What wood is this?
For the past 15 years top grade kiln dried Appalachian Black Cherry has been the primary wood used in the Kellams boxes. TO TOP
Can I get this box in a different color?
The color of our boxes is the natural color of American Black Cherry with a clear 'Natural Danish Oil' finish. Therefore, the color of each box will vary slightly and because the wood is Cherry the color will darken with age. TO TOP
Why is your cherry different from Grandma's dining table?
Each piece of wood is unique one of a kind, but in addition, Cherry has the unusual property of being light sensitive. This light sensitivity causes the color to darken with age, just as the sun causes skin to darken. In fact, if something blocks the light from a portion of the piece (like a price sticker) it will cause a tan line just like a swimsuit. TO TOP
Why are your boxes only available in Cherry?
We use Appalachian Black Cherry because it is beautiful, is locally grown here on the Allegheny plateau and its use is more environmentally friendly than most other wood. TO TOP
Why do you say Cherry is environmentally friendly?
The reasons for this include the fact that Cherry is a native American species growing in greatest quantities on the Allegheny Plateau where we live, meaning less energy for transport and no pressure on endangered rain forests, etc. After disturbed land is allowed to return to its natural forested state in this area, one of the first trees to sprout is the Cherry from seeds deposited by passing birds. These sprouts are faster growing than many of their companions, so the Cherry saplings crowd out the competition to take their place in the maturing forest. They are helped in this competition by the deer, who prefer the taste of poplar, maple, ash and beech to Cherry. This rapid regeneration helps to stop erosion and even diminish carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas. TO TOP
Does wood go to waste in your woodshop?
There is "waste" as a byproduct of creating anything with wood. The Kellams try to utilize all of the Cherry that passes through their studio. First, each cut is planned to gain maximum utilization. Second, large unsuitable pieces are set aside for prototyping and shop fixtures. Third the small unsuitable pieces are burned to heat the studio in the winter, then the ashes go into the garden. And finally the shavings and sawdust are used as mulch on their flower gardens or in compost. TO TOP
What kind of finish do you use?
We use a high quality clear 'Natural Danish Oil' followed by buffing with a light wax. TO TOP
What are your boxes lined with?
We use top grade gray suede in the bottom of each box while the inner sides are all sanded and received the same finish as the boxes exterior. TO TOP
How do I care for my new box?
The most important things to remember when it comes to the care of all fine woodwork are to keep it out of the direct sun, away from sources of heat and away from water. Simply dusting with a soft cloth should be all that is needed, occasionally you could apply a spray polish to the cloth as you dust to remove fingerprints and renew the sheen. TO TOP
Do you make all of this work yourself?
Yes, each box is individually handmade by Thom and Sue Kellam. TO TOP
Where do you get the plans for your boxes?
They come directly out of Thom's head and on to a sketchpad. Then he makes a measured drawing, followed by a wooden prototype and finally a finished piece. TO TOP
Are these boxes handmade?
Yes, each piece is individually handmade by Sue and Thom Kellam with the use of appropriate tools. There are no automatic processes involved. TO TOP
Can't you just hire some people so you can make more?
No, the deeply rural lifestyle that has chosen the Kellams is out of harmony with high production manufacturing practice. Also, it places them out of reach of a suitably skilled and motivated labor pool. The hiring of more hands would inevitably lead to a decline in quality: No one else could be as motivated to maintain their high standards. TO TOP
Where can I get one of your boxes?
The Kellams boxes are available in fine craft galleries all across the United States. Contact us for more information. TO TOP
How do I get a gallery near me to carry your boxes?
Please contact the Kellams with any suggestion of new galleries or give the Kellams contact information to the appropriate person at your favorite gallery or ask them to visit this website: www.KellamsBoxes.com. Or, have the gallery contact us for further information, available by mail, to interested galleries. TO TOP
Can I order directly from you?
If you are not near one of the fine galleries representing the Kellams boxes you may contact us about ordering directly. TO TOP
Can I order your boxes Online?
At this time you can order online directly from several of the fine craft galleries linked to on the Gallery List. TO TOP
Can you make a bigger, smaller or different shape box?
Special requests are welcome. However, the demand for the Kellams' boxes is high and all boxes are made individually by Thom and Sue leaving no time for custom orders. Occasionally, requested items find their way into the regular line. TO TOP
Do you sell at any craft shows?
No, the full line of jewelry boxes is only available at select fine craft galleries coast to coast or ordered directly. TO TOP
Have you sold at craft shows in the past?
Yes, in the early 1980's the Kellams participated in some craft shows including Columbus Winterfair by the Ohio Designer Craftsmen, Baltimore Wintermarket by American Craft Council and Mountain State Art and Craft Fair by the State of West Virginia. Also, for 15 years they exhibited their line of woodwork at the Buyers Market of American Craft Trade Shows open exclusively to craft galleries from around the country. TO TOP
How long have you been doing this?
The Kellams launched their woodworking business the summer of 1979. But the answer to the larger question is that Thom and Sue have been creating one thing or another all of their lives. You may view a poster of the retrospective of the Designs in Wood by Thom Kellam by clicking. TO TOP
How did you learn woodworking?
Thom is mostly self-taught giving him the advantage of a unique perspective on the craft. He began at the workbench his Grandfather built for him when he was 4 and promptly started Wood Play 101. The learning took a leap when, with very rudimentary tools, he built all the basic furniture for their home while attending Florida State University where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Photographic Design. This was when the idea of woodworking for a living first arose and was followed by the slow accumulation of appropriate tools, space and knowledge. He attended seminars with a number of fine woodworkers beginning with Sam Maloof who set the tone for what was to follow, other teachers included Ian Kirby, Wendel Castle and David Ellsworth. In the end most of his skills were learned via experimentation and persistence. TO TOP
Sue began her craft career and worked for several years in the early 1980s as a studio potter. She produced functional wheel thrown stoneware vessels for several years before health issues caused her give up the medium she loved to join Thom in the wood studio and learned woodworking by watching Thom learn. TO TOP