i know i should probably write this in the 3rd person, i probably shouldn’t even be referencing “this” – but here goes…
my name is burkey. born Christopher Kenneth Burkeybyle, but people have been calling me burkey since i was 14.
i studied as a bladesmith during college, i have always loved working with my hands – making things and solving problems.
i studied computer engineering and anthropology, but could not imagine myself doing either as a career- so i took a chef job and bought a home with a garage that i could turn into my workshop.
i guess everything started moving when we hired a certain a new waitress who i happened to have a bit of a crush on. she had a collection of wooden rings, and one night i was chopping firewood and saw a cool knot – so i decided to make her a ring for her collection. well, nothing came from that romantic gesture, except all the other waitresses wanted to know where their rings were. pretty soon customers started asking where the girls got all their jewelry, so we put a bowl out on the host stand. before long, i was making more money selling rings than as a chef. i signed up for a local art fair and have been growing since.
that was almost 10 years ago. since then i have expanded my line, focusing primarily on wood and leather accessories along with the cutlery. the thing i love above all is the design aspect. i love to work. i love to see an idea come into being. i love to feature the nuts and bolts – so to speak. i feel that the material should speak for itself. that there is beauty in function. i have always been fascinated by natural beauty but also with the harsh simplicity of industrial design. i love edges. intersection. to see the texture of bark and knots meet crisp lines and simple shapes. i love to see the elements that make something work. to make a hinge or a or a joint into a focal point. to showcase the simple beauty inherent in practicality. a tool should be beautiful, it should inspire us to use it, to honor it with action – to make ourselves better. to excel.
a knife should demand to be picked up. beg you to learn to wield it with knowledge and confidence. a piece of jewelry should make you want to go out. to think of an outfit or a venue that is worthy. our tools should make us want to be better. my greatest hope is to share that feeling. to make objects that inspire, that make some small difference.