Sands of Mars I - The Crystals

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Project by BritBoxmaker posted 894 days ago 2075 views 7 times favorited 43 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Inspired partly by S. F. Poem by Pete Sinfield (who wrote the best of ELP and
King Crimson’s songs), it goes -

Upon the orange sands of Mars
Beneath a scarlet sky
The crystals sit and contemplate
The universal why.
Travel in their saucer ships
Across the universe
But everywhere is much the same
Except on earth it’s worse.

This is a progression from Dinner on the Lake of Fire. It is an EZ Mitre, Shell box.
(Click the links for construction technique blogs)

Dimensions : 114mm square x 53mm high on a 124mm square x 5mm high, mitred, pedestal base.

Materials : English Yew, Ebony, Sycamore and Birch Aeroply

Adhesives : PVA and viscous CA

Finish : Spray Acrylic, Satin

For me the yew grain pattern evokes the wind blown sands of the Martian landscape and the black and white pattern is somewhat crystalline.

Some of the cutting techniques I used in this project have resulted in a slightly gappy appearance around some parts of the pattern. If you don’t make mistakes you don’t learn and its a dull day when you don’t learn anything. For me this project was both challenging and interesting.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

43 comments so far

View michelletwo's profile


2108 posts in 1517 days

#1 posted 894 days ago

interesting color choices..terrific design, and grand craftsmanship. I never know what the names you give things mean, but i love them anyway!

-- We call the destruction of replaceable human made items vandalism, while the destruction of irreplaceable natural resources is called development.

View BarbS's profile


2424 posts in 2587 days

#2 posted 894 days ago

I really like this one, Martyn, as it celebrates the wood grain and is not overwhelmed by the pattern, but accentuated by it.


View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7195 posts in 1421 days

#3 posted 894 days ago

Before I even read the description, I thought to myself how outstanding the grain and color of the yew is. It is the first thing that caught my eye. Part of the beauty of this design is that it allows the focus to be on that part of the piece. You did another incredible job on this one, Martyn. I love this style that you have evolved to. Beautiful work and box!

Sheila :)

-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs "Knowledge is Power"

View meikou's profile


115 posts in 2136 days

#4 posted 894 days ago

Brilliant mate!

View lanwater's profile


3025 posts in 1435 days

#5 posted 894 days ago

It’s beautifull Martyn,

The grain on the top seem to converge towards the center.

Great design.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View SPalm's profile


4617 posts in 2383 days

#6 posted 894 days ago

That Yew is beautiful. I like how the sides have horizontal grain, and does not flow to the top. But visually it does. Good job, Sir.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View shipwright's profile (online now)


4661 posts in 1299 days

#7 posted 894 days ago

Beautiful, Martyn

The crystalline ship seems to touch down on the Martian sands with four dainty feet in spider-like fashion.

I like the simplicity

Another winner… and you got to learn something, .... it just doesn’t get any better than that.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

View RogerBean's profile


1011 posts in 1455 days

#8 posted 894 days ago

Striking pattern and lovely selection of woods. We don’t get to see much yew in the solid here in the colonies. Works really nicely here. Nice feel to it, to say the least.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View CharlieM1958's profile


15544 posts in 2720 days

#9 posted 894 days ago

Stunning! Once again, I knew it had to be yours from the moment I laid eyes on it.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View exelectrician's profile


1358 posts in 929 days

#10 posted 894 days ago

The “Boxologist” does it again! Your work always make me stop and think – how does he do that?

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Woodbridge's profile


2420 posts in 919 days

#11 posted 894 days ago

beautiful box, the pattern is great as is the way you have orieted and used the wood grain.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View degoose's profile


6883 posts in 1856 days

#12 posted 894 days ago

Each one distinctively different..

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ For lovers of all things timber...

View Ian Hawthorne's profile

Ian Hawthorne

290 posts in 1150 days

#13 posted 894 days ago

Yet again Martyn your work is excellent!

Great job.



-- Coming soon the new improved Neat hinge!

View bunkie's profile


411 posts in 1648 days

#14 posted 894 days ago

King Crimson lyrics… The possibilities are endless. Larks tongues in aspic, perhaps?

Outstanding in every respect!

-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

View Ed Pirnik's profile

Ed Pirnik

83 posts in 1332 days

#15 posted 893 days ago

A wonderful, playful design—and well executed, to boot!


-- Ed Pirnik, Fine Woodworking Web Producer

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