The Tornado Box

I am very excited to have collaborated with Akio Kamei to make the Tornado Box. Akio is a master craftsperson from Japan. He pioneered a career making modern forms of puzzle boxes called Karakuri Boxes starting in the 1980's. His mechanical trick boxes broke out from the traditional Japanese Himitsu-bako form to become otherworldly clever riddles and mechanisms. 

His boxes often perform feats of magic with a sense of humor. They can make you say "wow!" then laugh. For me, interacting with his work it is like witnessing a tiny theatrical performance or enjoying a beautiful poem in wood form. Akio Kamei's boxes along with the Karakuri Creation Group's amazing works heavily influenced me to become a woodworker when I left college. I suspect his work has influenced many people from around the world.

The exterior framework of the Tornado Box was made from walnut with a curvy cut. I built and finished this part and included a mechanism in one half made from light colored English Sycamore. It was then sent to Mr. Kamei in Japan where he provided a second mechanism locking the other half made from Cherry wood. At first the Tornado Box separates into two halves. You actually must unlock one half first in order to unlock the other half, so the mechanisms work together.

Due to the very high quality of the work, only 31 Tornado Boxes were made.

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