Silver Inlay Box

The black walnut box with silver inlay and sycamore as secondary wood is now complete and as always was made entirely with hand tools only.

This project draws inspiration from Japanese art and architecture and the first concept drawing echoed the architectural feel of a torii (鳥居) gate lintel. This was further refined as the small project developed.

The exposed dovetail joinery follows the curves of the ends of the box for an organic feel.

Silver Inlay Box-1

Ornamentation in sterling silver is a simple, nature-inspired illustration in the lid, with the elements in the front of the box tying the composition visually and providing grounding to the shapes of the grasses in the lid.

Silver Inlay Box-2

The lid itself is a single piece of black walnut, with carved texture on the underside. It was shaped to give a floating effect for lightness.

Silver Inlay Box-4

A secondary lid protects the contents of the box from dust. This is made from a highly figured piece of sycamore crotch.

Silver Inlay Box-3

The grain figure and defects in the small panel were carefully chosen by cutting the lid from a bigger piece for the most pleasing composition.

The bottom of the box is cut from the very same sycamore board but has, intentionally, a very quiet feel. It is amazing how much dynamic can be harvested by paying attention to the grain.

Silver Inlay Box-8

Speaking of the grain, the walnut came from a single small board which was very carefully cut to utilise the existing patterns in the wood and create a visually unifying effect.

Silver Inlay Box-0

You can find more photos and short films of the work in progress on my Instagram feed, and the finished box in the gallery below.

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