Two men telling stories with copper cups.


Handlebend Mugs didn't begin in the middle of nowhere but right next to it: Small Town, Nebraska.  Before they were mugs, they were an idea.

I wanted a copper mug, not a stainless steel cup wrapped in copper; that was something tough to come by not too terribly long ago.  True copper mugs were out there, but they were typically old and the owners did not want to part with them because they were such a rarity. 

So I built one. I sourced some scrap copper, and I built one mug.

Shortly thereafter, that one lonesome mug became one of a set: four companions.  All different. All crude. All ready for whatever this world was going to throw at them.  The best part of all was I didn't have to drink alone anymore.

It didn't take long at all.  After a camping trip full of mules and memories, whiskey and forgetfulness, and even a rescue mission to save a copper mug from a September camp-fire, my best friend wanted a set.  Actually, he "needed" a set, as he put it.

Together, we built his four mugs.  All different. Slightly less crude than the flagship set but every bit as beautiful.

Over the next couple of years, the idea that had blossomed into a copper mug blossomed again--this time into special, handmade wedding or birthday gifts for some of our closest friends.

The reviews came pouring in, enough so that we made a decision: to share them with everyone. 

These mugs are an experience.  They are fun to drink out of, and they feel good.  They can just as easily cool you down when your brow beads with sweat as they can cozy you up when your heart is full, and you’re spending a cold holiday night with those you cherish most.

We all change.  We all grow. The idea that started these mugs has changed; it has grown.

It takes a lot of time to build something from nothing.  I remember spending the time thinking about my first mug as I built its companions.  I had never done anything like this before; I was making up the method as I went, trying to bring to life the idea I'd created in my head.

As we built Matt’s set, I remember spending that time thinking about him and his family getting together with these mugs and creating memories.

We started making more sets for our friends and family, and I remember visiting with Matt about each person as we worked.  As we spent late nights finishing them up right before big wedding weekends or birthday parties, we remembered the good times we’d spent with the people we were building them for.   

Now, that time is spent wondering, dreaming, and painting the picture of what picnic table or hearth our investment might adorn.  Where will this mug end up? Who might it comfort?

Your mugs are already storied with our thoughts, our time, and our best wishes.  That story does not end with us; it is merely transferred to you. It is transferred with the good faith that you will continue to shape it for years, decades, and generations with your loved ones. 

Enjoy these mugs, and drop in once in a while to let us know how the story is coming along.