Another Wine Ceremony Box

I harbor a dream of someday making a full time living connected with sawdust, be that building, designing, writing, teaching, or any combination thereof. To that end I have found some moderate success lately with small carved boxes to be used during a wedding ceremony in something called a Wine Ceremony.

 The box is intended to hold a bottle of wine and two letters, on from each side of the matrimonial union, for many, many years. I understand the standard plan is to open the box again on the twenty fifth anniversary. That means the box must face the test of time and life, moves from one house to another, handling by children and waiting on a shelf.

That means bomb proof joinery is needed. Joinery that is just as strong as the bonds that hold a long and successful marriage together. My marriage is on the doorstep of our seventeenth anniversary and the bond we have is the thing I am most proud of in my life. I hope all these boxes make it to couples who are as fortunate as we are.

The dovetails are fun and functional, but the real star of the box is the carvings I get to cover them with. This process always starts with the simple, humble dividers. I divide the board in half in both directions and scratch the basic shapes in to achieve symmetry.

Then I follow with some initial work, carving out the big ideas with a V chisel and stamping in the patterned shaped with various sweeps of gouges.

With the basics stamped in, the next step is to remove the background from the design.

Texturing the background helps it contrast with the foreground. I also try and create the hints of motion with the texture tool by stamping it in a radius like the outer circle.

The front plate is finished, Time to start the lid.

This client wanted a "S & S" carved on the inside of the box. I find lettering to be the most technically challenging thing to carve. Everyone knows letters, the have expectations about how they should look. Letters are one of the few things I make a template for and utilize some carbon paper to get them right.

Then comes the glue up. Hide glue of course.

Then comes the carving for the lid. For this application I try and stick with an opposing heart centerpiece on the lid. Two hearts coming together as one. I think you can understand the idea and meaning.

I managed to get some good final pics at a local park. The lighting was perfect.

Ratione et Passionis


  1. Stunning....

    Simply stunning. And you're right, the lighting is perfect.


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