I love figured woods! Each subsequent project reflects more of my desire to let the wood itself be a prominent feature. This small box took some time to complete. The desire to let the beauty of the wood outstripped the need to complete the project.
Made from some nice red leaf quilted maple purchased a year ago, this box features the surprise that comes from viewing quilted wood from slightly different angles. Only a few degrees of change in the viewing angle allows an unexpected depth within the wood to jump out from a flat surface.
I like to feature the best angles in my box lids. I tried this lid every way that I could before convincing myself that I had the best orientation for the maximum effect. A quick look at the box reveals only that it is nice. But as the box is rotated with a bit of an angle, something wonderful happens. What the eye sees changes right in front of you.
Each person looking at this box has that same experience when the depth reveals itself. There is a quick, short inhaling, and then the hand reaches out in disbelief that the wood is truly flat!
On this box, I chose to use a little bit of walnut from the crotch of the tree for both the handle and the corners of the box. This gives the eye a bit more to look at, and the colors within these small walnut pieces are wonderful. With so much going on within the maple itself, the small pieces of walnut tend to frame it, and give something for the eye to land upon.
This box measures 8 1/4 by 4 3/4 by 2 3/8 inches. I gave it a rattle can lacquer finish that proved challenging during this unusually cold spring. I had to wait for days before it was nice enough outside that I could spray. Spraying lacquer inside is a good way to feel like you might be loosing brain cells, and to give headaches to both my wife and myself. I like to let it set for about a week before I sand. This process I repeated for several weeks before I finished with a nice 2000 grit sanding over the entire surface. The surface feels like glass.
I intend to give this box away as a gift to Taylor and Ashleigh Venema for their wedding. Until then, we get to enjoy looking at it for a season.