Carved Box

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Project by Scott R. Turner posted 01-16-2013 03:04 AM 1323 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is another carved candle box—this one claimed by the First Lady when she saw the koi carving.

This features Japanese-inspired carvings, all in shallow relief. The lid is a koi design borrowed from Chris Pye’s Woodcarving Course book. I chose this design because I wanted to practice low relief carving and relieving a flat background. (My previous carvings have all been flat strapwork with a textured background.) After doing the koi, I wanted related designs for the box sides, and settled on a branch of cherry blossoms and a view of Mount Fuji. Both of these designs are originals. The front end of the box (not shown) has a carving of the kanji for “Nature”.

These carvings were lined in with a skew chisel—probably not a recommended technique, but it worked well enough for me. My previous carvings were all patterned with gouges and chisels as described by Peter Follansbee in this posting so I wanted to try something with more traditional lining in, but frankly I’m not good enough with a V-tool yet. Then everything was relieved and shaped with gouges. In some areas (especially the cherry branch carving) I don’t have the proper detail gouges to work the tight areas and so they remain a bit rough.

The wood is American Walnut and all work was done with hand tools. There was no sanding, all surfaces are straight from the smoothing plane or carved. It was finished with several coats of Minwax Satin Wipe-On Poly. This was easy to apply to the carvings and worked well, although it is still a bit too shiny on the flat surfaces for my tastes.

9 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


115927 posts in 3299 days

#1 posted 01-16-2013 03:19 AM

Very cool a super box and great carving.

-- Custom furniture

View wrench's profile


320 posts in 2335 days

#2 posted 01-16-2013 03:37 AM

Very cool!!

-- J Wrench Syracuse New York

View majuvla's profile


10596 posts in 2589 days

#3 posted 01-16-2013 06:15 AM

Awsome carving.Nice box.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Brit's profile


7101 posts in 2564 days

#4 posted 01-16-2013 07:43 AM

Lovely work Scott. The carving adds a really nice touch.

-- - "The hand speaks to the brain as surely as the brain speaks to the hand." Frank R. Wilson

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

25354 posts in 2060 days

#5 posted 01-16-2013 12:46 PM

Nice work, I see wht the first lady wanted it.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View helluvawreck's profile


27232 posts in 2588 days

#6 posted 01-16-2013 01:31 PM

Very nicely done. Those carvings look great on those sides.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 1897 days

#7 posted 01-16-2013 03:57 PM

Superb carvings on the box, gave the box a lot of texture and appeal.


View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 3056 days

#8 posted 01-16-2013 09:23 PM

I love this box and all the carvings. I am impressed how well the Mt. Fuji carving turned out. A simple motif, but very effective.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jerry's profile


2263 posts in 1370 days

#9 posted 01-25-2014 05:38 PM

Very beautiful carving. I wish I could do that!

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

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