These stoppers were a single order, made to hold a commemorative coin struck to honor the members of a rescue flight that went down, killing everyone aboard. The stoppers are for the families who lost loved ones.
The woods range from domestics, such as Ash, Maple, Holly and Walnut to exotics such as African Blackwood, Cocobolo, Bubinga, and Bocote, and even one from Colorwood, a laminate of Red Birch veneer dyed to different colors before laminating them into a solid piece. Each piece is made from two book-matched pieces, drilled to hold the coin, glued together, and then turned on the lathe to get the shape. Once turned the faces are dished out by hand so that the coins sit in a concavity, rather than in a hole.
This was a sad project. I was approached by an individual at a festival who told me the story of the loss of her brother and the others on a medical rescue mission in Oklahoma who were all killed when their helicopter crashed. She asked if it was possible to make a stopper that held a coin in such a way that both sides of the coin would be visible. After several mockups we felt that mounting the coin upright in the stopper, with the sides concave so that the coin would be readily visible was the way to go. We then decided on woods matching the personality of the individuals who were to receive the stoppers. I made the set and, hopefully, they have brought some tiny degree of comfort to those who now have them.
Made in Elon, NC
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