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Lords of the Chinese World: The Dragon and Phoenix

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Project by mauibob posted 09-11-2012 12:08 AM 1834 views 9 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s a complementary design to my “Year of the Dragon”. This is yet another marquetry box on frame with approximate dimensions 5 5/8×9 3/8×4 1/4 inches.

The design was made using the double bevel marquetry technique and includes Hawaiian koa, American holly, quarter sawn sycamore, Western big leaf maple, Chechen rosewood, purpleheart, crushed red pipe stone, crushed turquoise and malachite stones and epoxy. I used shop sawn veneers (~ 3/32” thick) and a #3/0 scrollsaw blade.

The fictional dragon and phoenix are the traditional animals symbolizing auspiciousness. Along with the kylin and tortoise, they were known as the “Four Supernatural Spirits.” In Chinese lore, any reported sightings of a dragon or phoenix were considered extremely auspicious, heralding a glorious period of peace and prosperity for the people and the country. This is reflected in the Chinese saying: “When the dragon soars and the phoenix dances, the people will enjoy happiness for years, bringing peace and tranquility to all under heaven.”

It is another tribute to 2012, the Year of the Dragon. The soaring dragon and phoenix are vying for an enormous magical pearl, symbolizing the world’s most precious treasure. Accenting the box sides are stylized representations of the symbol for the complementary forces of Yin and Yang, “shadow and light”, which express how polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world.

The last photo shows the four side and top panels prior to glue up. As with the Year of the Dragon box, I rabbeted the four sides to allow the top support (in this case made of 1-sided veneered MDF) to drop in. This supports the top panel which then covers the rabbet.

-- Bob, Potomac, MD





16 comments so far

View Nik 's profile

Nik

254 posts in 1373 days


#1 posted 09-11-2012 12:23 AM

Bob, thats just incredible work. The detail is fantastik, but the best part is the grain wrap of the box itself. It looks like mountains. Very nice.

View shipwright's profile (online now)

shipwright

5295 posts in 1542 days


#2 posted 09-11-2012 12:26 AM

Very beautiful piece Bob

..... but why am I looking for a faint image of Mt Fuji in a Chinese symbol ?.. hmmmm

Your marquetry is perfect as your are veneer choices. Together they scream “mauibob did this”, at least to me.

Your understanding and explanations of the lore that surrounds these pieces adds much to our ability to appreciate their meaning.

Thanks for the inspiration.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View mauibob's profile

mauibob

182 posts in 1812 days


#3 posted 09-11-2012 12:32 AM

Good point about Mt. Fuji, Paul! I scratched my head on what to do for the side panels on this box. Initially, I had both phoenix and dragon flop over the sides, but then they looked a bit too disjointed and the sides had very little detail. I was going to put some stylized Chinese clouds on the sides, but these really should have wrapped along the front and my design was already cut. So, I looked around for some Yin-Yang symbols and realized that most were just too plain. So, with some mods (stealing from Hokusai), I incorporated these wavelets from Japan into the Chinese symbol.

-- Bob, Potomac, MD

View shipwright's profile (online now)

shipwright

5295 posts in 1542 days


#4 posted 09-11-2012 12:45 AM

You are forgiven Bob. Nice work.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4860 posts in 1037 days


#5 posted 09-11-2012 01:02 AM

Fantastic!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View tinnman65's profile

tinnman65

1176 posts in 2158 days


#6 posted 09-11-2012 01:48 AM

Very nice marquetry, this box looks great!

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View Daiku's profile

Daiku

202 posts in 1652 days


#7 posted 09-11-2012 03:32 AM

Bob

As always “Nice Job”! Your craftsmanship and designs are top notch.

Thanks for posting,

-- Cal Noguchi

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

641 posts in 2574 days


#8 posted 09-11-2012 03:43 AM

Bob, this is another fantastic piece, I think I like it even more than the previous one. The grain match reminds me of clouds, and the dragon and phoenix are dancing around each other. The sand shading adds a really nice element of dimension too.

I really like how you flow your designs over the edges, creating a seamless visual story on all surfaces.

Thanks so much for sharing, and keep em coming…I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View lanwater's profile

lanwater

3098 posts in 1678 days


#9 posted 09-11-2012 04:50 AM

This a wonderfull piece!

it’s a pleasure to look at.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View LittlePaw's profile

LittlePaw

1571 posts in 1823 days


#10 posted 09-11-2012 04:59 AM

WOW, that accuracy in cutting all those pieces, the patience, not to mention the design. You did great, Bob!

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View Woodenwizard's profile

Woodenwizard

1091 posts in 1799 days


#11 posted 09-11-2012 05:02 AM

awesome. Love the way you match everything.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View stefang's profile

stefang

13623 posts in 2079 days


#12 posted 09-11-2012 11:33 AM

Beautiful work Bob. I love the way you have wrapped the images around the box. Very high scores on both workmanship and artistic content.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Woodbridge's profile

Woodbridge

2849 posts in 1162 days


#13 posted 09-11-2012 03:12 PM

wow that is a beautiful box. You do amazing work!

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2177 posts in 1229 days


#14 posted 09-11-2012 04:16 PM

Amazing doesn’t quite cover it.

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

3894 posts in 1612 days


#15 posted 09-12-2012 04:24 AM

Amaizing work,amaizing craftmanship.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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