When your passion becomes your life’s work, you find that you are full of energy and blessed to go to work each and every day. That is precisely how Corey Obenauer feels, and it is evident the moment you meet him.
Owner of Burl Wood Dreams, a gallery of wood and metal creations at 201 North First Avenue in Sandpoint, Corey is passionate about bringing beautiful wood to life.
“Ninety-eight percent of the wood I use is from the Northwest,” says Corey, who works with several varieties of maple and also pine, black walnut, redwood, juniper—including Western and other varieties—and myrtle wood.
His store is filled with exquisite handcrafted pieces showcasing a multitude of items such as rocking chairs, clocks, lighthouses, wine holders, pub tables, walking sticks, benches, coffee tables and much more. He will also design that special piece just for you.
Corey’s craftsmanship in “live edge” furniture maintains the character and natural characteristics of the wood. “I don’t square off any of the edges,” he says, describing the natural flow of the wood in each of the furniture pieces he creates.
As a fabricator and welder for more than 20 years, Corey has the unique ability to create pieces using steel and aluminum and also works with local metal artisans. In addition, he purchases and accepts consignments from several artists, both locally and nationally.
“I highly value the artistic ability of both local and other artists to create beautiful pieces to accent and highlight the pieces at Burl Wood Dreams,” Corey says.
Corey discovered his passion as a woodworker after working for 20 years as a welder. He had also worked as a contractor on many large projects while living in Billings, Montana, and decided to open his own gallery, which he built. But when his father became ill in 2013, Corey decided to pack it all up and move to Sandpoint to be closer to him and his mother. After his father passed away, his mother passed within a month. Joining Corey in Sandpoint is the woman who is now his wife, Kimberly. Together they have made Sandpoint their home where they are raising their 18-month-old son. “He is the CEO in charge of operations,” jokes Corey about the boy who is clearly one of the lights of his life in addition to his 10-year-old son from a previous marriage.
Corey had several mentors in the woodworking field along the way. They encouraged him and recognized his natural talent. But it was not just those mentors who saw the fine craftsmanship. Corey has had pieces showcased at the National Art Show in Denver and the Safari Club International Art Show in Las Vegas.
“Kimberly also drove me and encouraged me to follow my passion,” says Corey, who cannot say enough about the love of his life. “I could not do what I do without her. She is the reason I breathe. She is my rock and is the diamond in my life. If it weren’t for her love and constant support, I would not be where I am today.”
As owner of Burl Wood Dreams, Corey says he takes pride in not only his work but also his new hometown. He spends a lot of time at his downtown store and helps maintain the area in front of not only his store but adjacent storefronts as well.
“Sandpoint is one of the few little corners of the world where you can enjoy the beauty, and it’s a great place to raise kids. We need to keep it looking nice,” he says.
Since opening August 1, 2017, Corey has enjoyed visiting with customers who come from near and far. The repeat business he has already encountered speaks to not only the craftsmanship but the pricing as well.
Be sure to stop in and visit Corey at Burl Wood Dreams. You may not only leave with a beautiful handcrafted piece of art, but I guarantee you will make a new friend as well.
Burl Wood Dreams
201 North First Avenue
Sandpoint, Idaho 83864