Jewellery Boxes – part 1 – why?

Jewellery Boxes – part 1 – why?

Jewellery Boxes: The jewellery box is the first piece of truly fine work done by all the students at Rowden. It comes right after, literally and metaphorically speaking, the massive workbench. And it is the first thing that is made by the students on that workbench. The jewellery box is the perfect introduction to fine detail and perfect finishing.

It represents a distillation of all the skills that have been learnt up to this point. Its small scale requires absolute perfection on the part of the maker. There is nowhere to hide your mistakes. Included in the project is the use of dovetails, hinges, raised panels and, critically, French Polishing (which is a whole subject in itself). It also includes making mitred inserts and sometimes even fitting locks.

The other key challenge for the students is that they are responsible for the design. They must select the right timber and design an elegant box that makes best use of the materials they have chosen. It is also important to showcase these newly acquired skills to their best effect. For most, it is not unusual for this to be the first piece to go on their website and/or their first piece to be exhibited. It is almost certainly the first piece they show off to their friends and family.

Until next time,



David established Rowden Atelier in 1995, a now world renowned fine woodworking school. Discover Rowden, the woodworking courses, and the work that students go on to do.

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