TOP: In some ways, there is nothing special about this part; however, the decisions made did pull the whole piece together. The pyramidal shape of the center is actually difficult to get right, as the four triangular areas will reveal distortions from the correct plane. The finish is done in tiny planishing marks laid over a very smooth chased surface. This takes a lot of time to get right. Carrying the wavy lines from the side of the box to the top with a single line worked well. The juxtaposition of curves and pyramidal shape is very satisfying.
SIDE: Exploring the effects of concentric wavy line as a primary design feature in conjunction with deeply cut lines. One aspect that worked out very well was the wider central line. Between its own edges, this line has been chased so that the center of the line is lower than the edges. Not by much, but the effect is wonderful, as it allows the area within the line to have its own reflective angle to light, which makes it stand out. The finish on the center line is established with very tightly chased planishing. The concentric wavy lines on the lower portion worked out well. One thing I think I would change, should I work with this effect again, is to establish a smoother texture on the overall surface of this area prior to chasing in the concentric lines. The top portion is a high-gloss finish with light planishing marks tending toward an almost smooth finish.
BOTTOM: I had a good time experimenting with various finishes on each of the individual wave lines. I should say that all the effects are very intentional, with some very subtle surface distortions to break up the light reflection. I am particularly interested in the center “dimple” that serves as the resting point for the box. I think I may experiment with this effect as a primary design feature for an entire box.
OVERALL THOUGHTS: I ended up very happy with this piece. The side walls started out one inch wide and six inches long. This proportion of 1 to 6 was hard to deal with, requiring a low profile to both the top and bottom to get the proportions to work out correctly. One lesson learned was to reduce the wall width to a bit less than an inch. The visual effects of the box are wonderful, but what really compels the eye is the effect of the single, wide wave line on the side of the box separating the high gloss area on top of the side from the concentric wave lines at the bottom. The decision to form a high-gloss-but-planished pyramidal shape as the center of the top created another visual attractor, as the flat angles of reflection require a second look to figure out. The tactile effect is very good; weight and shape working well together, sitting nicely in the hand. While not a particularly complex piece of chasing, it was not easy, and the proportions between the glossy and matte reflective qualities were critical. This box is more than just pretty, it is artistic rather than technically impressive. I am both happy and pleased to sign my name to it.