Reclaimed wood turned into custom creations
March 28, 2018
MARATHON — Chris Bryk takes a load off of forests by salvaging wood to build durable furniture. The repurposed wood is often painted or resin-filled, giving it character and making it insect proof.
“I pick up wood everywhere, like reclaimed wood out of a gazebo, or anywhere, really,” Bryk said. “After the hurricane, there was wood everywhere. When I see a piece of wood, the first thing I think of is what I can make from it.”
Bryk said he designs and builds things that he’d like to have in his own house. His style varies from rustic to modern industrial.
“I’d say it’s Keys-industrial. Some of it’s nautical, or masculine, it just has to be functional,” he said.
His work, which began as a hobby for the full-time electrician, has grabbed the attention of locals seeking a unique look.
He used green, teal and blue wood, a palette he said was nautical, for work commissioned by Island Time Diner.
“The tables and benches look great, everybody loves what he’s done, and he wrapped the ice cream cooler with the same colors. He was a pleasure to work with,” said Ken Welever, the owner of Island Time Diner. “He’s building a bench to go out front now. I can’t wait to see it.”
Bryk builds tables, cabinets, bars, barn doors and wall art. He designs and installs accent walls made of shiplap, a wooden siding surging in popularity thanks to HGTV’s Joanna Gaines, who uses it often and has made it a chic trend.
Historically, shiplap was never meant to be exposed in a home’s interior. It was usually covered by sheetrock and was more common to farmhouses.
Bryk uses differently-stained shiplap planks to create movement and depth.
He also builds custom lighting fixtures.
“I find antique motors, chop them up and make sconces out of them. I use an 8-by-8-inch piece of wood and use Edison bulbs. I use copper fixtures sometimes,” he said. “I use safe materials and everything is UL listed. It’s completely safe and being an electrician helps out.”
Bryk, who is from Broward County, moved to Marathon, which is wife Mandy Bayles’s hometown, more than two years ago. He first started doing photography, capturing Keys images he found interesting. He also sells them.
“I had a little camera and my family chipped in and bought me a decent one that I use now,” he said. “Then I started building stuff, so now I do both. I photographed a line of buoys in the water and found out that they all belonged to one family. It was a grandfather, father and son’s buoys, which was pretty cool.”
Bryk sells his photography and furnishings online and at the annual Original Marathon Seafood Festival.
For more information, contact Bryk at 305-509-0925 or find him on Facebook or Instagram under Bryk Design.