Other Boxes
Last Updated: 10/21/2006

These boxes are sort of the precursors to kandi boxes.

The first is a gift I made for a woman who did a translation for me. I had bought a set of Japanese chisels and in the box was a beautiful document, carefully inscribed, ink on rice paper. In "old" Japanese.

From what I've since learned, it's quite difficult to translate. But a friend brought the document to a woman he knows and she did a lovely job. (It 's about commitment and it makes sense.)

A gift was in order. There was a thin piece of lacewood that had been sitting in my shop for probably 15 years. Finally time for it to be utilized.

I hear she likes it.

The next one, wenge box and handle, lacewood top, was a gift for my sister and her husband, celebrating their 50th anniversary. I'd realized that I enjoyed making these little boxes, and when this occasion came up, it seemed like a pretty good idea. She immediately recognized its "oriental" influences, actually was surprised that I had made it.

I think she likes it.

This next box is a "treasure box" and it's got a secret drawer. It means more to me than anything I've ever done. It was a Christmas gift for my daughter, Jessie, when she was 8 years old.

Now, you have to understand that Christmas, at our house, was a cornucopia of gifts. I am completely irresponsible about spending money on toys, games, gadgets. I just think that Christmas, for a kid, should be like hitting the lottery. (And for an adult, it should be about being a kid). I go into hock at Christmas.

So the box wouldn't be the only gift I gave her. But it would be special.

At that time, I was working in New York as the foreman of a shop that did residential cabinetry. The time for making the box drew closer and one night, very late, I decided to start it.

There was no design. The idea was to make it with whatever wood was in the shop at that time, at that moment. To make the best thing I could possibly make out of what was immediately available at one specific instance in my life. The ebony was sitting under a bench. The maple was actually in the garbage. I looked around, gathered the materials and...the box just started to take shape.

I worked on it at night for the next several weeks. Threw myself into it. Examined every aspect. Tried to utilize whatever I had learned to that point about woodworking. Cut the ash so that the grain would be straight on all sides. Investigated spring specifications to determine the best for getting the secret drawer to pop out. Dovetailed and lap cut the ebony so that it's all one piece, integral to the frame. Fretted over the moon, which is plywood. Maybe it shouldn't be plywood.

I worked hard on this box. I'm proud of it.  It was the very best I could do. I made it for my daughter, Jessie Dean.

I know she likes it.


This last box is where this all started, a long time ago. I made it for my wife, without whose help, support, encouragement, and patience (most of all, patience) none of this would exist.

It's called the "Money Box" and it was meant to hold whatever cash we had.  It's not very big, which meant it was the right size, given the circumstances. 

It's not around any more, lost in a fire that took most of our possessions. But just finding this photograph, taken so many years ago, when we were young, brought a smile to her face. And to mine.

She still likes it. 


Last Updated: 10/21/2006