John Manthei Bentwood Box




SKU: John Manthei Bentwood Box Categories: ,

Spruce bentwood boxes made by master woodworker and Folk School Founder John Manthei.

These bent wood boxes are an amalgam of two different traditions, Yup'ik and Estonian. They are entirely made of white spruce - top, bottom, sides, handles, and root lashing. The key is to split the spruce for the sides so the grain is straight and continuous. After soaking and steaming John bends the sides to a desirable shape and stitches the overlapping portion together with spruce root. The lids and bottoms are fitted to that shape. The bottom is pinned on with wooden nails and hollowed out a bit for a bowl-like effect. The tops are hollowed out on the underside and domed on the top. The handles are made from the curving wood around knot holes and lashed on with root. The outside is finished with oil and wax.

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