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Friday, August 12, 2011

World's Greatest Junk Drawer


Wheathills is a fancy-pants furniture maker in Angle Land that makes bespoke "smalls." A small in this case is a keepsake box. I'm feeling lazy today, and I have to box an end table I just finished that doesn't look much like the Pantheon at all, so I'll just cut and paste their description of it:
A short conversation at a busy Wheathills Open Weekend ignited an idea that began with the words, “a fantasy place where dreams, secrets and surprises are kept safe”. From those few words an obsession grew for both the clients and Nigel Heldreich, owner of Wheathills Exquisite Memory Boxes, and before too long a concept and a brief were created - a theatre of memories, secrets and surprises.
Over the following 18 months and countless conversations with the clients, Nigel and his team of highly skilled craftsmen, developed that initial concept into an amazing Memory Box in the form of a miniature Pantheon Theatre, created by hand using age old techniques and the very finest wood from all over the world. Using ‘marquetry’, the very fine, detailed and beautiful craft of inlaying minute pieces of wood into another piece of wood in order to create imagery, the team of ten craftsmen and designers began creating a journey through Tuscany and many memorable holidays the client had experienced. The theatre, architecture and the visual arts were top of the bill, and all housed in a Palladian style building of stone, gilt Corinthian columns, domed ceiling, galleries and grand staircase.

Nigel Heldreich, owner of Wheathills, said; “What started as almost a throwaway comment has turned into a magical journey for everyone involved in this wonderful Memory Box. From the initial idea, through to the finished piece this folly has been played out in our workshop with wood, traditional craftsmanship, passion, emotion, laughter and even tears. Now though, it’s time for us to hand over ownership of the box to our wonderful clients who will, I’m sure, enjoy its beauty for years to come”.

Hmm. Allow me to translate: They took a "magical journey" through someone's bank account. The "laughter" was of the nervous variety when the prospective owner was informed of the time and material bill, and the the "tears" followed close on laughter's heels when informed that no, they weren't pulling his leg. The "time to hand over ownership of the box" will no doubt be played out hostage style, with entourages of heavies, attaches full of fivers, and a hammer poised over the whatnot until the exchange is made.Everyone will then back out of the room like the Prime Minister leaving George III's living room.


Cool thing though, ain't it? It says ten guys took 18 months to make it. I hate to brag, but I could round up nine guys and build an actual Pantheon, and it would already have tourist chewing gum spangling the terrazzo quicker than eighteen months. But maybe the money spent on the trifle really doesn't matter. The owner would probably have just blown it on a miniature giraffe or something anyway.

14 comments:

julie said...

Yep - world's greatest junk drawer. That part where it is to be filled with small items "infused with precious memories" cracks me up, but then I'm a tad unsentimental that way. I'm sure that they'll put lots of lovely things in that lovely box. I'd be sore tempted to leave it empty.

westsoundmodern said...

Haven't you heard? Marketing is the new craftsmanship. If you would use some of your prodigal writing talent to convince your customers that in buying a table they are saving the planet, or cute kittens, or pagan babies, you could construct your furniture from particle board and photo wood and quadruple the price.

Expanding your operation with all that filthy lucre, the industrial base of Rumford will be restored. You'll be a local hero. A petition to rename the town in your honor will be circulated. New Ikea, Maine has a nice ring to it.

julie said...

Though now that I think of it, the whole thing sounds like the beginning of a murder mystery involving family secrets and possibly a haunting...

John Lien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vanderleun said...

"Over the following 18 months and countless conversations with the clients, Nigel and his team of highly skilled craftsmen, developed that initial concept into an amazing Memory Box in the form of a miniature Pantheon Theatre,"

Sort of makes you want to burn the whole farggin' cuntry to the ground, don't it?

vanderleun said...

"“What started as almost a throwaway comment has turned into a magical journey for everyone involved in this wonderful Memory Box...."

Or, as the real Brits might say, "Cor blimey, that Nigel, what a poofter!"

vanderleun said...

westsoudn advises: "If you would use some of your prodigal writing talent to convince your customers that in buying a table they are saving the planet, or cute kittens, or pagan babies, you could construct your furniture from particle board and photo wood and quadruple the price."

Nah, all you gotta do is attach the simple disclaimer: "No trees were hurt in the creation of this table."

julie said...

Or better yet, claim it's all made with "found" wood...

H. Gillham said...

Ha. Ha. Ha. You crack me up.

Nigel Heldreich is so not his real name.

Is it?

I'm afraid that I can't take any of that seriously.

Seriously.

I heard once that Demi Moore and Bruce Willis [when they were married -- or not married -- or whatever] had custom doll houses made for their daughters.

Tune of 45,000 dollars.

I dunno. But, that seems along the lines of this "memory box."

But that's just me.

Brettonpoint said...

It would seem to me middle of the night burglers would be all in favor of these junk drawers. If the junk drawers cost two arms and a leg to buy, imagine the treasures hidden there by the suddenly and stupidly rich ? Certainly no pick up truck keys, or old lottery tickets or even extra sugar packets from Mickey D's. Hey Sip, where do you keep your secret fantasy place? I Just know you have a better grade of junk than i do!

Jean said...

I'd be thrilled with five grand for a new roof.

Sam L. said...

Fool. Money..... Sipp, you need to gee in on some of that action!

Jewel said...

Or you could say, Sipp, that by using wood to make your 'furniture' you have reduced the carbon output by so many points and lowered the overall temperature in some microscopic portion of sky above Maine, because you know, you can't have too much global cooling, what with all the global warming going on.

Handmade Furniture said...

Just come across this article and it has raised a wry smile.

If you would care to look at wheathills.com you will find our main web site has a history of the owner's (Nigel Heldreich)family going back several hundred years, and a history of Wheathills Farm where we are based.

As an update to the Pantheon Theatre box - the client has requested additional features to be added, and as we are always willing to oblige our customers, are carrying out a further 3 months work on it. If you would like I'll post a link to the additional work when it's completed.