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For the Love of Scrabble

This indulgent commission brings together my client's love of Scrabble with his love for his wife. As a gift for his 7th wedding anniversary (which is the copper anniversary), he asked me if I could create a box featuring my Autumn Tree of Life but with copper accents.

The box was intended to hold a vintage Scrabble game, complete with a turntable board, tile trays, and space for the tile pouch, score paper, and pens.

My client explained that his family loves to play Scrabble, and they'd love to pass along their game set to their young daughter. This "Deluxe Edition" vintage game set, featuring a turntable Scrabble board, has been in his family for 3 generations already. But it's currently being kept in its original box, which is held together with duct tape; the interior styrofoam which holds the trays and game board is falling apart and crumbling.

The finished product makes this Scrabble game set a worthy family heirloom.

The Tree on the cover is the same design as my popular Autumn Tree of Life. As with all of my other boxes, I first woodburned all of detail of the tree, from the roots to the leaf buds, entirely by hand. But rather than a kaleidoscope of wood-stained leaves, this tree bears leaves that have been detailed with a combination of copper leaf and rose gold leaf. Leafed leaves, if you will.

To balance the leaf canopy, I also added streaks of copper leaf to the trunk and roots. The box is finished in a rich aged mahogany finish, contrasting brilliantly with the metallic detail. The finished tree shines and leaps off the box. (Please pardon my photography skills here; it was extremely difficult to capture the burnished glow of the leafed detail.)

The interior of the box was custom configured for the vintage Scrabble set. I had originally intended to re-create the insert in a different way, but my husband (Diana Kite Art Partner Extraordinaire) came up with a brilliant alternative. We ended up creating a 3D-printed replica of the original styrofoam insert, carefully designed to properly hold all of the components. I finished the insert with a brushed suede coating, giving it a luxurious look and feel, in keeping with the box itself. Now the insert will stand up well to future generations of game play, and feels so much more substantial - and elegant - than the original.

Attention to the little details make this box truly special. Inside the lid, at the lower right corner, I woodburned the couples anniversary date. This little detail will be a forever reminder of his special gift.

Given the substantial size of this box (over 17" square!), I paid careful attention to the hardware details. A spring-loaded slide catch keeps the box securely closed. Solid brass hinges make the box more easily handled, and lid supports on either side keep the lid from falling back when open.

Solid brass handles on each side make it easier to handle this substantial box.

The final result far exceeded the expectations of my client. This will surely make a wonderful heirloom gift, and will hopefully bring the whole family many happy hours of playing together.

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