This video project was born when I was approached to make a very special treasure box for a friend’s daughter. We talked about the design … which needed to include fine handcut dovetails, and wood options that would suit her tastes, emphasize the joinery, be uncommon and yet overall be harmonius. We agreed on the box featured here, in Zebrano and Wenge.

It didn’t end there, my friend impressed upon me that her daughter would want to know the story behind the box and woods … I assured her that I include a descriptive card with all my pieces. Over the next week or so that conversation replayed itself in my mind. I came to recognize that here was someone who valued the techniques, maker and materials, not just the end result as beautiful as that might be.

In 1968 David Pye introduced the notion of “workmanship of risk” in which outcomes rely exclusively on the craftsman’s care, judgment and dexterity and not an automated manufacturing process. The work at Eye of the Bird studio woodworking honours this ever increasingly rare philosophy … and those that appreciate the difference only a craftsman can make. After all, how else do we create new family heirlooms or tomorrow’s antiques?

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