Box 44 – 52 Boxes in 52 Weeks
By Matt Kenney
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Here’s another bandsawn box. The design is the same as box 42, but this one is larger and made from cherry. I like it better. Here’s why. Because the box is taller, the sides appear to angle out more. They don’t (it’s the same angle on both boxes), but they appear to, and that’s cool. Also, cherry—especially this particular piece of cherry—looks much better with marigold yellow milk paint than ash.
The proportions of this box are more elegant, I think. But then there is also something about this box that I can’t quite put my finger on. It simply strikes me as more appealing. It has something to do with the colors. The cherry, which is finished in a very light cut of shellac that barely affected its color, is so warm. It’s the deep, rich, earthy red of aged cherry, but there is a hint of honey to hit. And not just the color of honey, but the chatoyance of honey, too. Paired with the yellow milk paint, it’s irresistible.
Oh, now I’m getting closer to what pleases me about this box. You see, I’m not talking about how it was made, but only about how it makes me feel. It’s beautiful. It truly is. Everything else fades away. And that’s what I strive for when making any piece of furniture or box. I want to look at it, feel its beauty, and not think a lick about all the hard work, technique, skill, and knowledge that went into it. I strive for a purely emotional response. I want to speak to that part of us that feels beauty. When that happens, I believe I’ve done something worthwhile, that I’ve made something that transcends the maker. It’s a rare and perhaps fleeting accomplishment. (It is also possible—highly likely, even—that I’m just a self-absorbed fool taken with his own mediocrity.)
I don’t have anything else to say about this one, so let’s get to some random goodness.
1. There are three things that guide my design, and one of them is color. This particular piece of cherry paired with my beloved marigold yellow milk paint is almost too much. It’s so important to pick good lumber when you’re making a piece of furniture. You have to consider the species, the color, the cut (flat, rift, quarter), and the tightness of the grain. the flow of the grain (in a gentle arc? dead straight? long cathedrals?), etc. You can absolutely make or break a piece when choosing lumber for it. This piece of cherry makes it. The color is tremendous. (The grain ain’t so bad, either.)
2. Look at the glorious inclusion on the end grain and the little knot at the bottom corner of the front/back. That’s money. Dollar, dollar bills, y’all.
3. I’ve had an extended affair with the custom green milk paint I was mixing up. This box brings me back to marigold yellow in a hard way. She never fails me.
4. This box, along with box 42, is another example of how you can make two boxes with pretty much the same design and end up with two dramatically different boxes.