I was asked by a close friend to design and build an urn to house a cherished family pet. His wife’s cat had passed on after many years of sitting by her side. She wanted a nice home for her for the rest of her lives. Of course I agreed and the design of “Nine Lives” shortly followed. “Nine Lives” was the first urn that I worked on.
Being that the urn was for a cat I knew it had to have a slight Egyptian arc style since cats were worshiped there in ancient times. I wanted it to have graceful curves and slim legs. There was to be no handle on the urn since, well, you really only needed to get into the urn one time. I designed an internal, spring-loaded lift for the lid. There is a hidden button protruding from the bottom of the box, when you push it, it pushes the corner of the lid up.
The main body of the box is constructed of Curly Maple. There is a 1/16” thick band of Gaboon Ebony and the top rim portion is Bubinga. The legs are Bolivian Rosewood and a folding miter joint was used so the grain would wrap round the corner. They are also tapered 5/32” from top to bottom.
The lid is a piece of beautiful crotch walnut. This has to be one of my favorite pieces of wood to work with. Machines like butter and once you put oil on it, it blows up with figure. I did a pattern of nine round inlays. Eight Spalted Maple and one Gaboon Ebony. I designed it to be a “LED” life meter. It shows that her cat has just gotten to her fifth life so she has many more to go.
“Nine Lives” was finished with multiple coatings of an equal mixture of Boiled Linseed Oil, Mineral Spirits and Spar Varnish. After drying it got two buffings with BriWax. It is approximately 9” x 6.5” x 5.375”.
"Nine Lives" is in a private collection.