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Kristopher Kirkpatrick Proves Happiness Is Handmade

Written By: Matthew J. Black
Photographed By: Manny Mendez San Diego Custom Furniture

Some years back in the Berkeley hills that overlook San Francisco Bay, Kristopher Kirkpatrick decided he was going to take on a new hobby; he was going to take up wood shaping and create a table. If he was going to do it right, he had to find the right wood, so he bought a beautiful, thick slab of fine reclaimed California redwood. 

Then, Kirkpatrick got the worst news: from a lifetime of extreme sports activity, his shoulder had such severe nerve damage that his neurologist told him he’d lose all movement between his wrist and shoulder. San Diego Custom Furniture

In the crossroads of his life—between careers, as corporate America fit him like a coffee table with stools—Kirkpatrick wanted to work with his hands, but that dream was slipping away. The slab of redwood, which could’ve mocked him, suddenly called to him, so he taped an electric sander to his hand, and for 10 hours a day, the vibrations between wood and man stimulated his nerves so much that he now has full capability in his entire arm. Now, Kirkpatrick creates functional art that brings people’s visions to life.

Kirkpatrick made his way to sunny San Diego with his wife, and when he went out on his own, he could barely keep up with orders. Today, he chooses his clients very carefully. “My favorite part of every project,” Kirkpatrick explains, “is when clients call to evaluate me; I actually evaluate them.” His interview process is very important, as Kirkpatrick has his own visions, but he wants to bring others’ visions to life. “I like to hear their story, take their words and create something for them. The process is totally interactive, and it’s totally custom.”

His most famous table style is also his most unique, as one look at his Blue Water Resin Tables will have you wondering how something so beautiful could be functioning art. Kirkpatrick learned about epoxy through his apprenticeship, and when he decided to pair it with wood cut from under the waters of the Panama Canal; he decided to recreate the waterway. The result is a table style that even woodworkers would say defies belief. “I get texts from people years later: ‘Just sitting here admiring your table,’” says Kirkpatrick. “It’s a very personable experience, and the client is very much involved. If you want your vision brought to life, perhaps you should get involved too.”

Kristopher Kirkpatrick
925.818.6280
@kristopher.kirkpatrick San Diego Custom Furniture