Vietnam Box

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Project by madburg posted 01-11-2022 12:46 PM 801 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

On a trip to Vietnam 7 or 8 years ago, we visited a lacquerware factory. Impressed with their lacquerware, and particularly the Mother of Pearl shell pictures they were producing in all shapes and sizes, I purchased a few of the smaller ones. My idea was that they might well form decorative box lids.

Having forgotten about them, I rediscovered them late last year and decided to make a simple box and incorporate one of ther pictures into its lid.

My biggest concern was that I might sand through the original lacquer while applying the edging to the lid and then finishing it ….. but it worked! My polyurethane adhered well to the lacquer and I was able to get a flat finish using up to 1200 wet and dry paper and then polishing compound. I used acetone to ake sure the lacquer was free from finger grease before applying teh polyurethane.

The main box is my usual veneered plywood construction with walnut bands included in the sides for the cut line of the and the bottom edge and its groove for the bottom. All the edges then had a square walnut edging applied after the box was glued together.

Perhaps the only downside is that the original MOP shell pictures are portrait rather than landscape………

..... but its worked.

As ever thanks for looking.

-- Madburg WA

9 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10281 posts in 2040 days

#1 posted 01-11-2022 01:07 PM

A lovely box! Worth the wait, it appears.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View tinnman65's profile


1444 posts in 4872 days

#2 posted 01-11-2022 01:28 PM

Very nice! Was there a reason you chose polyurethane for the finish?

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View 987Ron's profile


3784 posts in 774 days

#3 posted 01-11-2022 01:56 PM

Great love the box.

-- Ron

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

3044 posts in 1620 days

#4 posted 01-11-2022 04:23 PM

awesome way to re-purpose something of value.
excellent idea and great job

-- I am a painter: that's what I do, I like to paint things. --

View therealSteveN's profile


9985 posts in 2032 days

#5 posted 01-11-2022 04:25 PM

Beautiful box.

-- Think safe, be safe

View sras's profile


6697 posts in 4587 days

#6 posted 01-11-2022 05:46 PM

Beautiful veneer work – nice use of the image.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1887 posts in 2750 days

#7 posted 01-11-2022 06:00 PM

I would have been very hesitant about sanding and using acetone on the beautiful mother of pearl inlay, but you made it work. Great job Mads.

There’s only on thing I have to disagree with you on is that I like the figures and they are in a landscape.

You were wise to buy them when you could. You have a great eye for art.

Best Regards,

-- James E McIntyre

View shipwright's profile


8816 posts in 4256 days

#8 posted 01-12-2022 01:43 AM

Really nice Martin!

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Calmudgeon's profile


691 posts in 2885 days

#9 posted 01-22-2022 03:19 PM

Work of art.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

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