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I got very excited when I saw that the theme of the contest was Fluidity. It was just the push I needed to start the design of the box that has been bouncing around in my head for years…"Ripple". Now I just had to get what was in my head into the wood. The design work ended at the end of June so some late hours were in front of me. These contests are excellent for training a person to work under pressure!

The inspiration for "Ripple" came from my younger years of growing up in a small town along the shores of Green Bay up in Wisconsin. Every Sunday in summer was spent at Grandma and Grandpa's house swimming or fishing (and building the occasional rubber band gun or sword with my Grandpa). I was always amazed at the ripple of the water caused by either a skipping stone or an oncoming rain storm. I wanted to capture this fluid movement in "Ripple". The lid obviously portrays the rippling water and the base is the windswept sandy shore.

The body of "Ripple" is made from 2" thick Maple. It is fastened together using mortise and tenon joinery with walnut dowels to further strengthen and add a nice contrast. Knowing that I was going to shape the box I wanted the dowels because their final shape would be more oval than round…so closer to a water drop shape. The grain of the Maple was positioned to create an undulating pattern. It gives a nice flowing pattern around the entire box. The sides were all cut with a 10 degree slope. This created a smooth transition between the concave and convex cuts and really emphasizes the top lid. The top of the body has been veneered with pommele sapele, because of it beautiful waterfall grain, and dyed black maple veneer. The inner divider was made from spalted maple with a very pronounced swirling spalt/grain. It started as a standard rectangle but then I carved it into an undulating wave pattern that I further refined using a spindle sander and rasps….once again going for the fluid movement. I added a small chamfer to the top edges to create a subtle shadow line between the base and lid. The interior is lined with shimmering blue padded taffeta fabric….it had a great fluid look to it.

The top lid is made from curly maple. I studied water ripples (online videos, pictures, self tests, etc.) and lined the area around the lathe with pictures of water ripples…nothing like visual aids when turning! It all started from an 1.06" thick piece of wood. The water drop was turned separately, with a tenon, and glued into position. I used General Finishes water-based Blue stain dye. The top lid also shares the same 10 degree slope as the body. This gives a clean transition from body to lid and almost makes it look as if the water will spill over the edge.

There is also an underlying fluid movement and that is the a movement between two woodworking etiquettes. I wanted to have a smooth transition between flat work and turning and that would be the flow from the base into the lid. The eye never really stops between the two.

"Ripple" is 10" in diameter and about 3.5" tall not counting the water drop. It was finished with four coats of Danish oil followed by two buffings of BriWax.

Overall I had a blast designing and making "Ripple". I will definitely be doing more boxes with the water theme in the future. Hopefully the fluid motion of it is pleasing to all of you! Thank you for checking it out…now let's make some more sawdust!

Ooo…and I cannot forget to thank my friend Joel for taking pictures…you work wonders with a camera!

Gallery

Comments

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Keep Joel on the payroll! Fantastic pictures I like it, the concept intriguing
 

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That is a very creative and clever design. It is obvious that you put alot of work and thought into it. It is so good to see people doing creative woodworking instead of the everyday cabinets and standard stuff.
 

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That's a sheer joy to look at, Jeff.

I've purposely held off on viewing the contest entry page, waiting until all the projects are posted. But I can't imagine this NOT getting my vote.

Beautiful!
 

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Gorgeous!
 

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Outstanding!! Barely looks like wood- no words I would use would really describe how great this design is!
 

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Outstanding!!!!!!!!!!! Your into my field of carving I've been doing in stone, way cool to see your design and way your doing it. You've got it my man!!!
 

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Absolutely frickin stunning!
I just love your work.

Steve
 

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That's a very nice looking piece, and well thought out. Good job on that.

Jason
 

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I'm stunned with awe! That is a moment in time.

Once again you create a wonder to behold. Perfect!

Can't say enough, so, WOW!
 

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Fanstastic! Very striking design - excellent!!!
 

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I signed in today JUST so I could comment on this. Wow, this is fantastic! You truely captured the flow and movement of a ripple on the water here. And the figure in that curly maple combined with the blue stain give the lid quite an amazing effect!! Beautiful work! : )
 

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This stopped me dead in my tracks, Jeff. One of those gasped 'oh' moments. It is absolutely stunning. A true masterpiece.

The top just looks like water frozen in fast camera shutter. The grain and dye complement each other perfectly. I keep staring at it thinking that time will unfreeze and the top dissolve over the sides. The body of the box itself is a lovely combination of convex and concave lines. I've read the desciption of how you came up with it and I still have to ask, how?

Seeing this has made my day. Thank you.
 

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Hey…did someone call for rain….

Was an honor seeing where Ripple was born - Rich
 

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That is amazing. I love where your imagination has led you. Great job.
 

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The idea was great but the final product was amazing. I really like it. You chose the perfect wood and color for this project. It is great!
 

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Wow. Wonderful, amazing, outstanding. Sides of the top looks like a waterfall about to happen. Frozen in wood.

Randy
 

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Very, very impressive. This is one of those projects that just look "perfect." The the turned lid, the box construction, the wood choice, etc….all just compliment eachother so well. Wow!
 

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I've been checking in everyday for the last week just to see if you had your project posted yet. I must say, this was WELL worth the wait! You captured perfectly everything you set out to achieve. You recreated your vision to wood in a masterful way. Absolutely stunning work my friend! This will be hard to beat.
 
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