About this project
The Manual Bar Blade is a leather and steel bottle opener designed to get better with age.
The Manual Bar Blade is inspired by the flat metal bottle openers found in the back pockets of bartenders all over the world—a utilitarian bar tool that's always at the ready, quickly snagged to pop some caps, and then slid back into place for the next round. For a bartender, it’s a ritual.
Manual creates products that elevate and celebrate rituals, so we wanted to create our own version of the iconic bar blade that would react to this repetitive use.
The Manual Bar Blade is created by wrapping a strip of leather around a laser cut stainless steel opener. The leather is then hand-sewn through the steel via laser-cut holes. By bringing the warmth of leather to the utilitarian steel we created a designed object that feels great in the hand, adds an handsome accent to your bar, and—through frequent use—develops a patina, like a well-used leather wallet.
MADE IN USA
The Manual Bar Blade was also completely manufactured within our home city of Chicago. In fact, every manufacturer we've worked with on this project is located within a few miles of the Manual studio.
The leathers are sourced from Horween, one of the oldest and most-respected family-run tanneries in the US, who have been tanning top-quality leathers in Bucktown for over 110 years—that's five generations.
The stainless steel is laser cut by D&J Metalcraft, a second generation metalworking shop in Chicago’s Ravenswood industrial corridor.
And the leather is cut and hand-sewn by Ashland Leather, an accessories brand founded by two long time Horween employees—who have become close collaborators on this project.
In addition to being completely Chicago made, we’re also excited that the Bar Blade combines both ends of the manufacturing spectrum—computer-controlled cutting and artisanal handcraft.
It’s our hope that you’ll be using The Manual Bar Blade for years and years to come, giving it your unique patina with each bottle cap it pops.
NATURAL/RAW - $40 - Horween Essex Natural leather and raw stainless steel. Will patina beautifully over time, getting darker with use. Projected retail: $50
NATURAL/RAW (HOLIDAY RUSH) - $50 - Horween Essex Natural leather and raw stainless steel. Will patina beautifully over time, getting darker with use. Delivered before December 22, 2015.
BLACK/BLACK - $45 - Black Horween Dublin leather and black oxide stainless steel. Patina will be more subtle. Projected retail: $55
THANK YOU FROM MANUAL
Manual creates designed objects that celebrate food & drink.
We aim to design products that celebrate the aesthetic experience of food. Our products are first and foremost useful tools, but seek to gain deeper meaning by through thoughtful design and reconsidered experience. We value craft over convenience, ritual over routine, and simplicity over novelty.
Manual is a project directed by Craighton Berman—a designer who has work in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago and was the first designer to use Kickstarter to launch a product.
The roots of Manual run deep in the Kickstarter community. Craighton's 3rd Kickstarter—in which he launched Manual Coffeemaker Nº1—was also the beginning of the Manual brand. We're fiercely loyal to this community and this place to launch ideas, and we're stoked to be back. Thanks for the support.
We Instagram at @manualgoods
Manual is a project of Craighton Berman Studio
Risks and challenges
It's important to remember that Kickstarter is not a store—you're pledging support to an independent design company that is collaborating with other small manufacturers to produce a run of products. In addition to being the first to have access to them you get an insider's view on the process. That's better than a store.
This is my 4th Kickstarter campaign, so I have deep experience in planning, running, and executing in this brave new world. I know how to ride the waves of making stuff for people. I have all of my ducks in a row and we're ready to start production before the campaign even ends. That said, things can always go wrong, and if (when) they do, we promise to be transparent in communication and tenacious in solving the problem.
Trust in Manual to make amazing objects for you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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