C2 Box with Metal Clay Lid

Sandstone Box with Silver Lid by Julia Rai

Submitted to the Registry evaluators - August 2010

I really enjoy working with sandstone so I decided to carve a box from sandstone and make a lid to fit it. Actually, I did this the other way around, made the lid first then carved the box so the lid fit.​

To make the lid, I created a metal clay frame and then roughly tore off pieces of clay and flattened them into slices which were pasted to the frame to create an organic looking rocky face. Each slice was textured with paste. I wanted the top of the box to be at an angle with the lid sitting on it. To achieve this I put some angled elements underneath the lid so they sort of hooked over the box. This wasn’t terribly successful in the first box!

After firing, the lid was given a liver of sulphur patina and then I stuck mineral accents into some of the crevices. Here are the scores for the first box.

Design – 3,5 out of 5
Craftsmanship – 2 out of 2.5
Precision – 0 out of 1.5
Finish – 1 out of 1

6.5 out of 10, not enough to pass.

Here’s what they said…

“I enjoy the unexpected combination of materials.”

“Great exture/form on the lid – way beyond the other textures you have used elsewhere.” Nice comment!

“I wish the interior of the box were a little more rewarding – deeper? sharper? a trinket inside?” I should have taken more notice of this comment!

“I can’t accept this as a lid. It slides right off” OK then….

Sandstone Box with Silver Lid by Julia Rai
Sandstone Box with Silver Lid by Julia Rai

Re-submitted to the Registry evaluators - September 2012

So I remade the lid and the box, same materials and techniques, just made the lid more secure and the box had two holes instead of one. The angle of the lid was slightly less so that the lid was not at such a steep angle and I had the lid sort of bend over the highest point at the back so it was really secured.

Design – 2.5 out of 5
Craftsmanship – 2 out of 2.5
Precision – 1.5 out of 1.5
Finish – 1 out of 1

Just scraped through with seven out of 10 which was disappointing. Here are the comments…

“Very unique box (stating the obvious)” That was their comment, not mine!

“Lid fits well, is secure in its seat” Yay!

“This a very creative solution to the project as far as being a box shape that is original and a unique use of the sandstone.”

“I think is a few metal clay elements were embedded into the sandstone (there is plenty of room on the back and some on the front) OR using lighter accents on the lid (perhaps small white pearls) would help to tie the lid and box together more effectively from the aesthetic viewpoint. In other words, carrying the lighter/white colour of the sandstone onto the darker metal clay.”

“This is a terrific design idea that looks to have been abandoned or given up too soon.” Oh dear!

“Although strictly speaking, the top and base do fit together well, I don’t find a deeper connection between these two pieces of a reason to pair them.”

“The very white stone against the very dark silver reinforces this lack of unity.”

“Maybe you could have set the gemstones, sprinkled in the rock to tie the two together?”

Really helpful comments.

Here is the project description from the Masters Registry website:-

​C2 Box with Metal Clay Lid

Create a box of a non-metal material and a metal clay lid that coordinates
with it. The box can be made of any material or combination of materials,
such as (but not limited to) wood, ceramic, plastic, glass, leather or fiber. The
scale should be no smaller than a walnut and no larger than a grapefruit.
The lid should integrate with the container; the result should not look like a
metal form randomly set onto a box. The lid can be a removable friction fit, a
hinged connection, a pivot, or any other arrangement that is functionally and
aesthetically appropriate. Embellishments such as gemstones, gold overlay,
and so on are acceptable but not required.

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