Wood, metal leaf and chemical patination

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I came to woodworking genetically. My father was a wood carver. Everything he made had a
purpose, but he took his own approach on each piece. All of his pieces were made with a single
pocket knife and occasional use of shoe polish if he wanted a darker finish. He thought of his
projects as a means to an end, something used to hold something else – to fulfill a function with
a touch of himself as the decoration.
Like many others, my first entry into woodworking arose out of necessity. In the course of
numerous household projects when we couldn’t afford to pay someone else to make them for
us. Cabinets, chests, chairs, and a variety of other needs with limited funds drove me to learn to
make them myself.
After many years of making things with machines, I had to deal with a couple of medical issues,
one of which was a contributor to injuring myself on a mangler machine. This occasion led me to
the discovery of the joy of making things with hand tools. Other than the stereo in my shop and
a power drill, I use exclusively me-powered tools. I have made, and will continue to make larger
furniture projects, but there is a special joy in making a box. They can be as simple or as
complex as I choose to make them, but each one presents a challenge to apply my skills to
produce something useful.
The boxes I make are a reflection of his view of the useful, nice to look at, pleasant to hold and
unique carved items he made. They are intended to be used for some purpose whether it be
meaningful keepsakes or just a place to put junk you don’t want on display when your
mother-in-law comes over.