Hello from the piece parade. For a few weeks I was working incognito – sort of. I was commissioned to make a ‘bears&boxes’ piece for a birthday gift. It was a special surprise for someone who is very special to them (and to me as well, by the way). It was a delightful project to work on. Now that the gift has been given, I can show you these work-in-progress photos.
I started with nothing but an idea so I presented Jay with dimensions and details of the wooden box I would need. He crafted it expertly and helped in so many ways so that I could get the details right.
Most of these photos document my process for the outside treatment of the box. There are a couple of photos of the interior but when it gets down to the details, sometimes there isn’t much to show. Mostly it’s me thinking, arranging, thinking, arranging, deciding and then changing my mind. In the end, it comes together, and you will see that in the final photos. So let’s get started.
Here’s the basic box with the first coat of paint on top of the primer. The part furthest from the camera is the front.
Below, the paper that I will use for the interior is pictured behind the box.
The most time consuming part of this piece is adding the texture to the outside. It has to be done in stages with plenty of time to set up and cure. It gives dimension to the outside and reflects the design of the paper inside.
I also masked off the places where the hinges will be.
Sometimes the details get covered up a bit, but the dry brushing of the edges and spaces adds to the effect I am after.
Once the exterior was mostly complete, I moved to the interior. Beginning with adding text and quotes to the edges of the box. Here’s the edges before and
Then I added the paper to the inside.
I wanted the color as well as texture so I added a colored medium
and used a fan brush to add the pattern to it.
The photo below shows it mounted inside but it doesn’t accurately reflect the color.
And after all that, here’s the front of the finished piece.
The theme: The Nightmare Before Christmas
This is the box opened showing the entire piece.
The centerpiece of the left side is the silhouette that is illuminated from the back with ambient light imitating dusk. This side also includes details like 7 tiny Nightmare Before Christmas books and a bunting at the top.
The right side also has the bunting, shelves with nightshade and various other elixirs in bottles. The 3-D pictures on the wall of Jack and Sally are among my favorites. And the bear, of course!
A close-up of the books.
A close-up of the pictures.
I love doing these pieces and have a few ideas in mind for the next ones on my list. There’s always a work in progress – either in my head or on my table. Thanks so much for reading!