Maple leaf ring boxes



I have some lovely pieces of Australian burl that are too small or the wrong shape for anything except miniature bowls or small boxes and previously I have turned ring boxes from such timber but these have limited appeal.  I had also previously carved a sleeping cat on the lid of a larger turned box.  Then, looking for saleable small scale carving projects, I decided I’d carve some ring boxes.

Ring boxes are a lovely way to present a special purpose ring: engagement, wedding, vow renewal; gift wrapping for any small jewellery gift.  They are also decorative pieces on their own.

I started by making boxes in the shape of leaves and the sleeping cat.  I refined the leaf shapes in the second batch and added a lizard, a turtle and a sleeping dragon.  More variations are in the pipeline.  Overall size is 85 to 95 mm diameter and around 40 to 60 mm height (depending on the shape).  The tallest so far, at 60 mm, will be the gargoyle that I am still working on.  Some shapes such as the sleeping cat and dragon are suitable for carving onto larger boxes.  Others could be adapted to make them suitable.

If you have a design in mind for someone special, yourself perhaps, please email.  I’m eager to try new shapes and happy to discuss what is possible.  Discussion of possible projects is always provided free of charge.

Greyhound bed



Some time ago, we began planning our new bed.  Shane had been practicing some Japanese joints and this seemed a good opportunity to use them.  We liked the idea of having a knockdown bed with interlocking joints and no bed bolts.

The first test was to be a bed for our son’s guest bedroom.  It seemed a good idea as we use the bedroom around once a week and we were keen to get our mattress off the floor.  After drawing up a plan for the base and practicing the joints themselves, that bed quickly took shape and we were using it by the end of April 2018.  Originally without fixings, we soon decided that we needed to screw the slats in place.

For our own bed we wanted to incorporate a bedhead but still make it knockdown with no fixings.  After more planning, drawing, discussion, it was time for a quarter size scale model.  Seemed a pity to waste the model so Shane showed the drawings to our other son and his family and asked if they would like the scale model bed for their greyhound.  We suggested putting the bedhead at the longer side to better suit sitting against a wall but otherwise: a quarter scale sized model with a purpose.

It took Shane some time to complete the bed for our favourite greyhound.  Nearly done, he asked the greyhound’s hoomans which way up they wanted the arched rail of the bedhead.  It was delivered and assembled in mid-August 2019. 

At last! time to make ours.  With most of the hard thinking already done, our bed was completed at the start of May 2020.  I say completed but there is provision for a kumiko panel between the top two rails of the bedhead and first there will to be at least one prototype.


  • All 3 versions have lap joints with through tenons.
  • Bedheads are jointed using wedged through tenons.
  • Our bed also has the slats dovetailed into side supports (no screws required).
  • All three are knockdown and more easily transportable. 


  • Guest room bed:  black walnut from a farm in NE Victoria.
  • Greyhound bed:  yellow stringybark from the Blue Mountains, NSW.
  • Our bed:  apple box from Yackandandah, Victoria.

If your canine family member needs a bed that is also a furniture piece, we are happy to discuss the possibilities and pricing.  Just email with your size requirements.  Email and enquires are obligation and cost free.

New experiences

A few months ago, Fiona Gruber came to interview us as part of a series to be aired on Radio National.  It has been a long wait but yesterday morning the interview did indeed go to air.  I find it an unsettling experience to hear my own voice on air (or on an answering machine) but managed to overcome that difficulty and listen to the interview.  It is thrilling to find that someone thinks you may have something to express or explain that others may find interesting and it is a great pleasure, or perhaps relief, to find that you have managed to be coherent and have said what you intended.  Of course, much of the skill is in the work of the interviewer and editing and yet I think it is a team effort.  You may have something valuable to say but the interviewer must ask astute questions to get that out of you.  Our thanks to Fiona for such an enjoyable experience and pleasing result.

Aside from the excitement of the new experience of being interviewed about our work, the work goes on.  I find I am carving more, both on turnings and entirely carved pieces.  Shane has found time to make more furniture for us.  He has also completed a few pieces for friends and family.  Perhaps I’ll find time to take some photos sometime soon.