By Art Haddaway
Kirk Coryn is a master of his craft.
The Owasso woodworker’s refined skills with a carving knife have led him to wide acclaim.
Coryn, 47, dedicates much of his time laboring away over piles of lumber in his workshops in Glenpool and behind his home off of Hwy 20, drafting and designing an assortment of unique items.
“I just like creating, and wood is a good medium,” he said. “Photography doesn’t interest me, painting doesn’t interested me; it’s the woodworking because it’s handwork, sculpting, shaping, big projects.”
Coryn began in the trade almost 30 years ago, starting out with RV conversions before training under top experts at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking in Indiana. With a knack for building custom furniture, he started his own business, Kirk Kreations, in 1996.
Coryn’s passion for the profession and sharp eye to detail have contributed to thousands of pieces – from beds and cabinets to tables, chairs and shelves – that originate from the Owasson’s inventive mind.
“They just come out of my head … I get ideas here and there and turn it into something different,” he said. “I get a vision, and a lot of times it’s when I’m sleeping and I wake up and get inspired by it.”
The longtime craftsman specializes in veneering, cabinetry, architecture, marquetry and more, and can be found hard at work behind scroll saws, lathes, vacuum presses, power grinders and chisels, as well as a custom-made, 18th-Century French marquetry chevalet, a personal favorite.
He sources his wood from a local hardwood supplier, but also uses a range of exotic woods, including ziricote, chenchen, amboyna burl and pommele imbuya, out of New York, Colorado and Indiana.
“I love exotic woods,” Coryn said. “There’s so many choices in nature, that it’s amazing the variety of woods that you can use, the colors, the textures, the patterns.”
Coryn is also a competitive artist having won numerous awards in the past. He received the Marc Adams School of Woodworking Excellence Through Education Award in 2002, as well as two Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge honorable mentions in 2012 and 2014 and first place in Architectural Woodworking in 2014.
His most recent accolade, however, named him the grand prize winner of the 2019 Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge – the “Super Bowl of woodworking,” as Coryn describes it – in September.
“It’s like a dream … words can’t describe it. It was an awesome feeling when they told me,” he said. “(It’s) recognition in the industry and bragging rights.”
Coryn showcased an Art Nouveau-style bed, called “Life and Death in the Garden,” that features a variety of veneers and techniques depicting flowers, a butterfly and a spider in a web.
He made the bed’s framework from solid African sapele; the main background from pomelle imbuya; the border, zebrawood, from maple fillet; and the center crest from amboyna burl.
He also created the flowers using natural-colored maple, holly and sycamore veneers; died the butterfly with black and orange veneer and white holly dots; cut the spider from a single chiqua jasper slab; and imprinted its web from 22-gauge square sterling silver wire.
“It’s original,” Coryn said of the bed, which took him around 300 hours to complete. “I love the Art Nouveau style … the French, their architecture, it’s insane, all the flowing, thick, heavy carved woods.”
For grand prize, he won $3,000, an honorary plaque and a feature in FDMC Magazine highlighting his work.
Going forward, Coryn said he’s excited to expand on his workshop behind his Owasso home and continue serving the local community with his passion and talents.
“I love seeing the finished product and the client’s face light up when you bring them something and they’re just astounded by what you have made for them,” he said.
For more information about Kirk Kreations, call 918-671-9969 or visit kirkkreations.com.