Ray Jones


I love wood and am fascinated by wooden mechanisms and the intersections of various three-dimensional geometric shapes. I make boxes entirely of wood, including the hinges, fasteners, latches, and drawer slides. Wood is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it gives the lids, doors and drawers a wonderfully smooth action. The tremendous variety of woods that exist in the world intrigues me. I try to use sustainably harvested, plantation-grown, salvaged or otherwise “environmentally friendly” woods whenever possible. The plywoods in my turned boxes are handmade in my shop from selected veneers. My boxes are made without stains or dyes and are finished with multiple coats of a mixture of linseed oil, polyurethane, and mineral spirits. This protects the wood and brings out its natural color, texture and wonderful “feel". I studied aeronautical engineering at California Polytech. During the summer months of my college years I worked as a construction laborer in my small home town of Healdsburg, CA. I was very fortunate to work for a man who believed it was more important to do things right than to do them fast. This gave me a lot of confidence in working with my hands. I moved to Southern California and rented a house but, instead of buying furniture, I bought tools and made my furniture. In 1979 I met my future wife, Linda, and she already had a house full of furniture. So, I turned my woodworking skills to making smaller items. In 1981 I designed a small wood box as a gift for Linda, and that design is the same basic one that I use for all of my conventional boxes. In 1990 we moved to Asheville, NC, where we have been ever since.