Something Caught My Eye

I find it amazing how the inspirational process works.  Though I am not sure if it always works the same way twice.

One of the projects that I am looking to make is a candlebox.  Originally it was meant to be a very simple affair.  Lighting Candles in ChurchIt was going to be for the Church because we have small tapers that people light and place in front of the icons, and they needed a better place to be kept.  During my stay in St. Petersburg last summer, a must on my list was a visit to the State Russian Museum.  It wasn’t for Aivazovsky’s The Ninth Wave or Malevich’s Black Square or even the huge collection of Soviet Realism, of which I am particularly fond, that I went.  No, I spent my 50 rubles roundtrip on the Metro (students get free tickets to the museum) to see the collection of Folk Art, and whatever else was made out of wood.Carved Wooden Panel  In the museum I came across a fine specimen of a 17th century candle box, and I thought, “Yep, that’s it.  I want to make a replica of that box.”  I probably looked like a crazy American tourist (though I wasn’t a tourist, I was a proper university student at the Philology Faculty, so there).  I got up to the display case as close as I could, just glad one of the babushkas didn’t yell at me.  And I took all sorts of pictures.  17th Century Russian Candle BoxI wanted to get all the angles, get photos of the stencil work, coloring, and carvings.  My only regret was that I had no way of taking measurements.  To me, it was one of the most beautiful items I had seen.  (You woodworkers know what I’m talking about.)  So I spent the next several days alternating between my Russian conjugations and figuring out joinery.  As you can see from the picture, my view was not conducive to seeing how the core of the box was constructed, and I suspect it might actually be carved from a single piece of stock.  That wasn’t happening for me, so it was to be miter joints all the way.

So I get back States’ side.  I have my little project in my head and looking forward to THE BUILD.  Before I have an opportunity to put hand to wood, the Church has a more pressing arboreal need – music storage.  So now I need to build a bookcase with attached file cabinets.  It has to be in the nave, and so that means some doors to hide what’s inside.  But what to do with the doors?  An unadorned, plain door would look out of place.  Ahhh.  The vine and leaf design from the candlebox could be placed within a shadowbox frame (matching the frames for the icons) as part of the doors.  I might even attach the hash-mark pattern onto the sides too.  But I think I will be able to talk myself out of that adornment.  And so now I have another project to build.

What about the candlebox?  Oh its still there waiting to be built; it just needs the right inspiration.

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