Martyn Brewer, Boxologist
British boxmaker Martyn Brewer of Devon, UK employs a unique construction technique along with complex geometric patterns to create eye-popping boxes and cutting boards.
British boxmaker, Martyn Brewer
Self-described "boxologist" Martyn Brewer of Devon, UK employs a unique construction technique along with complex geometric patterns to create eye-popping boxes and cutting boards. Here, he displays three boxes , Zee, Vee, and Xee, which were created using his "Easy Mitre" technique.
The amazing fold-up box
Martyn's "Easy Mitre" technique almost exclusively uses the tablesaw to form a box from a single glued-up blank and. His "fold-up" technique wraps a pattern around the entire box; you simply adjust the size or change the pattern for an endless variety of intriguing designs. In the November 2011 issue of WOOD magazine, Martyn walks you through his process for creating one of his favorite boxes, Zee, featuring alternating stripes of light and dark wood in an eye-pleasing strobe pattern.
Inversions 3D, created from maple and ebony, used the Easy Mitre technique, but stepped up the complexity of the box pattern.
Walnut with Pau Amarello stringing, 'A' String was one of Martyn's early forays into curved-pattern boxes. Notice how the walnut figure folds around the box corner in a waterfall pattern.
Italian Restaurant was inspired by a tablecloth draped atop a simple pine table at—where else?—an Italian restaurant Martyn visited. It is constructed of English Yew, Sycamore, and African Blackwood.
Ebony, Padauk, Pau Amarello, and Yew, Venn is an intersection of mathematics and art.
Vanishing Point, a hexagonal shape separated into two contrasting trapezoidal boxes, can be rearranged in different configurations to suit the owner's whim.
Atom, the 12cc box
Atom is just over 7⁄8 " in each dimension with a volume of about .75 cubic inches. Many jigs were harmed in the making of this miniscule box. Since it's creation, Martyn has gone on to experiment with even smaller boxes, down to 1⁄6 cc in volume.
Most of Martyn's "cutting boards" never see the kitchen, instead earning honors as wall hangings. Snakes shows the influence of M.C. Escher on Martyn's work. "I love to work out the minimum possible repeatable block in a pattern and work up from there to a piece of optical art," he says.
"I'm fascinated by designs that look right in two dimensions but could never be created in three," says Martyn as he proves it with Impossible II, an end-grain pattern crafted from purpleheart, padauk, pau amarello, and ebony.
The Missing Link
The fourth in Martyn's Impossible series, The Missing Link depicts a series of impossible rectangular links with one missing block.