June 7, 2010

Poker-work: Spare Ammunition Box

I have been working working on a wooden box for Andy to keep his extra rounds when we go reenacting--he currently keeps them in a cardboard cigar box with "live" written on it in black marker. It does scare me a bit to have so much gunpowder unsecured. I am really happy to have found a good way to keep the gunpowder safe.

 I have been wood burning some designs into the box. Since Andy is working on creating an Irish impression (I know everyone complains about the prominence of Irish impressions, but his is really good and well researched,) I decided to make the box commemorate the Irish Rebellion in 1798.

Since the Rebellion was about 63 years prior to the Civil War, I get to "antique" the box to make it look like it would be about 60 years old. I will be using a period finish made of pure beeswax, turpentine, and pigment for a rich color.

I still have to remove the existing hinges and clasp and replace them with period correct ones. The word "Cuimhnigh" is Irish for "Remember." I chose wood burning for the designs because the simple look of it fits with his poorer impression. Wood burning has been an art since ancient times. Pieces of wire, small pieces of metal or tiny pokers were used to burn designs into the wood. You have to heat them up in the fire and pick them up carefully with a rag and keep reheating them. I am thinking of taking this to a reenactment to finish. This is my first attempt at wood burning and it is admittedly a sad sight but fine for our purposes. There are some amazing poker work artist out there. Some great pieces can be seen here.     


  1. Stephanie, I think this box is really awesome! I can't wait to see the finished piece! Andy's a lucky fella! I'm beginning to think you're one of the most creative people I know. You're a renaissance woman!

  2. Oh my awesomeness(my saying)! It looks amazing! I can't believe you made this yourself:D

  3. Wow, that's gorgeous! Lucky Andy! You did an amazing job.

  4. Jodi, Thank you so much. You are the Queen of renaissance women, so that means a lot.

  5. Mili, thanks so much. It isn't hard, I bet you could do it too.

  6. Sophia, Thanks. Are you excited for your college classes?


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