Unlocking the Box

Clark Kellogg & Kagen Sound
September 12-23

This is box-making with an engaging twist. For the first two days students learn to make traditional Japanese puzzle boxes. Then, with Clark and Kagen’s expert guidance, they build beautiful wooden boxes of their own design, which may include special features such as hidden openings and secret drawers.

For the puzzle box, students assemble an infrastructure, cut plates of wood to slide in sequence, and finish the exterior with “yosegi-zaiku,” a parquetry mosaic. The instructors address a multitude of box-making techniques, including design considerations, wood selection, hand-cut and machine-made joints, application of commercial and shop-sawn veneers, parquetry, locking mechanisms, special “moving” joinery, and drawer making. For their independent projects, students may work with solid wood and veneer.

Clark Kellogg is a self-employed furniture maker in Houston, TX. He earned a B.A. in Studio Arts from the University of Virginia in 2003, following which he completed the inaugural Nine-Month Comprehensive program at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship and, later, the Fine Woodworking Program at the College of the Redwoods in Fort Bragg, California.  Clark’s work has been published in Fine Woodworking, Fine Homebuilding, Woodworker West, and Letter Arts Review. His website is www.kelloggfurniture.com.

Kagen Sound is a full-time box maker in Denver, CO, with a background in mathematics. His complex, secret-opening boxes have received grand prizes and people's choice awards numerous times in the international NobYoshigahara puzzle design competition. In addition, he has been accepted as a master craftsperson into Japan’s Karakuri Creation Group, the world’s only guild of secret box makers. For more on Kagen and his work, visit kagensound.com.


Open to intermediate woodworkers.

Tuition: $1,350

  Kellogg Music BoxMusic Box by Clark Kellogg, walnut, pear, shop-made brass hardware, woven hemp (14”x8”x7”), 2008



 Sound Lotus BoxLotus Box by Kagen Sound, Claro walnut and curly maple, (8"x8"x3 1/4"), 2013