Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Memorial Display Case

  A couple of weeks before Father's Day I received a message from Jocelyn. She asked if I could make a display case for a jacket which belonged to a friend of hers and her husband Nathan. The jackets owner had passed away last year and they received the coat and cherish it as a reminder of him. Jocelyn wanted the case for a Fathers Day surprise and hoped that I could get it done in time.

 I told her I could have it done in time. It was an awesome idea. I felt honored to make it. I asked her to spirit the coat over to my house so that I could begin work on the case right away.

   I wanted the case to convey a feeling of times passing but not so much as to distract from the coat it is harbouring. Think of an old wooden railing on a boardwalk, the weathered wood grain raised up and polished smooth by many hands. The case would feel old to the touch and the light should play well off the textured surface. Yes, that would do nicely.
  There is an ancient Japanese technique to accentuate the texture of the wood grain which they call Jin di sugi. To do this the wood was buried in earth for several years allowing it to decay. I didn't have that much time so I used a wire wheel on a grinder to remove the early wood and leave behind the late wood.

  A little explanation may be in order here. If you were to look at the annual rings in the end of a log one would see that there are wide rings and narrow rings. The large rings are early wood which grow during the spring into summer. The narrow rings, called late wood form in the late summer into winter. Late wood is much denser than the early wood and therefore the wire wheel will brush away the soft early wood leaving behind the raised texture.

  The case is built from oak with an ebony stain and a little shellac on top. The glazing in the door is acrylic as glass would be to fragile here. White felt finishes off the background area. Click on the picture for a better look.

  Jocelyn and her children presented the case to Nathan on the Saturday before Fathers Day in his office. One could tell he was deeply touched. We hung the cabinet on the wall so he can look at it often.

As always thanks for reading.