Nils Wessell makes some pretty beastly butcher blocks. And cutting boards. And solid wood beer mugs. His is woodenware for Real Men. And also women who like sturdy, hand-crafted, masculine-yet-sleek mainstays for their kitchens.
A maker at heart, a Bard College arts grad, and a former apprentice of Cut Brooklyn knife maker Joel Bukiewicz, Wessell founded Brooklyn Butcher Blocks to fill a creative void, as well as to complement Bukiewicz's fine blade work with an equally fine surface on which to use them. His current collection includes a variety of solid wood wares made from the likes of walnut, maple, and cherry edge and end grains.
My favorite piece, the lumberjack, part Mad Men wooden beer mug ($70), combines a geometric aesthetic with "surprisingly ergonomic" handling. Mug interiors are treated with an FDA-approved epoxy so they can hold any room temperature or cold beverage deserving of the vessel. Additional pieces include the iBlock, a tablet-propping cutting board ($125) and The Mintzer, a beveled carving board designed for and named in honor of a frequent Brooklyn Butcher Block customer ($260).