Saved From the Shredder
There’s beauty in the imperfection of Dog and Pig’s slab furniture.
Photo by Lance Yamamoto
When Kristopher Kirkpatrick shattered his shoulder two years ago, doctors said he would never be able to move his arm again. Unwilling to accept the diagnosis, he did what his gut told him to do: He sanded a slab of redwood. He remembers feeling the vibration as if it were a healing aid and continued the repetitive motion for eight to 10 hours a day. Within two months, he had regained motion in his arm. “Woodworking saved my life,” Kirkpatrick said. He landed an apprenticeship at Artisan Burlwood in Berkeley, where he honed his craft and learned the business, jumpstarting Dog and Pig Furniture.
A table from Dog and Pig Furniture—named for his dog, Butters, and, yes, his pig, Banksy—is like a bow to the environment. All the wood is from local timber that has been felled because of root rot or wind damage. The legs are made with steel from Alco Iron & Metal in Oakland, which repurposes raw scrap metal. Each table is as unique as the tree from which it came and has the unmistakable allure of being completely built by hand. “If you want everything to be perfect, then you need to shop at Ikea,” said Kirkpatrick, the sole owner, operator, and builder. “But there is beauty in the flaws.”
Currently, tables from Dog and Pig Furniture can be found at Neyborly (2518 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley), but shoppers can also visit the website or Etsy page. Prospective customers can also work with Kirkpatrick on a custom design, made with finished ends or “live edges” for a more rustic look. Pricing depends on dimensions and type of wood, starting at about $200 per linear foot for redwood up to about $600 per linear foot for walnut.
Published April 11, 2017 at 8:00 a.m.