From brightly colored spinning tops to elegantly designed barstools, there's a whole world of beautiful American hardwood products—made right here in the United States—that will check all the boxes on your holiday gift list. Here are six items to get you started.
Spinning tops are among not only the most ancient toys—archaeologists have dug up examples dating from as long ago as 3,000 BC—but also the most universal, having been independently invented in cultures around the globe. Designer Pat Kim lathe-turns leftover beech to create this set of five colorful tops, so they’re as sustainable as they are delightful. Ideal for kids of all ages.
Spinning Tops Wooden Toy Set, swallowfieldshop.com
A handsome, practical cutting board is always a welcome gift, and this one from Sawkille Co., a workshop in Kingston, New York, measures up beautifully on both counts. Offered in oiled and ebonized black walnut or white oak, the board incorporates a long bowl to receive the whatever ingredients are being sliced, diced, or chopped. Multi-bowl versions are also available.
Sawkille Co. Square Cutting Board with Long Bowl, sawkille.com
Traditional shaving has made a big comeback in recent years, and a good brush is an essential part of every enthusiast’s kit. This one from Brooklyn Made Natural (which, despite its name, is located in Southern California) has a smooth wood handle made of beech and a 100-percent-natural boar-hair brush. It promises a long life of service but is completely biodegradable once its day is done.
Natural Boar-Bristle Shaving Brush with Beech Handle, brooklynmadenatural.com
Seven cute-as-a-button characters—Cat, Mouse, Monkey, Duck, Guy, Gal, and Tiger—make up this Kid’s Block Party from Areaware. Designed by Andy Rementer, the mix-and-match painted-wood pieces can be stacked and rearranged any way you like to create your own collection of neighborhood friends. Recommended for ages 6 and up.
Areaware Kid's Block Party, areaware.com
Maple, prized for its closed-grained structure and durability, makes for strong and attractive tableware. Kalon’s three-piece bowl and plates set is turned from solid blocks of the hardwood by craftspeople in Amish country using a technique that fuses traditional craft and innovative modern processes. Finished with natural oil and wax, the collection is a fine example of utilitarian design at its most elegant.
Kalon Three Piece Bowl & Plate Set, kalonstudios.com
Minneapolis-based Blu Dot has been creating thoughtfully designed, well-crafted home products since 1997. The Chip barstool’s clean lines and sturdy construction epitomize the brand’s unflashy style. The solid wood legs are offered in ash, walnut, or white oak, while the foam-padded seat and back can be upholstered in a variety of fabrics and leathers.
Blu Dot Chip Barstool, bludot.com