Author: Dennis Zongker
Published by: Taunton Press
We don’t want to make you feel bad…but you might find it hard to top the boxes that this author makes, because they really are show-stoppers. On virtually the first page Dennis Zongker says ‘A lot of passion, work, and devotion went into completing this book’ and you can believe him. There are seven projects and each is explained with a lot more detail than most project books would include.
The book is awash in traditional techniques but the designs are not olde worlde. Here's what's inside:
Serpentine Coin Box
Thirty pages are devoted to this box which, as the name suggests, has a curved front and trays with dividers for coins. There are panels to cut, veneer, mitre and join, bandings to make and fit, bun feet to turn, hinges and a lock to fit, and three trays to make.
Playing Card Box
Made to hold decks of cards, the outside features attractive diamond banding and marquetry of the four suits depicted on ‘cards’. To achieve this Zongker demonstrates the window method of marquetry in detail. There are small feet and a knob to make as well.
Artist Sketch Box
Veneered ply and hardwood components are first veneered. You’ll learn to make yet another cool banding (Greek Key) design to decorate the outside. Techniques and jigs are explained every step of the way. For the inside of the box there are pencil trays to make.
By now we’re getting used to lavish veneer work and marquetry. This time the latter consists of violins and a musical score on top, and a carved lyre on the front. Instead of bandings this box features mouldings which are shaped and joined around the top and base. There are segmented and turned feet to make and a musical movement to fit.
A curved box with a shaped lid features relief carved roses (of course). Lift the lid and complex rose motif marquetry appears on the underside of the lid and in the bottom of the box. Quite a bit of work to do here, not exactly a weekend project!
Cameo Jewelry Box
Possibly the piece de resistance, this veneered-on-all-sides-top-and-bottom box has a complex shape and ribbon bandings which travel all over. On the lid is a traditional elliptical cameo lady motif.
Traditional Jewelry Box
I spoke too soon. This box must be the major work described in Zongker’s book. Irregularly shaped, fully veneered, there are also columns, drawers, trays with dividers, doors and a plinth-like base. About 55 pages are taken up with step by step descriptions of the myriad of techniques involved.
This is a book for those with the determination to learn complex techniques and the accuracy needed to make them work. Not really a book for the beginner unless you have a very high tolerance for rapid learning and jumping in at the deep end. At a minimum those with less advanced skills will have a book they can come back to. Make the boxes described in this book and your skills as a maker will advance for sure.