This box shows how decorative pearl can be used to personalize a gift and make it special to the intended recipient(s).

This “Whatnot” box was made for a couple that is somewhat international. The guy comes from Canada and the woman comes from Chile. They met in Chile, fell in love, and then moved to the United States. The polar bear represents the far north of Canada, and the penguin is appropriate to the far south of Chile.

Box Top - with inlay

Box interior - Medium Blue Flocking

A quick note on the wood: It’s Wenge, and Wenge is very open grained. Use a paste or epoxy wood grain filler to initially seal the wood, especially if you want to proceed with a gloss finish. To attain a good gloss finish, ten coats of polyurethane were applied to the piece in the photographs.

What-not box - side

You can see in the photos that the abalone head, shoulders. and wings of the penguin have to be cut very precisely and carefully, because the potential for breaking the piece is quite high, especially around the top of the shoulders. Hold your breath, and saw smoothly.

Box top - detail