in cabinet making shops apprenticing with master craftsmen. Over the years I tried my hand at many of the trades in the family building industry and eventually worked my way up to project managing developments in Beverly Hills. I decided at this time that I would go to University to get a degree in business and upon graduating went straight into the exciting world of IT. I met my English wife in Italy in 1989 and we moved here to the UK in 1998 where I worked in London in IT. It was all a big adventure, but I quickly found myself longing for the good old days when I worked with my hands creating things that were “real.” Thankfully I was made redundant from a London dot com start-up in 2002 and went back to my passion and a simpler style of life and started making furniture and cabinets for people on commission. We moved to Devon in 2005 and we haven’t looked back. I love working with wood and being part of a process where mere ideas become something tangible, providing joy and utility to people’s lives. I work mostly on commission, but when I get a chance I design and make the pieces of furniture that I have conjured up in my own mind. Wood is a lovely living breathing material which I feel should be tactile to the touch and emanate the warmth of its life as a once living tree. I get inspiration from many people, like Frank Lloyd Wright and Salvador Dali, but one of my all-time favourite makers has to be John Makepeace OBE. If one day I could be as good as he is I think I’ll have reached my goal.
2017: I am now back in the States starting from scratch but it wont be long before I am up and running making beautiful things. If you are need of a handcrafted piece of furniture or have had an idea of something you really would like made, get in touch and I will work with you to turn it into a reality. Although I’ll be living in NH my workshop and much of my work will be in Massachusetts.