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Blackcreek Mercantile and Trading Company

Cutting board oil and other handcrafted kitchen essentials

by Kat Herriman in Design on 07 August 2012

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Working exclusively with naturally sourced materials, Blackcreek Mercantile and Trading Company seeks to create products that connect the user and the maker to the material. Blackcreek is based in the thick forest of Kingston, NY, and specializes in all things wooden from kitchen spoons turned out of maple wood to cutting boards made from a single cut of wood.

Founder Josh Vogel claims to have found a lifetime's worth of exploration in wood, which is easy to see when one compares Blackcreek's products to BDDW's, the New York-based furniture company he also help found. "Wood is inherently unique," says Vogel. "With plastic and moldable materials, you can pump out thousands of the same thing, but with wood, because of the processes you need to use and the nature of the material itself, there is the potential to create something one of a kind."

Abiding by the same handcrafted design philosophy behind their impeccably formed bowls and vases, Blackcreek introduced a line of cutting board oils that are inspired and derived from natural materials. "Typically, people use nut-based oils or olive oil in order to protect their cutting boards, and, while those oils are hydrating, they eventually rot," explains Vogel. "The solution is to use a mineral-based oil like ours."

However, what makes Blackcreek's cutting board oil truly unique is the addition of propolis, a vegetable varnish produced by bees. Vogel and his partner, Kelly Zaneto, came up with idea of adding propolis to their cutting board oil after taking a beekeeping class. "Propolis is a naturally occurring sealant, used by bees to seal their hives and protect against intruders," explains Vogel. "It is a lot like shellac, another bug-produced sealant, but propolis is 100% edible, making it great for coating things like cutting boards."

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Blackcreek Mercantile and Trading Company's cutting board oil comes in both rosemary and lemon scent and is available on their website or at William Sonoma for $35.

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