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Ryan Dirksen has built a portfolio of stunning pieces for his Denver-based Where Wood Meets Steel furniture business: intricate winding staircases, modern boutique display racks, and even an elaborate, made-to-order conference table for Coca-Cola’s Atlanta headquarters. But, often, it’s these simple yet striking kitchen knife holders that earn him customers. A chef by trade, Dirksen stumbled into the home furnishings business by way of tinkering with wood scraps in his garage. He crafted his first knife block as a Christmas gift for his wife; the couple had just refinished their kitchen and the block became the focal point of their new island. Family members and neighbors asked about the piece, which incorporates bamboo skewers to hold the knives, and Dirksen has been making them ever since. wwms.net