Eagle, Bentwood BoxJames Michels, Cree/Metis
This uniquely designed, carved and painted steamed bentwood box has yellow cedar walls and a red cedar lid and base.
5"w x 8 3/4" x 51/2"h
Yellow and red cedar, acrylic paint
James Michels is from Merritt, BC. and is a Cree/Metis artist who apprenticed under Coast Salish artist Joseph Campbell and respects and admires many master carvers of the North West Coast.
Steamed bentwood boxes are a specific traditional artform of the people of the Northwest Coast. They portray crest designs that pertain to a chief and the families they come from. They were used as storage vessels. Steamed bentwood box making is a traditional artform that has been passed down through millennia. It is traditionally made with a single board of wood and cut with a kerfed knife at just the right places to make the corners, then when steamed the board is bent and it forms a perfect four sided box. It has no nails except for wood plugs to hold it together, then a base and lid are added. A professional box maker can make a box seal so tight it would be impervious.