« From my window (2) ... | Main | Early Bird update ... »

Show me your box!

Posted by Dave Bull at 6:41 AM, May 7, 2010 [Permalink]

Now that the 'Mystique' boxes are beginning to arrive at destinations around the world, photos are coming in!

As soon as I get a minute, I'm going to set up a page on the Mystique site with a collection of photos of the Treasure Chest 'in the wild' as it were. So all you collectors out there, once you get it set up in a nice location, please send me a photo (by email). (I'll respect your privacy, of course, and will simply identify them by city I guess ...)

To get started, here's one I received yesterday (click these for enlargements) ...

(Gent, Belgium)

... along with mine, which shows 'Fuji in front of fuji ...'

(Ome, Tokyo)

... and one from just 'down the street' ...

(Haijima, Tokyo)

When you take your shots, don't focus too closely on the box - we all know what that looks like by now. Let's see where it is living!

[Scroll down to see the photos that have come in ...]


Following comment posted by: Dale Evans on May 8, 2010 3:47 AM

Dave - this is going to be fun! I hope you get one picture from everyone - it takes a couple of weeks for your shipments to arrive here, but the photo of MY box will be sent along soon thereafter!


Following comment posted by: Dave on May 11, 2010 8:03 AM

Got a few comments in the mail today:

I am curious as to why you did not have the drawer front finished to match the box? And, I wonder if you could let me know what type of finish they used on the box so I could finish the raw front. No offence, but I am concerned that with time and usage, the raw wood will be soiled by repeated handling, and I would like to avoid that. Was it a furniture oil of some sort?

The drawer front is finished, with exactly the same clear urethane as the rest of the box.

The difference is that for the front of the drawer, we didn't pre-stain the wood; what you are seeing is the natural wood tone. If you take the drawer out and look inside the main case - which didn't get the final spraying - you can see the brownish wood stain that we used.

So there is no 'raw wood' on the front, and I don't think you need to be concerned about it becoming soiled over time.

As for why I did it that way, simply I felt that a two-tone appearance had more visual interest than a box all one tint ...

They are marvelous! How you can make, ship, pack and print for this price is equally amazing.

Well, I subsidized half the shipping, which helped, and the case went out at cost too. As for the rest of it, remember that although three people are creating this project - Dave the publisher, Dave the carver, and Dave the printer - two of them are working 'for free'.

(Actually at present on this series, all three are working for free, but over time, as the subscriber base grows gradually, I will be moving into the black on this bit by bit ...)

Oh yeah the only thing is, the display ... what do you insert into the groove? Just the glass and the print? It seems to be a little too thin and the print hangs away from the glass at the top ... Is there suppose to be a backing?

Aha! I hadn't really considered that there might be confusion over how to actually 'use' the display system, but I guess there is!

When you first open the drawer, you find a wooden panel - this might seem to be simply a cover for the drawer, but this is the display panel itself - place it into the slot on top of the box, and then put the print mat and acrylic up against it ...

Following comment posted by: Margaret on May 13, 2010 2:27 AM

Can't wait for mine to arrive. Do you know if other US subscribers have gotten theirs yet?

Following comment posted by: Albert on May 13, 2010 6:59 AM

Mine arrived just a couple of days ago. The light fragrence of the wood as I opened the box for the first time was well worth the wait. Looking forward to more!

Following comment posted by: Dave on May 13, 2010 8:47 AM

The 'Got it!' reports have been completely scattered - no apparent pattern at all. So far, people in these places have received their first shipment: Wisconsin, Belgium, Vancouver, Seattle, England, Hawaii, California, Holland, Louisiana ...

There were quite a few sent to the Northeast US, but no reports from that region have come in yet. I have no idea what is causing the differences, as everything was of course all mailed at exactly the same time.

In any case, I think they should arrive soon, and subsequent shipments - in smaller cardboard mailers - will move through much more quickly I think (based on my experience with the previous Treasure Chest).

Following comment posted by: Dave on May 13, 2010 6:43 PM

Here's one today:


Look at the size of that room! You can see more square feet in that single image than I have in my entire 4-story building here! The box looks so lonely!

Following comment posted by: Margaret on May 13, 2010 11:19 PM

I can't wait for mine! I'm going to clear a space for it on my windowsill. (My entire office is very sunny--should I make an effort to put the chest in a less sunny spot?)

Following comment posted by: Dave on May 13, 2010 11:35 PM

About the sun ...

I've actually been testing this over the past couple of weeks. The box is so nicely made, with such close tolerances, that both the makers and I have been a tad concerned that once they are living in varied environments - with different humidity, temperature, etc. - there might be issues with warping or drawer sticking.

So I've put mine right smack in a south-facing window to see what happens. So far, nothing. This is kind of expected, because the wood was very carefully dried before they began work. The problem - if any - may come with more damp environments. We'll see.

That's about the box; the prints themselves shouldn't be exposed to direct strong sunlight for any extended time, or they will begin to fade. I'm not using any particularly 'fugitive' pigments, like they did in the old days, but there is no question that years of exposure to intense light will change them.

From my point of view, the ideal way to use these Treasure Chests is to keep the prints on view during the month, change them when the new ones arrive, and then after they have all arrived, maybe pack the whole thing away for a while (this is the Japanese traditional way for displaying any art works). Bring it out again on occasions, or maybe have another run through them all, as you did the first time. Permanent display really isn't the best way to treat them ...

Following comment posted by: Margaret on May 14, 2010 7:00 AM

Given the way my office is set up (I'm basically in a hallway) having the box on the windowsill facing toward me may actually mean less direct sunlight. And yes, I'll definitely be storing each print after its month on display. (And once we've finished the cycle, I may take the box home, which is not so bright.)

Here's my box in situ on a windowsill of the Flatiron Building in New York City:

Following comment posted by: Dave on May 14, 2010 8:47 AM

That must be Madison Square park in the background? So you're on the east side of the building, getting sunshine through the morning. I guess that's better than a blazing hot south window ... Actually, I think I might be more worried about those radiators!

Following comment posted by: Dave on May 14, 2010 9:44 AM

(Qualicum Beach, Canada)

More wide open spaces! (Have I forgotten what 'real' houses are like, do you think?)


This one takes me back ... about 38 years! (But that funny round thing in the distance wasn't there then!)

(near Annecy, France)

And here we are ... in very good company, it seems!

Following comment posted by: Margaret on May 14, 2010 11:41 PM

Yes, I'm on the east side. And believe me, those radiators don't provide enough heat to be worrying about—particularly not when you compare it to my invariably overheated apartment!

Following comment posted by: Dave on May 15, 2010 12:12 AM

Still coming in ... this is getting to be a nice collection!

(Park Avenue, New York)

What's the computer 'wallpaper' ... is that Magome-juku? Tsumago?

Following comment posted by: Dave on May 19, 2010 8:48 AM


Another monitor/print combination ... looks like a nice corner to work in!

(Dorset, UK)

Keeping good company here too ... lot of big names on that bookshelf. And that's a very nice 'stand' for the Mystique box!

Following comment posted by: Dave on May 26, 2010 3:16 PM


Here we are, blocking out out all the family photos!

(Mountain View, California)

At home, with a collection of similarly-sized prints ...

Following comment posted by: Dave on June 29, 2010 9:45 AM


Fighting to be noticed in _this_ living room!


Feeling right at home here too, surrounded by some very familiar packages!

Following comment posted by: Dave on August 18, 2011 3:22 PM

(Hong Kong)

Together with some interesting company ...

Add Your Input

Remember Me? (with a cookie ...)

(you may use HTML tags for style)

Back to the Main Page