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Boxes are perhaps the prime focus of my current work. I am enjoying making them primarily for two reasons. One is the opportunity to combine a variety of materials, mostly wood and metal, in one piece.
This leads to many pleasant contrasts in texture and color.
I also enjoy working with the symbolic nature of boxes. There are many facets to this subject, but perhaps the most basic is the fact that a box is an openable container or vessel.
There are many examples in history and mythology of the box as metaphor, Pandora's box, or the Ark of the Covenant, for example.. In these myths, the box contains something highly valued, perhaps mystical, maybe dangerous, often depending on the motives of the opener.
Thus a box becomes a metaphor for the experience of life and the motivations and intention we bring to it.
There are also endless ways to treat the shape and size of a box and fitting of the lid, some simple and elegant, some clever and complex.


18 BO
Recovery of Silence
A contemplation screen in the tradition of Japanese kenbyo, which were scholars’ desk objects intended to aid in isolation from the mundane world. I wished to treat the scene as a painting by using only those elements that were necessary to convey the peace and beauty of a remote mountain waterfall.

Vera wood, shibuichi, gold. Height 6 inches(15.2 cm)

17 BO
Ancient Stillness
The subject is an Alpine Woodsia fern emanating from a stone. This subject reflects my ongoing fascination with rock forms and a current newfound enthrallment with ferns, one of the most ancient of plants. Vera wood, two alloys of shibuichi, gold.

For the fern I chose materials to enhance the understated quietness of the stone shape and color. I wanted to create a piece that might get overlooked in a grouping, but that when noticed, would convey a strong feeling. This may conform to the Japanese concept of “iki”, in which strength would present itself naturally without being overbearing.

16 BO
Twilight Voices
A kenbyo (contemplation screen) depicting a mountain waterfall at twilight, expressing my love for the quiet and serene. Some of my most peaceful times have been in this calm and beautiful realm, where my mind can relax and enjoy ineffable Nature. Carved Ebony with four alloys of carved and engraved shibuichi, ranging light to dark, front to back. Inlaid with silver and gold.

Height 5.75 inches(14.7 cm)

15 BO
Midwinter Nightowl Table Screen
A contemplation object in which I wished to convey the peace and
quietness of a midwinter snowy evening and my special feeling for
owls. Cast in shibuichi with inlayed and engraved details in pure
silver and gold. Ingot cast by Eznic Karakashian.

shibuichi(70%copper/30%silver), pure silver, 22k gold. Ebony base(7
inches wide/178mm)

14 BO
Greenman Reliquary
Greenman exists in many mythologies as the representation of
humankind's relationship to nature. I made this box as a reliquary,
to contain the remains of Greenman, symbolic of our current state of disharmony with nature. Perhaps there is still time for us to reconcile this relationship.
The box is made of Vera wood, the only green wood I know of. The lid is copper, pierced and engraved in the form of a native Viburnum with added Maidenhair fern in shakudo. Over one leaf passes a snail in Mammoth ivory and gold.
The box measures 13cms(5.2") square.

13 BO
Moth Paperweight
A multi-metal moth rests atop a simulated stone in Vera wood. The
moth is fabricated from shakudo, copper and 22k gold. The "stone" is carved Vera wood shaped to mimic a river stone.
14cm x 7.5cm (5.5" x 3")

12 BO
Leaf Spirit

A carved leaf sculpture in Asian Ebony reflecting my love for the leaf form. Even a single leaf, not to speak of the uncountable number of them, can be a representation of infinity as it changes every instant and passes visually from nothing back to nothing.

11 BO
Tree Peony Vase

shibuichi(85%copper/15%silver), 18k gold cast, engraved, chased
height 12.6cm (5 inches)
1 BO
Hototogisu( Mockingbird) Box
This box was inspired by my love for mountain streams and waterfalls, and a painting by Japanese artist Mori Kansai titled "Hototogisu In Summer Valley". I was thrilled to find a unique piece of Ebony suggestive of a rocky gorge landscape for the lid. I enhanced the landscape effect with carving and added the bird, fern, grasses and a small pine tree in mixed Japanese metal alloys.
This piece is important to me as it represents a personally meaningful landscape.
Also, it dwells at the intersection of painting and sculpture.
The materials are Ebony, Black Ash burl, shibuichi, copper, gold and silver.
Dimensions are 15.5cm x 18cm x 6cm - 6.1" x 7.2" x 2.35"
2 BO
Evening Moth Box
The theme of this box is a light-seeking moth, symbolic of the soul's desire for union with the over-soul.
Materials are Wenge (Millettia laurentii) wood, copper, shibuichi,
shakudo, 18 & 22k gold, mother of pearl.
Dimensions are 110mm x 125mm x 35mm - 4.3" x 4.85" x 1.35"
3 BO
Evening Moth Box II
I was pleased enough with Evening Moth Box(#29)
to want to make another version with different Japanese alloys and a different approach to the moon. The subject is a light-seeking moth.
Materials are Wenge (Millettia laurentii) wood, shibuichi, shakudo, copper, 18 & 22k gold, and 24k gold nashiji (flakes). Lacquer finish.
Dimensions are 121mm x 140mm x 38mm - 4.75" x 5.5" x 1.5"
4 BO
Moosemaple & Spider Box

This box was inspired by the large, languid leaves of the Moosemaple, a small native Vermont tree. I wished to create a piece evocative of the poignant Autumnal atmosphere. The gold spider adds a bit of energy. His web enters the inside of the box through a decayed hole where it spreads in typical orb-weaver fashion. The leaf is intricately detailed with piercing, engraving, chasing and patination. A bit of gold is added for color.
Materials are Wenge (Millettia laurentii) wood, copper, 18k gold and 24k gold.
Dimensions are 12 cm x 14 cm x 38mm - 4.7" x 5.5"
5 BO
Painted Fern Box
This box was inspired by a fern in our garden, a gift from my wife, Jean. This fern is also called a Japanese sword fern.
Materials are Ebony, Black Ash burl, shibuichi, 22 & 24k gold
Dimensions are 70mm square x 57mm high - 2.75" x 2.25"
6 BO
Winter Beech Leaf Box
On this box, I wanted to portray winter beech leaves which often remain on the branch in a dried state until the new leaves arrive in the spring.
Materials are Wenge (Millettia laurentii) wood, copper, shibuichi, shakudo, silver, and 22k gold.
Dimensions are 80mm x 55mm x 45mm - 3.3" x 2.15" x 1.75"
7 BO
Broom Box
In Japan, many everyday implements are still made with care
and elegance. I chose, on this box, to portray a simple, but beautiful broom, having been laid down on a stone path.
Materials are Russian Aspen, Ebony, Boxwood, copper, gold
Dimensions are 54mm length x 32mm height - 2.5" x 1.25"
8 BO
Peony In Light Rain Box
I wanted, in this box, to portray one of my favorite garden flowers. This I did using traditional Japanese metalwork alloys and techniques.
The lid rim is silver. The decorative panel is made of four different alloys of shibuichi, achieving a range of grays and a dark ruddy brown for the bamboo stake. 22k gold is used for the flower center just to add a touch of contrast.
The box body is turned Wenge (Millettia laurentii) wood, sandblasted and lacquered.
Dimensions are 76mm diameter x 50mm Height - 3" x 2"
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