Storytime: the iBlock, the first cutting board to hold your tablet
In a meeting of new world and old world, one might find more similarities than differences. Simplicity and functionality led me to design the iBlock. Granted it took a long while! I really burned the midnight oil on this one. I had just started going full-time with Brooklyn Butcher Blocks in 2013, and I felt like I needed something really unique and new to everybody, not just me. And the pressure was on, because in about 14 hours, I was headed to a small artisanal themed trade show in Los Angeles. Yikes! Fortunately at around 10pm, I had just happened to have my iPad sitting on top of a cutting board--not because I was testing the idea, but because I just needed a place to set the tablet--and when I looked at it from across the room, it had just clicked as something so obvious. I have to admit, I felt like a bit dense that it took me so long but I knew it was going to be a good idea. I mean, the Skimm featured it in 2015, so I suppose I wasn't too off the mark.
While I still enjoy going through a classic cookbook, I find myself surfing the web for the majority of my recipes. I was tired of my iPad always falling over on its flimsy mount (which just took up even more valuable space) while scrolling through Epicurious. Then it occurred to me: why not combine my cutting board and my tablet mount? I really wanted the look to mirror that of some tablets out there, so it has a marble like finish, and the look of the dock is straight forward and consistent. Additionally, this board is reversible. The raised back serves as a stop to keep the cutting board flush against the edge of a counter when cutting. You can see the design more clearly in the profile shot. Ah, how I love something that serves a dual purpose.
Gear Patrol and Cool Hunting have also thought this butcher block is particularly rad, among others(it spread like a wildfire on a few tumblresque design blogs). Plus it caught the eye of Playboy in Argentina. Yep, it's just that sexy.
A little bit more about our American Flag Cutting Board
I've long had a fascination with the American Flag, and I own about 20 or so of them myself, so I feel as though this piece is long overdue! I actually used to carry one in my wallet, folded up in classic military style. The design is a new territory for us as its design is based on a symbol as opposed to our usual "structure informs design" motif as seen with our Brick and Mortar Boards inspired from historic Brownstones. When choosing the coloration, we wanted to select woods that reflected an older, or weather worn flag. Something that stood the test of time. Something that embodies the Star-Spangled Banner and its line "Our Flag Was Still There." This notion of endurance was extended to this future heirloom to ensure that your American Flag Cutting Board would last generations.
While the first American Flag Board was end grain to help distinguish it a little bit more from what was more commonly seen out on the web, featuring more imported hardwoods like Purpleheart and Padouk (they're still FSC certified though, aka sustainably forested). In terms of determining waste and production, the end grain is a bit wasteful and tricky to just make every now and then. That's why I decided to make a long grain version, which I've actually come to prefer far more (that's just me though). When choosing woods, I thought it make more sense to select domestic woods to make it American-made through and through. Maybe we could call it Roots-to-Hands? Maybe not. The first few long grain versions had flat sides. I wanted to add a bevel or something to the edges, but it cut off the stripes on the top and bottom when you looked at them from certain angles, making it seem like a mistake. Fortunately, I found the edge for the boards, which they have now. The eye picks up on the curvature of the sides, so even though it may appear that those stripes are thinner, the mind can kind of pick up the slope. What I really love about those though is that they are a pleasure to pick up and really fit well into your hands. Lastly, the choice to keep it starless. I am typically not one for cutting corners (the only corners we cut are corners, har har) but the stars were proving to be a difficult part to produce--which is another huge reason why I decided to not make this board for years. While sifting through some college projects though, i found an old stamp I had made to serve as my signature. It was an American Flag that featured no stars. Given that, I thought it was actually quite fitting to make the board without the stars.