Tuesday, March 28, 2006

New Artisans: Jay & Janet O'Rourke

The Guy Gifts you've been looking for have arrived!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned some new polished wooden boxes that had arrived at Greenjeans. Today I have some pictures of them for you in this slideshow, as well as a brief introduction to their makers, artisans and husband-and-wife Jay & Janet O'Rourke of Hood River, Oregon.

The O'Rourke's make all of their boxes to order from fine exotic woods from around the world including ebony, cocobola, and the extremely special pink ivory. Their signature works are their wonderful Hinged Boxes, which come in 5 different sizes from the Pocket Box size (good for pills, rings, etc.) to the appropriately sized Business Card Box, to the Large Box (for cufflinks, keepsakes, photographs, and so on).

Besides the Hinged Boxes, they make a handy Toothpick Box that dispenses one toothpick at a time through a little aperture in the front.

And they make their incomparable Folding Letter Openers which open like straight razors and are very nearly as finely honed.

All of their pieces are impeccably crafted. In fact, they are as close to perfect as anything we've seen. Once cut and assembled, the O'Rourkes sand their pieces progressively with 40 - 800 grit sandpaper, then oils them with a Danish oil and left to dry. When dry they are buffed with a jewelers rouge to remove any oil or scratches. Finally they are sealed with a pure carnauba wax finish. Care for the boxes is simple: keep them away from direct sunlight or high heat, and polish them with a clean cotton cloth to restore shine. They never need to be reoiled or waxed.

A few of these boxes have already found their way into the pockets and bureau drawers of the men in the lives of our shoppers. But we have more here for you, and expect that we'll be working with the O'Rourke's for a long time to come.

So enjoy looking at these beautiful boxes, and please stop by the shop to see them in person and try them out for yourself. Oh, there's a picture of our display case installed in the shop in this slideshow, too!

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