A Box Worth Repeating
A piece this beautiful shouldn’t be one of a kind
Synopsis: Making boxes is a great way to explore the idea of building things in a series. When you change the small-scale details, you can change the look of the overall piece. And boxes are simple to make, which allows for more design exploration. This box is a simple square, dovetailed and half as tall as it is wide, with a drop-on lid that is slightly pillowed. The lid has small handles to lift it and help hold it in place. Also included is a gallery of design ideas, for a series of boxes or one box at a time.
I first made this box several years ago as part of a series for an exhibition organized by the Crafts Council of Ireland called “Of Colour in Craft.” Artisans in various disciplines were asked to make pieces that used color prominently. I chose to make identical boxes in 10 species, each a different color.
Boxes are a great vehicle for exploring design ideas in a series (see “Designing in matched sets…” p. 49). Small and simple in form, they can easily be grouped to create an arrangement with a strong character of its own. Making boxes also is a good way to spend time between bigger projects, to use leftover wood, or to make gifts.
This square, dovetailed box is half as tall as it is wide, with a drop-on lid that is slightly pillowed. The lid has small handles to lift it off and help hold it in place. The project offers a chance to practice hand skills and to execute the small-scale details that make all the difference. It is very satisfying to make.
Mill and mark, then cut the joinery
This box only uses about half a board foot of lumber. If you’re making a set like mine, you’ll…