One of the first projects that our students make here on our course is a box. This starter project is chosen because it introduces them to hand cut veneering and hand cut dovetails, and acquaints students with power tools like the router for the first time.
Furthermore, the box project is the perfect choice for giving them early design input on their box. They lead on the box lid design and have the freedom to arrange or detail the box interior to their own preference. It is also a great introduction to different types of timber, and each student chooses the wood or veneer that they feel best compliments their design or personal taste. Our students will then be shown wood finishing techniques, and are taught how to finish their boxes in the right way and how to apply an oil finish.
Much like the table in our last blog post, the commercial arm of Williams and Cleal shares workshop space with our students and often our commissions provide really interesting case studies.
Such is the case with our latest commission – an Art Deco Inspired Memory Box – which features a high gloss polyester finish that has sparked great interest from the students and our Instagram following.
The client’s specification was for an Art Deco inspired box, large enough to store keepsakes like DVD’s, CD, photographs, documents and small items. The lid is split and opens from the centre, and it is secured shut by magnetic closers.
The box is made in Macassar Ebony, with the Art Deco design picked out in Rippled Sycamore. The box interior is Rippled Sycamore a red Alcantara base.
The box was sprayed with a high gloss polyester finish which is really successful in bringing out the grain on the Macassar Ebony and Rippled Sycamore. It has been a good commission for our students to see how wood finishes can transform a project and draw attention to the rich tones and striking beauty naturally occurring in different woods.
Polyester has the highest molecular structure and strength of all the finishes available and therefore the finished surface is strong, making it less vulnerable to scratching and cleaning. Polyester also has a 100% sheen clear finish for a mirror-like gloss, and it works perfectly for the art deco style of this commission.
You can see a video of the finished box here.