Let’s Give This A Try…
I’ve always loved wooden boxes. I’m drawn to them at antique stores and art shows. I love the intrigue, the mystery – what’s in the box! For several years, when I was much younger, I used to sneak up into the stairwell to the attic of my grandparents’ house and try to pick the lock of a small cedar box my grandfather had sitting on a step. Rumor had it the box contained love letters he and my grandmother had written to each other before they were married.
(I never could pick that lock, and by the time the box made it into my hands after my grandfather had passed away, it was empty – so I don’t know what was in it. But it sits on my dresser and I see it and use it every day. It is a reminder of the greatness of love and of my grandfather – out of all the boxes I’ve made and owned, it is one of the most simple – and it is my favourite.)
I’ve always enjoyed making things out of wood. After messing about here and there with a few different projects, I found I was drawn to making boxes (go figure!). I love the variety of sizes I work with, the different woods I can get more easily in smaller amounts with less cost, the ease in which I can do most of it with hand tools, and especially of coming up with ways to personalize each box to its new owner.
Lately, it seems my woodworking also involves another aspect of my life I enjoy – wearing a kilt! Most of the box commissions I’ve received over the last three or four years have been for sgian dubh presentation boxes. (The sgian dubh is the small knife with the black handle that is usually seen sticking out the top of a stocking when the kilt is worn.)
For some time now, I’ve mulled over the idea of trying to blend the two together (wearing a kilt and doing woodworking, that is).
Physically, it shouldn’t be much different from wearing my cargo shorts. It’s more like a… a change in my frame of mind. Among other things, the kilt represents freedom – freedom from inhibition, freedom of expression, freedom from bifurcation. In my woodworking, I want to try and break my creative genius free of its restraints. I don’t want to re-design the box, mind you – I think it is perfectly acceptable in its current six-sided configuration. But I want to open up how I modify that box to make it into something that will be used and appreciated by its recipient.
Maybe if I put my unbifurcated modus operandi into effect in my workshop, it will make an impact on my woodworking! Worth a shot, anyway, right?
Mostly I suspect this blog will be written word with in-progress project photos and discussions. Now that I have a flip camera, I’m sure it will also start including video at some point, though I haven’t thought that far ahead.
And… alright, I’ll probably include a few kilt shots here and there, too.