Lapis 4000

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Project by smartBoxmaker posted 07-31-2011 03:55 PM 4001 views 30 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This box departs a little bit from my usual style, if I have one: the brief for this was that it should look 4000 years old and much travelled.

It was designed to contain a variety of cut and uncut samples of lapis which, there is evidence to suggest, has been mined in Afghanistan for as long as 4000 years. So, with a view to creating the impression of a extremely old and worn leather-covered trunk, it is made from birch plywood veneered with macassar ebony and then veneered again with wany-edged burr yew. All the ‘ironwork’ – the straps, nails, corners and excutcheon – is made from ebony and the variety of layers give the box a very tactile quality.

The interior is unusually complex – the section at the back of the main interior was intended for phials of different grades of lapis pigments and the ‘arcades’ were to allow viewing of the contents without needing to remove them. Although this box does now contain some lapis it is used more as a general collector’s box for other stones and for various small, interesting and valuable items.

All internal trays and drawers are made from ripple maple and lined with grey velvet to show off the lapis to best effect.

The centre of the lid features a geometric design drawn by the customer which at first I thought didn’t really fit with the overall concept. He held his ground and I have to admit he was right. It’s not inlaid – the design was carefully cut into the surface and the yew veneer removed to reveal the Macassar ebony underneath.

-- Andrew Crawford, Shropshire, UK.

26 comments so far

View Gintaras's profile


199 posts in 4413 days

#1 posted 07-31-2011 04:03 PM

very nice

-- Gintaras,

View Jimboe's profile


257 posts in 5242 days

#2 posted 07-31-2011 04:05 PM

WOW!!!!!! That is beautiful … the woods and design …Again WOW !!!!

View shipwright's profile


8821 posts in 4290 days

#3 posted 07-31-2011 04:11 PM

That is just so perfect.
You do very fine work sir.

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

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5711 days

#4 posted 07-31-2011 04:13 PM

This manages to combine fun, beauty, and an element of “buried treasure” all at the same time.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 4569 days

#5 posted 07-31-2011 04:22 PM

I’m blown away by this piece Andrew. I honestly don’t know where to start…... After seeing this one and your last project posted I can see why your classes stay filled up and you have published books out there. You sir are definitely a talented man…. Once again… Very impressed…

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 4446 days

#6 posted 07-31-2011 05:06 PM

I’ve studied this box many times, and find that I can get lost in all the wonderful details. When it popped up here, I once again find myself mesmerized by the sheer excellence of it all. It’s like a journey through a small amusement park, where each new discovery delights more than the last. And so many delights. So many little unexpected surprises! I find myself drifting off, just staring at it. (Then, I head back off to the shop mumbling that my next one will be better than my last.)

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View Ian Hawthorne's profile

Ian Hawthorne

297 posts in 4141 days

#7 posted 07-31-2011 05:07 PM

Love the box, the design and the attention to detail – but not to sure about that carpet!! :)



-- Worlds Best Box Hardware!

View Bertha's profile


13635 posts in 4185 days

#8 posted 07-31-2011 05:08 PM

I don’t even know what to say. It’s perhaps one of my favorite projects here since I joined. It’s such an unusual piece that I doubt there’ll ever be anything like it again. Favorited, obviously.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View marter1229's profile


437 posts in 5003 days

#9 posted 07-31-2011 05:12 PM

ditto Bertha

-- It's all fun, Terry******N. Idaho

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 4611 days

#10 posted 07-31-2011 05:15 PM

Very Fine Box, Great Theme and execution, I have admired Your boxes on Your site for some time now, Great to be able to express my Wonder and Delight here on the site, Welcome to lj’s, Great to have You here, and Thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View Randy63's profile


252 posts in 4384 days

#11 posted 07-31-2011 05:31 PM

Unique and beautiful box. Your photography and use of props for the piece are top notch. The interior details are exquisite. There’s so much to admire in this wonderful piece.

-- Randy, Oakdale, Ca.

View majeagle1's profile


1429 posts in 4989 days

#12 posted 07-31-2011 05:32 PM

Andrew, welcome to LJ’s and I am sooooo happy that you have decided to join us.

I have gone back and looked at this box at least 5 times before I could even begin to try to express my thoughts on it. I am still speechless!!! This, as well as your cuff link box are the “Piece de Resistance” !
The absolute epitome of perfection of true art and craftsmanship!

I do have your book and like Charlie, only geography ( and maybe a little $$$ ) keep me from coming to learn your trade. I only someday hope that I can attain just a fraction of your talent and skills to create better boxes.

I have added you to my buddy list so I make sure that I NEVER miss one of your masterpieces…..

Thanks so much for sharing your work and skills with us….

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View Ken90712's profile


18123 posts in 4681 days

#13 posted 07-31-2011 06:02 PM

Ditto from Mav above,
I’m blown away by this piece. I honestly don’t know where to start…… After seeing this one and your last project posted I can see why your classes stay filled up and you have published books out there. You sir are definitely a talented man…. Once again… Very impressed…

The best chest I have ever looked at on here! Amazing work.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View jksmith69's profile


89 posts in 4029 days

#14 posted 07-31-2011 06:51 PM

That is Awesome!

-- "Give me wood..... And I will play with it!"

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 4927 days

#15 posted 07-31-2011 09:30 PM

Really, really nice …... just hope my wife doesn’t see it :-)

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

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