I didn't chose to make this box. I made it because a jeweler I met really liked my smallest round boxes and thought they'd be a great way for someone to present the engagement and wedding rings she makes. Within a week of her and I discussing the possibility, she sold one to a client. So, I had to make one. I'm happy I did. I didn't have any of the round boxes on hand, and, to be honest, I couldn't remember the exact dimensions of the smallest ones (the walnut with marigold yellow lid box in the photo at right). I found a reference to dimensions in a tweet from ages ago, so I went with those. (Originally, I wrote that it was in a blog, but I was wrong about that.)
Well, as it turns out (and this doesn't surprise me) I wasn't exactly precise with those dimensions in the blog. When I'm asked for dimensions, I typically round up or down, or just give something in the ballpark. Why? Well, I'm a bit protective of my eye for proportion. I put a lot of thought into the proportions of a box and I'd rather not just give that away so that there can be untold numbers of exact copies floating around. (If I publish something in the magazine, then there are precisely correct dimensions.) I suppose some might not like this dissimulation, but design in the hardest part of making furniture—and it's the most personal. At any rate, that's a long way of saying that this week's box was bit of an accident, because I really did set out to make another box identical in proportions to the walnut and marigold box. But I tricked myself and made a different box altogether. Oh well. I'm happy the proportions work, because it means that if someone else used them, then they got a nice box, too.
This new round box, which is cherry and has a blue lid, is smaller in diameter and just a touch taller. I also made the lid thinner. And from the picture of the two side by side, you can see that the pulls are also different. I thought the walnut and marigold version was small, but this one is very delicate. I love it. Now I have four different sizes of the box. Actually, I've made one bigger than the blue body with cherry lid box in the photo above, but I made it only once. It's nice, but requires too much work to make (glueing up blanks, hollowing out tons of wood, etc.).
Here's a nice point about turning a box like this. Notice that the sides are not perfectly vertical. The box is actually slight smaller in diameter at the top than at the bottom. The even roll in slightly at the top lip. If the sides were perfectly vertical, the box would have the illusion of being slightly wider at the top. Tapering the diameter ever so slightly makes it appear straight. It also makes it seem more delicate. And delicate is a good thing on little boxes.
The pull is a variation on a shape I use for every pull that I make, no matter what it's for. I love the shape. That asymmetric curve is lovely. Want to know how I came to it? It's the perfect shape to fit between my thumb and forefinger when I grasp a pull with them. The first time I turned the pull I kept working that arc until it was nice and comfy between my fingers. That's how I'd grasp a pull. If you grasp one differently, then you'd end up with a different shape to satisfy what's comfortable for that grip. This is a great lesson in how function and use determines form. If you do it right, then the form will be graceful.
Finally, one of the great charms of milk paint is how variable it's color can be. This little batch I mixed up is much paler than other batches I've mixed. Look at the deep blue of the box body in the photo above. That's a lot richer blue than the lid of box 11. Still, both colors are great. Milk paint almost always look great.
My goodness, did that run on (and is perhaps a bit disjointed). Let's get to it. Random thoughts.
I love furniture design, and smart techniques. This blog is about both.