It is a legume, not so unlike Black Acacia and in the same
family I believe, but is a bit softer and a warm brown color. No
previous experience working with the species, but I knew it by
reputation as a material sometimes used by an old occupation of
woodworkers in Japan, called "sashimono".
These are people that specialized in making smaller items in
wood, from scroll cases to certain types of furniture, most
frequently in a traditional style, but in many instances also
having unique detail embellishments, often very intricately made
articles that required a major investment in time to produce.
The level of skill and fine degree of execution is inspiring if
one cares to look into it.
There are fine examples to be seen, though sadly, the demand
for such goods is in limited supply today, and the number of
people still involved in the trade, now few. I suspected that
Enju is fairly easy to work and can take on fine crisp details,
which turned out to be the case. I can only imagine that the
color of the wood will become deep and rich with time and use.
I enjoyed this project immensely, from the
initial conceptualizing to the finish execution. The design is
pretty simple, but there is some subtlety, as in the slightly
curving sides from top to bottom. It wasn't without a degree of
difficulty to make, working within the limited allowable size,
and I was quite pleased with the way it turned out.
My customer seems happy too, sent a photo of
Whylie that I love, taken on her birthday! It was a lucky
coincidence that the jewelry box arrived shortly before. The box
is really not very large, but Whylie being next to it makes it
appear so. I am confident that in a few years, the proportions
will be better matched!
I do hope that she will get many years of
enjoyable use from what I made for her. In thirty or forty
years, I would very much like to see how it has aged....Whylie
as well, alas.
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