Yin Yang Earthquake Box

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Project by owenusa posted 02-01-2010 06:13 AM 14285 views 49 times favorited 80 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was my idea for the Yin Yang LJ competition, to make a cracked bandsaw box with 2 contrasting woods. The box is made of maple and walnut measures 13” high by 6” wide at the top, by 4 5/8 deep. At first it was just going to be the two different woods but then the box turned into to something special, as the story continues. The Yin Yang effect starts by obviously the 2 different woods, walnut representing the dark of the Yin Yan and maple to represent the light of the traditional symbol. I then rotated the grains so the walnut goes down and maple goes up or vise versa. To continue I rotated the opposite woods on the bottom 4 drawers and the further rotated the pulls again for the drawers to give it a contrast. Orginally that was the plan.

However on January 12 Haiti was struck with a castrophic earthquake that has left hundreds of thousands dead and and so many kids orphaned. One of my coworkers is still missing from the Hotel Montana. On January 19th I left for Haiti with a couple friends to help out with the relief effort in Haiti. I was not supposed to be back until Feb 1st and really at that moment didnt care too much about the LJ competition. Having been to the Dominican to work with Children this past summer, I was looking forward to helping where I could and we volunteered at one of orphanges in Port a Prince with the Salavation Army. It was heartbreaking to see the devastation of a city in rumbles and the thousands without food or water, the kids that lost mothers and fathers. My heart breaks with the people, and I can’t wait to go back and spend time with the Haitian people who captured a part of my heart. There is so much need there and it was bitter sweet to come back.

I returned 7 days ago from Haiti and this box was just 12 boards sitting where I left it. Having been through 4 major aftershocks in Haiti that woke me up in the middle of the night I was having problems sleeping with what I saw and heard in Haiti so I worked on this box. While working on it this week, it became apparent this box meant more.

Now the walnut wood reminds me of the Haitian people, the color of their skin, while the maple reminds me of all the world that has come together to help the Haitians out, while there I saw Russian, Turks Island, Israel, Britian, Mexican, Philipianio search and rescue teams all working together to save people. I can’t tell you how many doctors and nurses I saw carring Haitian kids or handing them water. The crack in the wood now reminds me of the earthquake and the solid maple and walnut on the top 4 drawers makes me think that the earthquake tried to split the world”maple” from the poor destitute “Haitian people”, however instead this tragic earthquake caused the world to come together and do whatever they could to help out Haiti, it is these bottom 4 drawers that remind me all the kids that are being adoped by americans, about my friend Michael Andrew who is still down in Haiti working with Matthew who is from Haiti and his family who survived the earthquake. The 2 of them are delivering food to orphanges that haven’t recieved aid. This box now reminds me of my need to go back to Haiti as soon as I can, and also how blessed I am in so many ways.

I hope you enjoy my Yin Yang Earthquake box.

80 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117417 posts in 3812 days

#1 posted 02-01-2010 06:17 AM

totally cool wow this is amazing art

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3825 days

#2 posted 02-01-2010 06:23 AM

Owen, did you enter this into the contest? It’s not there right now. I think you still have time to submit so be quick about it. LOL. Well done.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View owenusa's profile


13 posts in 3331 days

#3 posted 02-01-2010 06:25 AM

I just got back from Haiti recently and before I left I thought it ended tonight, so I thought I was able to submit it, but the website wouldn’t let me because it said it ended at 3pm. I really thought I could enter it still. So I am pretty bummed that I went to submit it 2 hours ago and it wouldnt let me. Anyone know an Admin of the site that would let me enter it, since it is still the 31st and when I saw the contest banner before it says it goes to the 31st. That would be great if I could. I emailed Martin.

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3825 days

#4 posted 02-01-2010 06:46 AM

I hope they open the doors for you man. It’s a great piece and you deserve your chance in the contest. Thanks for sharing.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View yourbiggestfan's profile


1 post in 3272 days

#5 posted 02-01-2010 07:19 AM

Amazed at your dedication, creativity, and skill.

You have my vote.

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 3731 days

#6 posted 02-01-2010 07:34 AM

Strickingly beautiful and what a wonderfull symbol of the races all coming together in their time of need….....

What a tribute and a great big heartfelt thank you for what you are doing and may do for the Haitian people.
You are to be applauded !!!!!!!!

I sure they can get this in the contest for you….........

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View alexsutula's profile


96 posts in 3289 days

#7 posted 02-01-2010 07:37 AM

Beautiful piece and a great story to go with it. Im sure they can make an acceptation for your late entry.

-- You can't stand apart unless you're prepared to stand alone. Alex, Cleveland

View Kacy's profile


101 posts in 3320 days

#8 posted 02-01-2010 08:30 AM

This has got to be the most fantastic piece and story that I have ever heard. You should auction it off as a benefit for the people of Haiti.

-- Kacy, Louisiana

View tomakazi's profile


686 posts in 3518 days

#9 posted 02-01-2010 09:14 AM

Great box and what a story!!! Thank you for posting. when they let you in you have my vote!!

-- I didn't go to college, I was too busy learning stuff - Ted Nugent

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12764 posts in 3392 days

#10 posted 02-01-2010 09:39 AM

you’ve put together one awesome piece!!!! very neat design idea…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 3926 days

#11 posted 02-01-2010 10:20 AM

So cool you have my vote

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3680 days

#12 posted 02-01-2010 01:08 PM

Very well done. Great design & craftsmanship.

View tt1106's profile


137 posts in 3304 days

#13 posted 02-01-2010 01:49 PM

Very cool. Creative and pleasing to the eye.

-- -Todd

View Dave Owen's profile

Dave Owen

254 posts in 3309 days

#14 posted 02-01-2010 01:52 PM

Congratulations, Brian! Marvelous work – especially as your second box effort. Whether they bend the rules for you or not, you should be very proud – of both the concept and the execution – I know I am for you. Keep up the great woodworking!

-- Dave O.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4057 days

#15 posted 02-01-2010 01:59 PM

This is a wonderful box and you chose a nice set of woods for its construction. I enjoyed the story behind it as well.
Looks like a winner to me, I hope you get it in the contest.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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