Thinking on the prompt potluck, “the first thing my head went to was church potluck,” Paul said. “But sometimes, getting ready for dinner, Mom would say if we don’t have anything planned, ‘we’ll just go potluck.'”
So Paul went to his scrap bin and pulled out several strips of wood. “Pieces that were too big to throw away, and pretty stuff, but probably not big enough for a project itself.”
From those “scraps,” he fashioned this spectacular boxes:
Each box is about seven inches across and three inches deep. The colors are all natural wood—no stain. Some of the strips are as narrow as 1/8 of an inch. Amazing craftsmanship!
“I don’t think I would have tried this without the prompt,” Paul said. “But this was a lot of fun for me, and I’m using up stuff. I can’t go much bigger, because I’m making the base from plywood scraps I also have on hand.”
The project also opened Paul to new skills and new ideas. “I’m developing my skill set on joinery,” he explained. “And I’m thinking about Christmas gifts and the possibility of making cremation urns.”
We talked about what fun it would be to put a double bottom in a box and hide something inside—a mystery never to be revealed! That idea sparked a childhood memory of when our dad split and hollowed logs, then put a trinket inside each one and nailed the logs back together. He put a tacky-looking bow on each log and handed them out at Grandma’s house. Our Uncle Harlie, also a woodworker, went to his workshop and gathered every pry bar and hammer he had so everyone could find their surprise. What fun! (This was before my time, but I can absolutely envision Dad’s mischief and the resulting family delight.)
When Paul shared this work with us in July 2012, the boxes weren’t quite finished. He still had plans to dip into his stash of leather scraps to line the interior of each box. When complete, he expected to ask $50 or more for each box. Not bad for a potluck of scraps.