Made in USA copper saucepans brooklyn west elm

“We’re 5 guys in Central Brooklyn banging on copper, and that’s what we do,” says Mac Kohler. But Brooklyn Copper Cookware is far more than just that. It’s the only copper cookware manufacturer in the United States, handcrafting beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces right here in New York City.

When we saw copper pots being made in our own backyard, we jumped at the chance for west elm Market to partner with these American artisans. The result is a custom handcrafted brass saucepan with unmatched heat conductivity. We visited Mac at Brooklyn Copper Cookware’s small factory space in Bushwick to learn how our saucepans are made.

west elm made in usa saucepan

“Making copper cookware is not rocket science, but it requires a deft touch and all five senses.”

“We start with a circle of copper, and stretch it over a chuck using a high-powered lathe and a hardwood-tipped wand. The friction from the wand heats the copper and makes it pliable.”

Brooklyn Copper Cookware west elm made in USA
west elm made in usa cookware brooklyn copper saucepan

“We have to work fast enough to stretch the copper before it starts to harden. We listen to the sound of the metal as we work. It gives-off a ring, and the pitch tells us when we need to finish shaping it.”

“If the pot gets too hard, the metal seizes and is ruined. That’s one of the risks of the handmade method. The tradeoff is that we have absolute control over every aspect of the pot.”

west elm brooklyn copper cookware made in usa

“Before the metal gets too hard, we use a hardened brass blade to cut a scalloped finish into the pot’s top edge. You can see a rainbow of colors in that ribbon…”

“The dross, the stuff that gets cut away, is sent back to Revere Copper in Rome, New York to be recycled.”

west elm market made in usa brooklyn copper cookware
west elm market brooklyn copper cookware made in usa

“All our pans and pots have their handles cast in Pennsylvania, and we hand-rivet them in Brooklyn.”

brooklyn copper cookware west elm market made in usa

“The method we employ to line the pans with tin is called block tinning. We get 100% pure tin ingot from Belmont Metals in East New York, Brooklyn. They refine it right here.”

“Hand-tinning lasts up to 15 years. When it gets old, you just take it to a re-tinning shop and it’s good as new.”

west elm market brooklyn copper cookware made in usa

“We etch the inside of the pan, allowing the copper molecules to bond with tin, then the pan goes onto an open forge and gets heated to 1200 degrees.”

west elm market copper cookware made in usa

“After dropping pure iron ingot into the pan, it immediately becomes molten. We have about 5 seconds to evenly wipe the tin around the inside of the pan before the metals bond.”

“If we miss, it’s a 3-day process to strip the iron and start over again.”

west elm market made in usa copper cookware
west elm market made in usa copper cookware brooklyn

“Polishing is a five-step process. The pot is taken down to an extremely smooth + dull finish, and then the pot is given a mirror-shiny finish.”

west elm market made in usa copper cookware
west elm market copper cookware made in usa brooklyn

“The last American manufacturer before us, the Waldo Company, was right here in Brooklyn. In the early 80s, Waldo sold all their copper pot tools and machinery, and these sat in a closet for the past 30 years.”

“As a collector I realized, I don’t have a single American-made piece of copper cookware in my collection, how can that be right? I thought that somebody had to do something about this. That ended up being me.”

Thanks Mac!

west elm market made in usa copper cookware brooklyn

Visit Brooklyn Copper Cookware’s website to see their full range of pots, pans, and lids. You can also follow them on Facebook.

Images: Jamie McDonald + west elm

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John Golding

November 15, 2013

Fantastic, hand made in america.

Thank you!

John Dennis

December 27, 2014

do you make any of your copper pots and pans with a hammered finish, love that look

Loretta Edwards

July 14, 2015


Have truly loved your pans over the years. Now I am in need of a wooden replacement knob . Any suggestions where I might try?
Thank you so much.

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