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On board with functional art

A Cut Above Design

Wood cutting boards from A Cut Above Design are so novel and intricate that you’ll wonder whether they’re art for the living room or functional in the kitchen. They’re both. But if you can’t bring yourself to chop onions on one of these beauties, use it for serving cheeses, charcuterie, crudites, sliced fruit, sushi, and other finger foods.

A Cut Above Design is a family owned and operated woodworking business, started in 2001 in Natick by contractor Stephen Strout. Now, Stephen’s wife, Laurie, daughter Rachel, and son David make it a family affair. The boards are handmade (prices range from $50 to $200) and “no two boards are alike,” says Strout. He uses hardwoods, mostly oak, maple, and cherry, along with “exotics” including zebrawood, purpleheart, Bubinga, and Wenge. After the different woods are pieced together, the boards are sanded until perfectly smooth and conditioned with a natural oil. All are food safe. They make lovely wedding and house-warming gifts; or opt for wood as the traditional five-year wedding anniversary gift. The designs might remind you of artist Piet Mondrian’s abstract compositions, but the boards are far more practical.


Available at Clever Hand Gallery, 52 Central St., Wellesley, 781-235-3272; Garden in the Woods gift shop, 180 Hemenway Road, Framingham, 508-877-7630 (x3601); and online and at area farmers’ markets (check the company’s events page at