Making Heirloom Boxes. Peter Lloyd. Published by The Guild of Master Craftsmen £16.95
I met Peter Lloyd's boxes before I met the man. The impression they made on me was out of proportion to their size, as they are so much more than just boxes. There are other makers working with natural-edged timber, certainly, but somehow they lack the precision seen in the underlying mechanics of Peter's work. Then there are makers whose precision is considerable but whose sophisticated, clean-lined boxes invite admiration rather than affection.
When I eventually met the man it was clear that this union of the intuitive and the technical displayed in his work was neither accident nor contrivance; rather a natural result of the considerable thought he gives to both what he does and why he does it. I was keen to see him communicate his approach to a wider audience so bullied, cajoled and otherwise harassed him until he produced an article for the very first issue of Furniture & Cabinetmaking magazine - in the face of his own disbelief that anyone would be interested in what he had to say.
That Peter has finally written a book gives me great satisfaction, not least because it will help others to make more-than-just boxes - heirlooms, in fact.
- Paul Richardson, Publisher. GMC
Celebrating Boxes. Peter Lloyd and Andrew Crawford. Published by Stobart Davies. £18.95
Somewhere between turning and cabinetmaking lies a branch of woodwork concerned with the pursuit of perfection, almost it seems for its own sake. As Peter Lloyd, co-author of 'Celebrating Boxes', points out, boxes are a luxury. Where a craftsman builds a magnificent chair or table he is turning a necessary object into a work of art; where he builds a box he sets out from the word go to create magnificence through woodwork.
That, at least, is one take on what makes the work in this book so extraordinary. To a great extent, if Lloyd is to be believed, people make boxes because they don't have a big enough workshop to make furniture; because the outlay required on timber and essential tools is minimal; because you can make a box quickly and take it to sell at a craft fair in the boot of your car. Yet, from these prosaic concerns, a community of outstanding talent and imagination has grown. Aside from the skill and creativity that greets every turned page, what's perhaps most noticeable about Celebrating Boxes is that, while woodworking is so often seen as a pastime for retired men, the makers are as likely to be young craftswomen like Sam Gorman or Petra Ohnmacht. And this, perhaps, is why their work is so diverse; it reflects the people who make it. There is something immensely personal about boxes - whose purpose, after all, is to enclose and protect the space within them - and portraits of makers like Ross Kaires and William McDowell give you a feeling of real closeness with the work they produce.
This is not a practical book, at least in the sense that it doesn't tell you how to make a box. But no woodworker could look through it without feeling the excitement of new possibilities - and that in one way is the most practical step of all. Because nothing is more basic than raw inspiration; and there are some for whom picking up Celebrating Boxes will be the start of the rest of their life.
- From Traditional Woodworking, Dec 2001 Issue
New Masters of the Wooden Box: Expanding the boundaries of box making. £21.99
If I were limited to saving 10 items from a house fire one of them would be a burr oak box by Peter Lloyd. Why? It is functional and beautiful, so much so that I banned the family from putting anything in it. Ironic really considering the purpose of a box. But the makers, whose careers and pieces are featured here, have primarily made them for beauty. A box after all is a wonderful excuse for idiosyncratic whimsy and demonstrations of artistry and here we have them.
Their makers are an international bunch although most are from north America, and it is largely this contingent which produces the most fanciful and intricate boxes, with one or two notable exceptions. Take the work of Po Shun Leong for instance. British born his work is stunning and fantastical. His landscape box is made from at least 16 different types of timber and comprises hundreds of shapes and sizes, 21 compartments and a secret space, and represents the rise and fall of civilisation.
Readers of this magazine will also recognise Robert Ingham’s lattice box and the work of Andrew Crawford. In spite of all the amazing – and bizarre creations featured, it is one of Peter Lloyd’s deceptively simple- looking boxes featuring a puckered lip of a lid, that is the cover star. Function and form in one box – inspiring stuff, as is the whole of this book. Andrea Hargreaves.
- From Book Reviews, Furniture and Cabinet Making, March 2010 Issue
Signed copies of these books are available from Peter Lloyd. Postage and packing — £3.50
Phone 016 977 46698 (debit or credit card)