It seems like everyone in Brooklyn these days is either making something and selling it, teaching other people how to make it, or learning how to make something with plans on selling it. While this boroughwide DIY drive to become more self-sufficient than a frontier tinker can occasionally approach self-parody, we’re just going to go ahead and say “fuck that.” As trends go, self-suffiency is pretty hot. The best way to do something is to do it yourself.
Joel Bukiewicz at Cut Brooklyn
On Saturday afternoons, the Cut Brooklyn workshop in Gowanus is alive with the sound of grinding and sharpening as Joel Bukiewicz crafts his artisanal blades. The knifemaker (or cutler, if you wanna get specific) only sells four models, but every blade is painstakingly hammered and sharpened to perfection. Bukiewicz (who is also a writer) came to his craft several years ago during a period in rural Georgia working on a novel. According to the recent Brooklyn Bread article he wrote on the experience, Bukiewicz found himself poking around in an old shed one day—in the middle of a self-imposed writing ban—when he came across a random steel bar (as one does). Taken with its heft and innate utility, Bukiewicz set to turning it into a knife… and he hasn’t been able to stop since. It now takes Bukiewicz, a one-man crew, as long as 15 hours to shape a knife, so he only produces four to six knives per week. But it’s more than worth the wait for such a perfectly balanced, finely cut tool. (Bukiewicz’s story has inspired us to stop writing and focus on scrimshaw.)