Surely at some point a tree has caught your attention. Perhaps it was a splendid red maple in full fall foliage, maybe it was a persistent palm growing through the sand. Making a wooden box brings the spirit of that tree back to life.
(If, by some horrible chance, you haven't ever noticed such a thing, I encourage you to stop at the next tree you see and take a look at it. Really look.
Feel the bark, smell the leaves, give it a hug. Trees are marvelous life forms.)
I'm fascinated by wood and what it can become. If you are too check out the following links.
Even if you have no interest in making a box of your own, I still recommend you check out the "how to" pages on this site. You may find that knowing about the process of making a box gives you more appreciation for the finished product.
Wood can be worked into nearly any form.
Steaming and bending produces the elegant curves of Shaker boxes.
The design is traditional so the creativity comes in choosing the wood and in making the swallow-tails graceful. Or, use the method to make bentwood boxes of your own design.
The band saw can also create shapes that range from sinuous to silly. Making bandsaw boxes allows your imagination to run wild. It's also a good way to use up those chunks of wood that are too nice to burn, but too small to make into a larger piece.
I like jewelry boxes because of the variety of shapes and sizes. They are (or at least can be) beautiful and utilitarian at the same time. That appeals to my Yankee practicality (actually I prefer to think of myself as a recovering Puritan).
Using a lathe to turn wood is a totally different process. I find it relaxing. I love to turn green wood and feel the sap splattering on my arms. I've never done any pottery, but I think making a wooden box on a lathe must be similar to turning bowls on a wheel.
I also make boxes for specific purposes. I make desk organizers to hold paper and the mess of an office.
A tool chest is a necessary box for many people.
Making a wooden box for a gift gives a part of yourself as well.
A kitchen cabinet, is a box, as is a bench with a top that opens.
Making a box can be as simple as banging four boards together together, or as complex as veneering a star-burst inlay. You can use the wood you found on your walk or buy book matched lumber from a dealer.
I think that's what draws me to wood and making wooden boxes. Both the material and the process are flexible and I can adjust my designs for different times and purposes.
Click on any of the links to learn more about the specifics of making wooden boxes. I hope you enjoy the process as much as I.