|Project by Boxguy||posted 11-22-2012 08:09 AM||2769 views||10 times favorited||38 comments|
Pictured: This is a medium sized tea box (11×7 x 5 inches) designed to hold about 75 normal teabags. The distinctive grain you see in the top is a California Walnut Burl laid up in a cluster pattern. The sides are quarter-sawn White Oak with Black Walnut corner splines. The divider unit is made from recycled Venetian blinds. (Yes, I did go back and clean up the glue squeeze-out.)
Story: Over a century ago, large plantations of walnut trees were planted in California and farmers harvested the nuts these trees produced. As time went on, these walnut trees became less productive and were in turn harvested and replaced with new trees. The old trees were grafted stock with European Walnut roots and American Walnut trunks (scions). This fabulous veneer is made by digging up the old tree stumps and slicing veneer from the area where the two species of walnut trees were grafted together. As you can imagine, such veneer can be expensive.
The White Oak sides and Black Walnut corner splines came from trees that grew in Indiana. Like thousands and thousands of other trees, these were blown over by the tailwinds of Hurricane Ike in 2008. I like to think that making a heritage-quality box that will give a lifetime of useful service is a way of extending the life of these wonderful trees.
Title: I leave it up to your imagination to see what pictures you find in this crazy, mixed-up, and distinctive grain pattern. I see several. Look at the side patterns in the top as well. It is one of the mysteries of working with fine woods that you find yourself peering into the soul of some ancient tree when you apply that first coat of finish and see the grain “pop.” That is the first time you really know what the grain looks like. This is another box that was part of my opening at a local gallery last week, and I am very grateful to all of those patrons who support my work.
Thanks: As always thanks to all who take time to look at this posting. A special thanks to all of you who take the extra time to add comments or make suggestions.
Please check back. I will reply to each of your comments and suggestions in batches for the next few days.
-- Big Al in IN