Some friendships were made to last, and this friendship has lasted for over forty years. In this case, it’s a multiple friendship. We met when we were all single, went to a lot of parties as couples, got married during the same year, and stayed friends through moves, a birth, job changes, and lately retirements. We think of each other as extended family.

The concept in my mind was to build two boxes; one for her, and one for him. The first step is to find themes and images that will mean something to the recipients of the gifts. For her, loons have always been a cherished bird, and for him, the dream is to be outdoors in the woods. So the themes would be outdoorsey – a loon theme for her, and woods and water for him. While I was building the boxes I thought it would be a good opportunity to take some photographs of the “build” and then annotate them to give a picture history of the boxes coming together, complete with the various challenges that happened along the way.
Here’s one of the finished loons.

One of the finished loons

The internet is usually where I start. I begin by finding a picture or drawing that is suitable for converting into a pattern, then modifying it down to something that’s simple enough for me to cut out of pearl and abalone, and finally sizing it to fit the blanks of pearl on hand.

So below, please find below a series of slideshows that depict each step of the process. As usual, click on a picture to view the slideshow, then click on the arrows at the bottom right and left to advance or go back. Finally click again on any photo to exit the slideshow.
First the pattern – Enjoy the pictures.

The next step is to cut the patterns and glue them onto pearl or abalone. Here’s some photo’s of that process:

Now the box is glued together

In applying a nice gloss finish, a problem arises – dreaded dust. Someday I’d like to set up a dust free drying room, but unfortunately at this time I don’t have a dust free shop. It’s easier said than done to eliminate dust. Here are the pictures:

Finally – here are pictures of the finished boxes. I applied a satin finish to the exterior to mitigate the dust problem. I also “flocked” the interior, which results in a velvet like surface. It’s quite nice and easy to do.