In 2012 I took a week long class in marquetry at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking in Washington State.  Marquetry is one of the most challenging areas of woodworking that I have experienced.  Although I am still a “rookie” I find I learn something from each and every project I make.  Working with small, thin veneers can be a challenge but the rewards are great.

Many of these boxes are for sale and currently displayed at the “Toucan Gallery” on Montana Avenue in Billings Montana.  For commissions or special orders I can be contacted directly through this website or via e-mail


My first marquetry piece.  This is the character for “Spring”, thus the dogwood flowers.


A marquetry piece: African Wenge, Curly Maple, various veneers.  Interior is from locally harvested winter-kill cherry

















“Autumn leaves”: Box made from straight grain fir.  Bird motif from various veneers.









“Mountains and Trees”:  Curly maple with walnut accents and trim.  Sliding tray with leather on bottom of tray and box.










“Bird on a Branch”: Harvested Northern Minnesota birch: various veneers, leather for bottom.  A small rectangular box for storing just about anything.  I made this one for myself….a great place for those spare pens, pencils, letter openers etc..


“Love and Friends” – A Commissioned piece: Curly Maple with walnut as secondary wood.  Various veneers.  Reversible lid, one side character indicates “Love”, reverse side indicates “Friends”.  This couple were friends before they became lovers.




“The Bird  Box” is made from leopard wood and various veneers.



Another version of the pencil/pen storage box like the one above,  This ones made from a piece of aromatic cedar given to me by a friend.


“The Wolf”: Yet another piece made for a friend.  Made from salvaged red oak from an old table along with padauk legs and veneers.



A small cantilever box.  This one is made from curly maple and padauk.


Another cantilever box.  This selection is made with African wedge and yellow heart.


This box is made from Ziricote, a wood grown and harvested in Mexico and Central America.  It has a beautiful grain pattern with blacks and browns and grays.


A commissioned piece.  This particular one is made from Myrtlewood with Holly trim and accents.  


“Bamboo”:  a small marquetry top box made from mahogany and veneers.


“White Blaze: This piece I made for my hiking partner as an incentive for an  Appalachian Trail venture.  Made from walnut, curly maple and a hardwood style bottom made from aromatic cedar. The “white blazes” are trail markers to insure you are on the right trail.



“The Black Forest”:  A marquetry design.  Made from myrtle wood with ebony trim and accents, and various veneers.



“Acorns”: Made from red oak and a leather bottom with marquetry made from various veneers.


“The Iris”: A Walnut and maple piece with the iris on the bottom of the lid.





5 responses to “Boxes

  1. Jim Healey

    Hey, John! You do excellent work. I am so impressed with the woods you choose . . . and how you make them come to life. Keep up the fine work in your retirement . . . and enjoy!


  2. Thanks Jim…Not really retirement…I’m busier than ever….I consider it, simply, the next chapter….j

  3. Katherine Graf Matherly

    Why John, you are quite the artisan! I love the oak mission chair you are sitting in. My grandfather had a set of them. I also love wood boxes and have a curious multi-wood inlaid one on my dresser that I picked up at an antique show. I don’t know the history of it. On my art work; apparently when I got this computer 3 years ago, I failed to transfer my downloaded art. I will have to scan the pictures again. Kudos to you! Beautiful creations!

  4. Gary

    Beautiful work John, very impressed…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s