Carved Box

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Project by Scott R. Turner posted 01-16-2013 03:04 AM 1553 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is another carved candle box—this one claimed by the First Lady when she saw the koi carving.

This features Japanese-inspired carvings, all in shallow relief. The lid is a koi design borrowed from Chris Pye’s Woodcarving Course book. I chose this design because I wanted to practice low relief carving and relieving a flat background. (My previous carvings have all been flat strapwork with a textured background.) After doing the koi, I wanted related designs for the box sides, and settled on a branch of cherry blossoms and a view of Mount Fuji. Both of these designs are originals. The front end of the box (not shown) has a carving of the kanji for “Nature”.

These carvings were lined in with a skew chisel—probably not a recommended technique, but it worked well enough for me. My previous carvings were all patterned with gouges and chisels as described by Peter Follansbee in this posting so I wanted to try something with more traditional lining in, but frankly I’m not good enough with a V-tool yet. Then everything was relieved and shaped with gouges. In some areas (especially the cherry branch carving) I don’t have the proper detail gouges to work the tight areas and so they remain a bit rough.

The wood is American Walnut and all work was done with hand tools. There was no sanding, all surfaces are straight from the smoothing plane or carved. It was finished with several coats of Minwax Satin Wipe-On Poly. This was easy to apply to the carvings and worked well, although it is still a bit too shiny on the flat surfaces for my tastes.

9 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117618 posts in 3942 days

#1 posted 01-16-2013 03:19 AM

Very cool a super box and great carving.

View wrench's profile


320 posts in 2978 days

#2 posted 01-16-2013 03:37 AM

Very cool!!

-- J Wrench Syracuse New York

View majuvla's profile


14384 posts in 3232 days

#3 posted 01-16-2013 06:15 AM

Awsome carving.Nice box.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Brit's profile


7682 posts in 3207 days

#4 posted 01-16-2013 07:43 AM

Lovely work Scott. The carving adds a really nice touch.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30327 posts in 2702 days

#5 posted 01-16-2013 12:46 PM

Nice work, I see wht the first lady wanted it.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3231 days

#6 posted 01-16-2013 01:31 PM

Very nicely done. Those carvings look great on those sides.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2540 days

#7 posted 01-16-2013 03:57 PM

Superb carvings on the box, gave the box a lot of texture and appeal.


View stefang's profile


16705 posts in 3699 days

#8 posted 01-16-2013 09:23 PM

I love this box and all the carvings. I am impressed how well the Mt. Fuji carving turned out. A simple motif, but very effective.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jerry's profile (online now)


3157 posts in 2013 days

#9 posted 01-25-2014 05:38 PM

Very beautiful carving. I wish I could do that!

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

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