By Kathryn Rice
This is the first in a series on Nodaway Countians who have taken the repurposing and upcycling of old items to a unique level.
“I work with steel and wood,” said Brian Hunt of Muddy Creek Designs, 17695 US Highway 71, Burlington Jct. “I haven’t found anything I can’t do.”
Hunt’s items are one-of-a-kind as he brings out the unique qualities of each piece of wood with which he works. He favors working with old boards and galvanized metal. Hunt has repurposed almost every board he reclaimed from an old barn. He also uses boards from Dusty Hanig’s sawmill and said he especially likes working with live edge slab, wood in which the outside edge of the tree can be seen.
Hunt has been building furniture since he was a teen. He started Muddy Creek Designs two years ago and hopes to make it a fulltime endeavor. He took the name from Muddy Creek which runs through his property.
Currently, Hunt’s most popular items are barn doors. He has also created an American flag wall hanging. He used oak for the white stripes, cherry for the red stripes and maple painted blue for the field of stars made from shotgun shells.
Hunt’s ability to see the potential in an object is illustrated by the coffee table he made from an industrial pallet he acquired in St. Joseph. Once he makes an item, he looks for ways it can be improved the next time it’s made. One item he has made and improved is a walnut boot rack with rebar and horse shoes used to hold the boots.
“I like putting my own creative twist to projects,” Hunt said.
He has made personalized name logs for the past 16 years. Using a chainsaw, he can create a six-letter log within two hours. These logs have sold throughout the US.
Hunt said his family is supportive. His children, Trace, 16, Piper, 12, and Grey, seven, help in the woodshop. Piper completed a wood 4-H project for the Nodaway County Fair which received a blue ribbon.
“I guess we’ll have to go to the Missouri State Fair now,” said Hunt with pride in his voice.
“If anybody needs any custom, rustic furniture, I can build anything they want,” he said.
Currently, Hunt is part of Hunt Brothers Construction. He and brother, Shane, started the construction company six years ago. Their first project was a rustic custom cabin near Clearmont. Before that, the brothers worked for their uncle, Ronnie Dow.
Hunt has a retail booth at Serendipity, 13th and Hickory, in Kansas City’s historic West Bottoms. For more information, contact Hunt at 660.254.1680 or on his Facebook page at Muddy Creek Designs.