Martin Burgoyne, Tiger Top (BOWLS, BOXES 2022)

A small box just 150 x 120 x 150 for Japanese calligraphy equipment. I love the range and variety of Japanese boxes, intricate, highly decorated, with rarely a traditional western style hinged lid in sight. This one is based on a 19th century style for holding a set of Suzuribako / writing boxes, used by participants in Kodo, the Japanese Incense Ceremony. I’ve adapted the design for a full range of Sado / calligraphy paraphernalia, rather than just an ink stone, ink stick and brush, in each tray. We often make an empty box to arbitrary sizes and then put in whatever will loosely fit. But making a box for a very specific set of items adds a whole new level of complexity to the design, and for me fun. Made from walnut and walnut veneered plywood, it is decorated with a range of shell inlays, and stringing. The tiger inlay on the top gives it its name. The pau-shell design on the sides of the trays is a way of making sure they are stacked in the sequence. Removing the outer cover reveals four trays stacked on a base acting as the fifth tray. The interiors of the trays all have a gold sprinkled finish. Each tray is fitted out for specific Sado items, requiring their own internal framework. The contents of the trays from the top down are: A circular inkstone and water dropper Brushes, inkpot, brush rest and seal Black inkstick in its own paulownia box, two inlayed Jarrah paper weights Two name seals, a vermilion ‘mud’ pot Five different colored ink sticks