Monday, December 24, 2007

Melissa's Christmas Gift

Well this year has definately been a wierd year. I have continued to immerse myself into my creative side more and more. It has worked out that the economy has impacted my day job and made alot more time available. As a result, money has not been as available as years past. It also happened this year that I have my first major show opening on January 12th, which means that I have a small fortune invested in frames. I asked my wife Melissa if it would be okay if I made her Christmas present this year, she heartily agreed. Getting her blessing to make a gift was definately the easy part.

A common theme that has showed up in my painting has been trees. I often get asked, "Why trees." That question quite simply does not have a short answer. There is not as aspect of my life that has not been influenced by trees, in fact our whole culture has been shaped by trees. My grandfather was a German craftsman and I grew up in his shadow until I reached adulthood. I have been fascinated by building projects and carpentry since I was a a kid. I don't have an explanation for why, I simply know that to be the case. That interest has inspired a number of projects including log home construction.

The four woods that I chose for this project are ash, zebrawood, purple heart and ziricote. I chose ash not only for its beauty, but because it is indigenous to where I grew up. The other extotic hardwood are all tropical and chosen for their color and grain.

I wound up with a good sized challenge with the locking mechanism on the chest. I got some of the steps of fitting out of order and had to improvice mortising the the lock. I almost blew it on that step of the process. I was questioning whether or not to put a lock in at all because of the degree of difficulty. In the end, I am glad I did, since it is not a very good treasure chest without a lock.

I tried to capture the beauty of the purple heart lining in a few accents on the box without having in appear over the top. Who knew how important the balance that a painter learns in painting would apply to woodworking?

I used the same bookmatched zebrawood that I put in the lid in the bottom of the removable drawer. It made for a nice accent and helped to bring out the beauty of the purple heart. I found the hinge hardware at a local supplier and was extremely pleased with the outcome of that piece of hardware. Simple, elegant and functual, doesn't get any better that that.

Thanks for looking. for a larger image on any of the photos, simply click on the picture.


indiaartist said...

This is extremely beautiful and I am sure it will make anyone happy. Anything made by human hands is very special and this one is aesthetically done. Great.

E.Milz said...

Its a beautiful chest you made for your wife, it looks very skilled and warm. A piece of art from the heart.


Michael Pieczonka said...

great craftmanship Les. You should be proud of creating something with such a high personal value. I alwways dream about creating things in wood. I think I may just have to take a class or two after seeing this.

Mike said...

Having done a bit of fine wood working myself, Les, I say take a bow for this one. This is exquisite workmanship. The artist lives in us whether the medium be wood, paint or a garden. Hat's off to you for this feat!

Melissa should be over the moon about this!

les lull said...

Thanks Mike. My wife was pretty moved by the piece. I overheard her telling someone, "How do you compete with something like this?" I figure it should buy me a couple months bad behavior at least. ;-)

Ron Guthrie said...

Holy smokes Les! This is very cool work and man am I ticked I can't do work similar to this. Really well made and not only functional but beautiful!! You did a killer job Les.
Makes me want to go to the garage and cut something! hahahaha.
Way to go!!