The black walnut box with silver inlay and sycamore as secondary wood is now complete and as always was made entirely with hand tools only.
This project draws inspiration from Japanese art and architecture and the first concept drawing echoed the architectural feel of a torii (鳥居) gate lintel. This was further refined as the small project developed.
The exposed dovetail joinery follows the curves of the ends of the box for an organic feel.
Ornamentation in sterling silver is a simple, nature-inspired illustration in the lid, with the elements in the front of the box tying the composition visually and providing grounding to the shapes of the grasses in the lid. Continue reading
The first thing I ever carved was this love spoon in mahogany that I made for a friends’ wedding, with a presentation box in oak and sapele based on the Mastermyr chest. Not the finest love spoon in the world by a very considerable margin, and certainly not the finest example of box making, but this was an important piece from a personal perspective. Please read on as I’d like to tell you why.
I’m back to the carving on the lid of the Viking chest. After wasting away most of the ‘negative space’ material from the background, time to do some further shaping and to put some detail in.
Suckers. This is small scale repetitive work and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do here, really, so I tried a couple of approaches on a section. I forgot I wanted some suckers on a section where they face directly up and I hadn’t left enough wood for them. Worked around that ok, not ideal. At least by the time I got to do further arms I worked out a sequence to simplify this part of the work.
The main thing I try and accomplish is something with good balance and proportions that doesn’t look mechanical.
I started carving the lid for a wee chest I have made. I made the chest in oak but, although I punish myself regularly, the carving will get done in black walnut, a very agreeable species to carve. I had a few unusually clear boards to chose from which helped as well.
First, the underside gets a lightly scalloped and textured surface with the edges left intact.
On the top, spray adhesive gets a photocopy of the carving design stuck onto the surface so that I can carve through the paper. You can’t see the grain this way but it’s quicker than drawing it all again. I just letter in the recipient’s name.