The Star Spangled Spatula was a last-minute thing. Student designer Jacob Riley-Wasserman had leftover scrap metal from the barbeque grill he’d made for his senior thesis project at the Rhode Island School of Design. The night before the final presentation–in the kind of patriotic and self-governing act this country was founded on–he was moved to combine the American flag with a tool essential to a supremely nationalistic pastime: flipping burgers.
“It was funny,” Riley-Wasserman says of the new star of his presentation. “During the critique, all anyone could talk about was the spatula.”
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave into production? It does. Brooklyn-based Areaware, sellers of young, whimsical American design products and longtime champions of student work, saw Riley-Wasserman’s spatula while touring notable design schools around the U.S. and decided it was a flag they wanted to raise.
“With young designers, there’s a fresh view and a juxtaposition to materials and ideas,” says Barney Stacher, Areaware’s vice president of sales. The company facilitated manufacturing at one of the country’s oldest cutlery factories–old enough to have manufactured tableware for Ulysses S. Grant.
“It was really important to me that if any product would be made in the United States, this would be it,” Riley-Wasserman says.