Cherry "Seashell" Jewelry Chest


I've made many jewelry boxes and chests with sculpted sides and tops and I really don't get tired of it. I'm usually tweaking the shapes and proportions to match the wood and box dimensions  and they usually all are a little bit different from one another. On the other hand, I still like to try something different.


The double curve on the sides of this piece is a shape I've been playing around with for some time. I also seemed to have settled into a mind set about rectangles with a roughly 8 by 10 proportion seeming to be the most aesthetically pleasing. But thinking about all the rectangles around me in life made it seem too rigid to stick to a single proportion. So with this box, I began with a cube. Maybe this will mark the beginning of my "cubist" period. While I was at it I decided to get a little more adventuresome with the box top. The piece of cherry I had was thick, so I could go wild with the curves. My wife saw the box and said: "Oh, the top looks like a seashell." The final dimensions are about 10" l x 10" w x 11" h.

This chest has both a lift out tray at the top and a lower drawer. I take great care in laying out the dovetails to allow for the drawer while at the same time varying their size and spacing to match the thickness of the curved sides. 

Beginning with an ordinary piece of cherry, sculpting the curves makes the grain of the cherry pop out in interesting ways. I never quite know what the final result will look like.

I particularly like the way the grain turned out on the top of this piece.

The drawer handle is made from cocobolo:

It consists of four interlocking pieces, cut and fit by hand. It was really time consuming, but I think I learned how to do it faster the next time. The finish is French-polished orange shellac. The orange shellac darkens the cherry a bit, although I expect this piece will darken quite a bit more naturally over time. Eventually it should be a rich reddish brown color.

For availability, prices, questions or comments, please email me and I'll get back to you soon.