Sunday, December 2, 2007

Another Amusement

I love paper; especially beautiful paper.

I love boxes too. I love making custom boxes.

This is another class I took some time ago. I learned how to make boxes from scratch. Using a grey board, I learned to construct the outside, fit drawers and fashion custom compartments. It's a lot like carpentry.

This little treasure is a carved elephant and rider I bought when we visited New Dehli in the '70s. It is such a delicate carving. (The elephant has separate, swingy earrings.) It is only about 1 1/2 inches tall and I've always been afraid it would get damaged. So, I made this keeper box based on a classic perfume box design. I even cut custom recesses in the bottom black mounting piece to fit the outline of the elephant's feet. They fit down into holes that are about 1/8 inch deep. He is kept in with tiny dollops of Museum Gel.

On the top is an antique ivory teapot knob I found in an antique store; the little dangling elephant is a family piece--an antique celuloid political token from about 1880-1900. The paper covering the box is made in India.

I have many sketches and notes on boxes in my clay files. The same principles of construction apply, with modifications for working in clay. Lana Wilson has written several good articles about how to make clay boxes.

I'm particularly interested in figuring out how to make a box with a secret compartment. I've always loved the idea of hidden rooms, sliding panels, puzzle boxes.

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