This small box of walnut, maple, cherry and mahogany was a first for me. It's the first time I've done inlaying, using the scroll saw. I plan to make several small boxes next, they are lots of fun and very challenging to make. The box is so small that you hold it in your hand, and every mistake in construction is VERY apparent. I was inspired by the extraordinary, museum-quality fine woodwork I saw recently in Portland, in the great crafts store The Real Mother Goose.

I recently made are these three small boxes. A friend in Italy gave me some Italian walnut cut-offs from his furniture factory this past summer to make something with. So I made these small boxes: one for his daughter (O for Olivia), one for his sister's daughter (N for Nora) and one for my daughter (J for Jessica). The walnut inserts are set into cherry and oak fields. These little things are intriguing and I plan to make more this year--they really test my skills.

Here are a couple of small boxes I made in 2008. They are made of ash with walnut inlays. The ash is from a tree growing next to our house, that we had cut down. I have used the wood for firewood, but saved a small amount to make boxes from.

The MB box was for a friend, Mike Burton, who retired from teaching in 2008. His university invited me to give a talk on his retireement, and I showed how I made this box instead, giving it to him as a gift.

The RR box is for some friends in Tuscany. The fleur de lis is called a giglio in Italy and is the symbol of Tuscany, where my friends live.

This red oak box is for firewood, to be kept next to our fireplace. I saw a small box with a cut-out design in a craftsman's window in Florence, and wanted to make something like it. It has lots of hand-cut dovetails, which look OK in the picture but are not good enough up close. I plan to make a lot of projects using this joint, until I get good enough so that I don't feel embarrassed when I look at it.

I made a couple of small walnut boxes (about 5"x7"). The first has a lot of chip carving, and I haven't decided what to use it for.

I decided to make a box to hold tea bags for people who drink tea instead of coffee. This box has some chip carving, but the special thing is the dovetails. They are very hard to make. I wanted to make these dovetails since I first learned about them in a description of the work of the Japanese master, Kintaro Yazawa. You can see his work here: Kintaro Yazawa

I made eight test joints before I decided on one to use.

While I practiced my dovetail cutting, the main thing I learned from this project is the importance of selecting the right wood. It has to be fine- and tight-grained.

I inlaid the word "tea" with sycamore.

My friend Leon was celebrating his 80th birthday with a big blow-out in a New York restaurant, so I made him a commemorative box out of walnut inlaid with sycamore.

My granddaughter Sofie was going to be six, so I made her this box out of tropical padouk inlaid with maple.

Since I made the firewood box (see above) I wanted to make another box to hold kindling. It is made from white oak.

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