Yew box



Made in Wales, probably about 1983 or 84. I think the yew came from some timber David Woodward had in his collection. Only a few small pieces, made half a dozen small boxes, lots of them with flashes of white sap. Lovely wood. No idea why this box was never finsihed (it doesn't have a lid). Kicks around the shop. Last had a collection of paua (Abalone) pieces, now rehoused.

28th May: The missing lid was probably a failure. I made these boxes using the 'built-in-lid' method. In essence, the lid is part of the construction, sawn off after the box is built. Typifies what Pye called 'the craftsmanship of risk'. To explain: the lids were usually veneered panels, glued into a rebate with some contrasting stringing around the margins. A multi-stage, precisely-mitred assembly, quite tricky to get just right. A slice too far with the plane and there's an ugly gap, and no going back. Something like an hour's carefull work, maybe more, spread over 2 or 3 days as the various parts are glued-in.

If the lid comes off and is wrong, for wharever reason, the whole job is a failure. You can't usually 'rebuild' the lid. Sometimes that means that the whole, nearly finished, box - a parcel of expensive and irreplaceable materials (and 'irreplaceable' hours of work) - has to be junked.

The remainder - a lidless box - languishes around the shop, collecting bits and pieces and sort of earning its keep.

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