Site updated 10/2/04
"Wooden boxes - these simple words encompass so many possibilities: fine sculpted or carved work, functional or fanciful, immaculately constructed and veneered - or just hollowed out. From exquisitely made traditional boxes to some of the wildest creations by today's most outstanding and innovative designer/makers - 'Celebrating Boxes' features them all."
The 'Celebrating Boxes' project was organised by Peter Lloyd and Andrew Crawford in collaboration with Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle. Originating at Tullie House in September 2001 this unique show has now finished. Despite our best efforts we were unable to arrange for the show to go to US and Australia as was our original intention. However, the show was a great success in UK and the 'Celebrating Boxes' book is still available [see below]. This site will be maintained for reference and to promote the makers who took part in this fascinating show.
HERE - for some images from the first run of 'Celebrating Boxes' at
Tullie House Museum and Gallery in Carlisle
CLICK HERE - for links to 'Celebrating Boxes' participating makers' websites
The 'Celebrating Boxes' Book:
The Celebrating Boxes show is accompanied by a high quality book by Peter Lloyd and Andrew Crawford also called 'Celebrating Boxes'. With162 pages in full colour and around 270 images this wide ranging and extensive book features the work of 68 of the makers represented in the exhibition. The 'Celebrating Boxes' book includes a foreword by David Linley.
Please scroll down to read some reviews,
CLICK HERE - to order your copy signed by the authors,
CLICK HERE - for a selection of comments we have received from readers and contributors
Let's start with the bad news. You won't find 'How To ... ' instructions in Celebrating Boxes. No step-by-step illustrations and photographs to take you through a project. Hands won't be held, routers won't be guided. Sorry.Instead you'll discover inspiration, deep wells of experience and exploration from a global community of boxmakers. Peter Lloyd and Andrew Crawford have selected a diverse mixture of artists and craftspeople to feature in their new book, illustrating their work with beautiful colour photographs, and their philosophy with quotes and narrative. Many have taken to boxmaking as a second or even third career. New Yorker William Kelley began by making a box as a gift and was hooked. John Lee from Idaho is a retired vet and uses an Incra jig to assemble his amazing folding treasure boxes. Robert Ingham took to making boxes so he could easily put his work away while teaching students at Parnham. Boxmaking is a fabulous activity, so full of opportunity for precision and imagination, low in material cost but high in technical skill. The book, which coincides with a boxmaking conference and touring exhibition, outlines the lengths to which boxmakers will go for excellence.
"A big problem was encountered on my first gluing ~ attempt," says John Lee of his treasure boxes, "as I could not get the box opened. I decided that was going to be my first and last folding box. But since then I have made 106 of different sizes and designs and woods." If Celebrating Boxes leaves you wanting to find out more, and it may, there are contact details of all the makers at the back. Better still, leave the book in the lounge and take to the workshop.
Somewhere between turning and cabinetmaking lies a branch of woodwork concerned with the pursuit of perfection, almost it seems for its own sake. As Peter Lloyd, co-author of 'Celebrating Boxes', points out, boxes are a luxury. Where a craftsman builds a magnificent chair or table he is turning a necessary object into a work of art; where he builds a box he sets out from the word go to create magnificence through woodwork.
That, at least, is one take on what makes the work in this book so extraordinary. To a great extent, if Lloyd is to be believed, people make boxes because they don't have a big enough workshop to make furniture; because the outlay required on timber and essential tools is minimal; because you can make a box quickly and take it to sell at a craft fair in the boot of your car. Yet, from these prosaic concerns, a community of outstanding talent and imagination has grown. Aside from the skill and creativity that greets every turned page, what's perhaps most noticeable about Celebrating Boxes is that, while woodworking is so often seen as a pastime for retired men, the makers are as likely to be young craftswomen like Sam Gorman or Petra Ohnmacht. And this, perhaps, is why their work is so diverse; it reflects the people who make it. There is something immensely personal about boxes - whose purpose, after all, is to enclose and protect the space within them - and portraits of makers like Ross Kaires and William McDowell give you a feeling of real closeness with the work they produce.
This is not a practical book, at least in the sense that it doesn't tell you how to make a box. But no woodworker could look through it without feeling the excitement of new possibilities - and that in one way is the most practical step of all. Because nothing is more basic than raw inspiration; and there are some for whom picking up Celebrating Boxes will be the start of the rest of their life.
Extract from Jacket material: 'About the Authors':
Peter Lloyd & Andrew Crawford are professional box makers and experienced writers. Each has a very individual approach to their craft - but they share a love of wood, a commitment to fine craftsmanship and a fascination with the mystique of boxes of all sorts. They have both travelled widely and have accumulated an extensive knowledge and understanding of the art and craft of box making.
They have also arrived at the strong conviction that boxes are undervalued in the 'Art' world so, in 'Celebrating Boxes', they have pooled their experience to write a book which celebrates and promotes the contemporary wooden box in all its guises together with the artists active in this fascinating branch of wood art.
If you would like any information about the show or the makers who took part please contact: