From my client's wild and fanciful design, we built this home for her beloved collection of jewelry. She later named it the "Jewel House", since it was patterned from a massive Oriental fortress from her imagination, one that might have felt at home in an Akira Kurosawa movie.
Upon slicing into the Spalted Ash wood that was to become the front and back panels, I discovered an incredible display of grain with "pictures" painted by Mother Nature. On the front panel were the clearly defined shape of a whooping crane (one of my client's favorite animals), soaring alongside a sea lion. On the back, a gathering thunderstorm rolls majestically over the high plains, as rainshafts paint the prairie landscape below.
Or at least, so it seemed to us.
The Spalted Ash patterns are actually created by a fungus which grows on the still-wet log, and leaves behind a dramatic series of black swirls embedded in the grain. The process is called "spalting", and stops when the log is too dry for the fungus to grow. At that point it is safe to build something with the patterned lumber.
As you can see below, an amazing amount of jewelry can be packed into the modest space of the box. All the drawers and their dividers are compartmentalized for individual pieces of jewelry and lined with black velvet.