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Razan Hadidi



City

Memphis

State

Tennessee

Zip

38016

Artist's Statement

This is a hand-crafted tea bag organizer. Our department encourages us to think about craft and design in all sizes big and small. I wanted to make something functional and beautiful at the same time. The idea came to me during the winter break when I was organizing my pantry. My family likes to drink tea, and we had several boxes of different sizes that didn't want to align well. So I wanted to make an organizer for the tea bags that would double as a dispenser. Thinking about its design, the concept was a jewelry box because tea is special. Then I took from my heritage the Islamic geometric design that gives the face its beauty. For the construction part, my goal was to make the box come together without glue. So I decided on a box joint to connect the faces. The interior shelves are held by tongue and groove. This joinery is also used for the front face to help it slide up and down to access the interior compartments for refill. For this treasure box I used plywood because it provided the flat plane sizes needed with the thickness of 1/4" that I desired. The face and joinery details were stained using Minwax Wood Finish, and it was all finished with Minwax polycrylic matte. This project was the first time I carved wood, and I enjoyed the process and the outcome. I used a Dremel to carve the grooves in the face of the box, and then I sanded them smooth. The Dremel was also used to cut the grooves on the inside of the planes for the shelving. Every face and niche was hand-sanded. This tea treasure box is intended to be used personally or gifted to someone special. Because it's construction is personal and labor-intensive, mass-production is not feasible. Even if laser cutters can be used to get a similar outcome, the feel and beauty of hand carving would be lost. And that is what makes this treasure box special.

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