I was delighted when this project came along - a hope chest a friend commissioned for his wife. These are the sorts of pieces to which a woodworker can easily devote love.
I wanted something that would "glow," and I think I achieved it here.
The chest top and connecting elements are made from curly cherry that like a hologram shows differing colors and patterns as you shift your angle of view. The panel faces are bird's eye maple. I used Spanish cedar to line the interior and added a shallow tray that glides along runners near the top.
Curly cherry is a notoriously difficult wood to work. Raw boards are typically twisted, warped, cupped and bowed. The top of this piece started as nearly inch-and-a-half thick planks that I ultimately hand planed down to a flat surface just under an inch-thick.
The piece is finished in multiple layers of shellec and wipe on varnish, a combination that emphasizes the wonderful grain patterns in the woods and gives both depth and luster to the whole.
Dimensions: 42-inches wide, 22-inches deep and 24 inches high.