When is a bowl a box?

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Tony Latham, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. Tony Latham

    Tony Latham

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    I recently made my first "winged box". It's got a lid with a finial on it, just like most other "winged boxes"...

    So here is my newbie question of the week: When is a box a box an when is it a lidded bowl?

    Thanks,

    TL:rolleyes:
     
  2. Joe Greiner

    Joe Greiner

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    A box typically has both the lid and the container from the same wood, with at least an attempt to match the grain at the boundary. No such restriction for lidded vessels or bowls, as far as I can tell.
     
  3. Barbara Gill

    Barbara Gill

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    Where did that definition come from? I have seen a number of boxes with two different woods used on the top and bottom. I am not saying you are wrong, just wondered who came up with that definition.
     
  4. KurtB

    KurtB Moderator Staff Member

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    Bowl/Box

    Some definitions of a box include a protective enclosure. For me, it becomes a box when you add a lid, so that the enclosure is completely protective. If you follow this thinking, it's never a lidded bowl, but a box.

    Of course the smartass in me would be the first to say a bowl can never be a box - that's why there are two different names!:D
     
  5. GeorgeH

    GeorgeH

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    I use the term "box" to describe a piece with the height of the sides exceeding the diameter of the bottom and having a lid.
    For example:
    If the interior sides are 4 inches deep and the interior diameter of the bottom is 2 inches, it's a box. A box must have a lid. A bowl can have a lid but it's not compulsory.
    If the interior sides are 2 inches deep and the interior diameter of the bottom is 4 inches, it's a bowl. All of my boxes have lids; some of my bowls have lids.
    If I give the piece to someone and they want to call it something else I don't get excited about it. Once it's theirs they can call it whatever they choose.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2009
  6. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

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    Apparently a rose by another name might smell the same, but you'd have to use more than a name to describe it.

    To me a box is a covered container with nearly vertical sides, while a bowl is the same with more broadly sloped sides. That is, of course, unless the sides slope inward, limiting the opening to less than half the total breadth, then it's a hollow "form," a description from hunger nearly as severe as the description of the "box." ;)
     
  7. Joe Greiner

    Joe Greiner

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    I guess most of the box demos I've seen were cut from a single lump of wood, but "typical" wasn't supposed to be an absolute restriction, and grain matching couldn't apply to segmented buildup anyway.

    That said, I'd have to call it a box if it looks "boxy," with a squarish outline form, whatever the proportions, as long as it has a lid. And I've made some lidded vessels with grain matching too - didn't call them boxes.

    I suppose I should have added, "When is a lidded bowl not a lidded bowl? When it's a jar." Get it? Stolen from "When is a door not a door? When it's ajar."

    Box, bowl, vessel, etc., are just attempts to sort among round things. With two- or three-dimensional spectra of titles and shapes, there are bound to be some overlaps and omissions.
     
  8. Mark Warden

    Mark Warden

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    I on the same page as MM. If the inside is sloped its a bowl if the bottom is squared off it's a box.
     
  9. Frank F

    Frank F

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    I think it's up to person who made the object.

    To paraphrase Justice Potter Stewart 'I can't define a bowl, but I know one when I see it'

    A lid does not a box make. All my Tupperware bowls have lids. And what about those window/flower boxes. They don't have lids.

    Bowls tend to be curvy and open. Turned boxes tend to have cylindrical openings. Boxes are usually higher than wide. But this doesn't mean you can't have a boxy bowl or bowl shaped box.

    And just to complicate things, how deep can you "dish" out a platter before it becomes a bowl?

    Proportion and shape are probably the best criteria, but they're still subjective.

    Frank
     
  10. Tony Latham

    Tony Latham

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    Well, if nothing else I got some minds churning. My winged box isn't real "boxy" but I'm going to continue calling it a winged box even though I gave it away and it may have another name by now anyway.

    I turned a maple BOWL yesterday and it is definitely bowl shaped. (Had a fair amount of tear out -with sharp tools- and ended up sanding it out... but after reading up on it I'll try the thinned lacquer technique next time).

    Thanks for the thoughts and comments.

    TL
     
  11. Michael Stafford

    Michael Stafford

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    I turn boxes from both end grain and face grain. My end grain boxes can be wider than they are tall and they can be taller than they are wide. My face grain boxes are always wider than they are tall.

    My boxes from face grain tend to be 4-4 1/2 inches in diameter and 2 1/2 or so inches high. The lid can be infitting or overfitting depending upon the style but is never a tight fit like an end grain box. Generally they are designed so that they can be opened with one hand and the contents accessed easily. A tight fitting lid from face grain can be problematic during humid weather so I intentionally make sure the lid lifts off readily with an easy slip fit.

    Some of my face grain boxes have straight sides, some have sides that slope outward and some have undercut rims particularly in the case of an overfitting lid.

    I have made them from one piece of thick wood sliced in two so the grain on the slides matches, But most often I use two consecutively cut pieces of 2X stock so that the wood color matches. I have also used contrasting wood for the lid. Inlays, cabochons and turned knobs and finials all work on boxes of this sort.

    I think it is a box when the maker calls it a box and the user uses it as a box. Otherwise it is a dust collector.....:D
     
  12. john lucas

    john lucas

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    If you call it a box, it's a box. If you call it a lidded bowl, then it's a lidded bowl. It your piece. In ceramics they call it a jar, and flat woodworkers hate it when we call a small round thing with a lid, a box.
     
  13. Aaron G+11

    Aaron G+11

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    How about this: Boxes are generally made with the opening hollowed in end grain and bowls the opening is hollowed in the face grain.
     
  14. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Aaron I have to disagree on this one. :) I make bowls and boxes either way. I do make most of my boxes end grain and most bowls side grain but there have definitely been exceptions. My cupcake boxes have been made side grain on the bottom, simply because the wood I have for the bottoms is side grain and it works well.
    It's kind of like my campaign to wipe out portrait and landscape as terms used by computer people to say vertical and horizontal. As a photographer I do portraits both horizontal and vertical depending on the subject and the same is true of landscapes.
     
  15. Steve Worcester

    Steve Worcester Admin Emeritus

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    It is a bowl if you call it a bowl and a box if you call it a box. When you sell it, the person who buys it can call it a bowl or a box, they have purchased that right.
     
  16. Aaron G+11

    Aaron G+11

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    Hmmmm... So one might say that it is the perceived intended intention of an item that should give it it's label.
     

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