Monday, December 18, 2017

Instagram is Easier than Blogging, and a Jewelry Box

Yes it's been a long time since my last blog post. It's the fault of Instagram. With Instagram I'm able to post about things that are happening in my shop almost in real time. You just pop out your phone, take a photo, and in mere seconds you can add a comment and post it to Instagram. Yes it's that easy and it's been taking a toll on my blog and many other people's blogs. To subsequently publish a blog post almost seems like you're repeating yourself and the time commitment is much larger.

If you're interested in what I've been up to as of late you may want to check out my Instagram page.

Here's a link:

And for those of you that don't wanna. Here's the jewelry box I mentioned in the title of this post.

I've been hoarding a small stash of Curly Swiss Pear for a while contemplating the context in which to use it. I didn't have quite enough to make an entire box of this type and frankly I think a box of just curly pear might be a bit much. I've been holding onto a couple of walnut crotches as well and when using the two woods together occurred to me my mind began picturing how they would play together. The scale of the grain in these pieces was small and was right for a small bit of case work. These pictures show the result.

I've recently become interested in Greene and Greene design. This all started with a fascination of Japanese Kumiko. If you become interested in artistic Japanese woodworking, and you're an American, this road leads you pretty quickly to the Arts and Crafts movement and the use of Asian details in furniture and architecture. Hence the reason I decided to use the very Greene and Greene corner detail on this piece.

I've made some valet boxes for my son's recently and I thought the use of leather in one of the boxes was a great way to create visual interest on the interior of the box. Combining leather and Kumiko was an even better way to create a very unique jewelry box. It also created a puzzle like challenge as to the sequence of assembly of all of these features.  I didn't put the walnut bottom on this box until all the interior detailing was complete just in case I needed to take it all back out.

Then I had to solve the dilemma of how the recipient would be able to get very small items out of the Kumiko compartments. So I was faced with designing a tool. For all practical purposes a wooden pair of tweezers. 

By putting two sided sandpaper between the open tip of the tweezers, applying pressure and pulling the abrasive towards the opening, this tool can be tuned to an amazing level of dexterity. Needless to say this was a very interesting and fun project for me.

But this box is not my first delving into the Arts and Crafts form. There was also a dining table made in Cuban mahogany prior to this project.

Stretcher joinery

The table base

Enjoy the up coming holidays and try to find some of your own time in the shop. When I say "your own time in the shop",  I mean time doing just what you want to do.


"Success easily gets to our heads, and failure easily gets to our hearts"