a very nice gentleman came to me with a specific request: years ago he had salvaged some very old wormy chestnut out of his uncles dilapidating barn in Maryland. with this wood he wanted me to make his daughter a gift for her upcoming college graduation:
a jewelry box.
he only gave a few guidelines: he gave me certain dimensions, make it rustic, and highlight the natural beauty of the wood. as much as i love these open projects sometime they make me a little nervous, as you never know what kind of an image they already have in their head.
the chestnut has so many "flaws" that make it unbelievably gorgeous. oxidized nail holes and spots were hinges used to be, worm holes galore, holes from pegs, cracks and splitting that give this wood so much character and beauty.
to highlight all this, i kept the overall design very simple and minimalist, so that there would not be any competition between design and material.
laying out all the wood, i selected specific sections from the wood for the individual parts and gave them a sort of purpose. a peg hole became the hole to open the box, really beautiful oxidized nail holes the featured top, a huge spot that must have been left by a hinge became a detail on the back, and so forth
it was challenging at times to work with the chestnut, as it get brittle due its cracks etc, but at the same time it was a very fun and fulfilling project to make.
he loved it, and i hope his daughter will treasure it for years to come.