Architects and designers have learned that when their clients require the finest quality in custom-crafted hardwood shutters, they can turn to Kirtz® Shutters in Stillwater, OK.
Naomi and Ashley Judd, Tammy Wynette and Wayne Gretsky are only a few of those
who have enhanced their homes and offices with Kirtz custom shutters. Larry Bird
liked the shutters so much he had 100 installed in his Florida home.
When the Baker Design Group of Boston recently specified shutters for the renovation
of Harvard University’s Aldrich Hall, they relied on Kirtz to create fixed
louvers set at various gradients to maximize outside light while eliminating
direct sun at all hours of the day.
QUALITY BEGINS WITH FURNITURE-GRADE HARDWOODS
Kirtz specializes in handcrafted shutters made from kiln-dried, furniture-grade
natural and exotic hardwoods that are hand-graded and milled in their own plant.
“Premium shutters cannot be made with soft woods. They will lose their
shape in heat or moisture. Only the density of fine hardwoods can guarantee lasting
beauty and durability,” says Greg Kirby, Kirtz co-owner.
Kirtz standard domestic hardwoods include cherry, red oak, white oak, ash, walnut,
knotty pine, maple and mahogany. Maple is the standard for painted shutters.
Like fine furniture, shutters add a special beauty and drama when crafted in
exotic woods. Lacewood, tigerwood, purpleheart, burl, curly and birds-eye maple,
teak, padauk, South American walnut, zebra, bubinga (African rosewood) and reclaimed
wormy chestnut are usually in stock for special orders.
Additional woods, such as the 100-year-old reclaimed heart pine specified for
Woody Allen’s luxurious condominium in New York, are tracked down and milled
Basic louver sizes are 1 7/8, 2 1/2, 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 inches. Custom sizes and
shapes, including arched louvers, are crafted to specifications.
TEAM OFFERS DESIGN ASSISTANCE
Because designing and measuring for shutters is sometimes a tedious and daunting
task, Kirtz has a team of designers and technicians who provide advice, schematics
and elevations to make the details of every job go smoothly. Stains and colors
are perfected until they have full client approval.
To assure the quality that is inherent in each Kirtz shutter, all the woodworking
is performed by hand, starting with the cutting of rough timber. “Computer
technology has no place here,” says Chris Tietz, co-owner. “Our goal
to bring out the finest character in our woods can only be accomplished through
the skilled eye and expert hands of experienced woodworkers. Only a skilled craftsman
can make computer-defying decisions on the exact angles and arcs that certain
architectural shapes require to enhance the character of the woods, and for that
there is no technological substitute.”
Tietz further explains that Kirtz artisans must be mathematicians as well as
woodworkers to apply the algorithms and geometrical relationships required to
form shutter panels for many of the custom shapes and spaces specified.
Once the form has been created, panels are built and the surfaces are meticulously
hand-sanded and inspected for minute blemishes or flaws. Multiple thin coats
of finish or paint are then applied and heat-set for a hard, durable finish.
Finally, Kirtz shutters are shipped out worldwide, pre-hung and ready to install.
BUILT ON A PASSION FOR WOOD
Kirtz Shutters was formed when two custom woodworkers, Kirby and Tietz (both
perfectionists), could not find a source to build shutters of a quality equal
to their craftsmanship. So they did it themselves. Word spread and orders poured
in. Eventually, in 1987, they opened The Shutter Mill and perfected the Kirtz
“We chose Stillwater for its central location and for its dependable, professional
wood crafters,” says Kirby. “Here we can keep our overhead down,
which helps make even the rarest of our most exotic shutters affordable,” he
Even after the recent expansion of its nearly 40,000-square-foot plant, every
step in making Kirtz shutters is still done by hand, right up to the final hand-rubbed
finishes. “Most of our employees are here because of their love affair
with wood,” Tietz says, “and we believe that this pride in craftsmanship
shows in every one of our shutters.”
Kirtz® Shutters is headquartered in Stillwater,OK; (800) 416-6455; www.kirtz.com.