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Project by Boxguy posted 05-03-2012 08:52 AM 3231 views 8 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A gallery invited me to join other artists in a thematic show. The theme was this: Landscapes. Now if you are “The Box Guy” at a gallery who doesn’t do intarsia or stain wood, creating a landscape is a real challenge. I stewed about this for weeks, but when I looked at this newly sliced piece of maple burl I knew I had an answer. I entered this box as a landscape and called it “Google Earth.”

This top is just like Nature made it. I have not touched it up in any way. It came from a spalted burl growing on the side of a 200-year-old maple tree. The maple tree had died and a farmer who lives nearby was cutting it down for firewood. I asked if I could have the bump on the log. “Sure,” he said, “but it’s mighty poor firewood.” I put the burl in my truck, gave it a few years to dry out, sliced it with a band saw, sanded it on a drum sander, then final sanded it once it was more stabilized with soaked-in poly.

Everything here was recycled. The top is made from “bad firewood,” a spalted maple burl. The sides are African Mahogany from some crating. The corner splines are ebony from an old piece of furniture.

I judge my work a success if someone is willing to plunk down hard-earned money to buy it. This box sold the first day of the opening, and I had fun crafting it. If you’re “The Box Guy,” competing with more traditional artists for sales, it doesn’t get much better than that.

As always, thanks for looking and a bigger thanks for taking time to add comments and suggestions.

-- Big Al in IN

26 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


17592 posts in 3359 days

#1 posted 05-03-2012 10:54 AM

Congrats on the sale and making a great looking box. The wood is beautiful!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Triumph1's profile


916 posts in 3250 days

#2 posted 05-03-2012 11:15 AM

Wow, I absolutely love working with spalted maple and you got yourself a beautiful piece of it here! Great looking box. Congratulations on the sale and if it helps I completely understand what you are going through dealing with traditional artists!

-- Jeff , Wisconsin Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2796 days

#3 posted 05-03-2012 11:33 AM

That’s just an awesome piece of wood you were able to get. I agree, it is a success when someone honors you by buying your work. Great job.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2477 days

#4 posted 05-03-2012 11:52 AM

Beautiful box, nature did a great job assisting you. The ultimate compliment is when it’s purchased.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 3289 days

#5 posted 05-03-2012 12:03 PM

WOW, that’s Gorgeous, what a great find, and You have pictured it just right, Great to hear of Your success, it is well deserved, keep up the outstanding work, and thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3474 days

#6 posted 05-03-2012 12:06 PM

i think i see the northern tip of africa there, you sure this is american wood, lol, it sure is a beauty, i love spalted myself, and have several pieces of furniture from it, i also have some very large slabs of it in the shop that is destined to be a bed for my son…but i digress, a very nice box with some great wood…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Roger's profile


20949 posts in 2975 days

#7 posted 05-03-2012 12:07 PM

Well named. Very nice as always. I like the way you did the finger indents.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View jbschutz's profile


545 posts in 2862 days

#8 posted 05-03-2012 12:34 PM

I really like the spalted maple….how come my neighbors just burn their firewood. I am envious. The ring tray looks good, too. Great job and congrats on the sale.

-- jbschutz

View 489tad's profile


3447 posts in 3182 days

#9 posted 05-03-2012 12:56 PM

I really admire the people that can see if before they make it. You saw it. Well done!

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View IndianJoe's profile


425 posts in 2420 days

#10 posted 05-03-2012 12:58 PM

love it ,I love how the top looks .

-- Nimkee** Joe

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4029 posts in 4234 days

#11 posted 05-03-2012 01:07 PM

Splendid piece of wood, made for another great box.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Andy's profile


1698 posts in 4079 days

#12 posted 05-03-2012 01:15 PM

Love that Mapwood. You really did a great job on this box in all areas.

-- If I can do it, so can you.

View kingfinny's profile


11 posts in 2594 days

#13 posted 05-03-2012 01:52 PM

“African Mahogany from some crating”? I need to start ordering things from wherever that crate came from! Gorgeous piece, btw.

View AffineCreations's profile


28 posts in 2429 days

#14 posted 05-03-2012 02:14 PM

As someone taking a coffee break from gluing up some reclaimed firewood to make tops for tea boxes, I’m inspired to get back to work! Finishing up a round of assorted boxes and the like for my first craft fair in a couple weekends. You, as always, inspire me. Thanks for sharing your work.

-- - Nicholas, Silver Spring, MD

View abie's profile


877 posts in 3942 days

#15 posted 05-03-2012 02:45 PM

Again your fabled finger pull.
time for a short tutorial.
still waiting for picts.

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

showing 1 through 15 of 26 comments

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