I f you read the FAQ section of this site you'll learn that I'm not particularly fond of commissions. The reasons are simple: There are always several ideas for boxes floating around in my head so there's little time for executing someone else's ideas. Most of the designs people would have me build are not especially interesting. And even if an interesting one were to appear the idea of collaboration on an artistic project doesn't make any sense to me.
So the fact that this box is a commission is unusual enough. And the fact that it was a very pleasant experience is really unusual.
It was commissioned by Eileen Martin, an exceptionally talented glass artist (visit her website here.)
The requirements were minimal. It had to be quite spacious - wound up being 18" x 14" x 5" inside - since it would function as storage for Eileen's husband's collection of Apollo program memorabilia. And it would have no hinged lid. I was to design it as I wished. Collaboration was, thankfully, not mentioned.
So that's what made it a possibility.
How it took shape as it did has to do with Eileen and her husband's predilection for exposed joinery and their having been to Japan a few times. (Alaskan yellow cedar is used extensively in Japanese construction.) The lid is removed with two hands and relocated using 4 small indexing blocks on the underside. Fabrication was straightforward aside from having to utilize shaped clamping blocks to facilitate gluing up the through mortise and tenons.
All in all, this turned out quite well. Sort of renews my faith in mankind. Maybe there's another commission in the future that will be an equally positive experience.
I guess it is possible.
But not right now. There's an idea for a very small odd shaped box that has presented itself to me recently. A box of "everyday objects."