This piece started as something fun between more serious projects. I had a lot of leftover colored pencils and I wanted to use them as inlays. I made the block of plywood by gluing several pieces together to get that layered look.
I documented the process in a series of short (15 second) Instagram videos that included a lot of playful stop motion action. Here is the compilation:
As you can see in the second short I used a desktop CNC to cut the pockets for the pencil inlays. They are glued with cyanoacrylate glue (also known as super-glue) and then cut flush. I used a scraper to clean them because sandpaper smears the lead on the wood.
I made the pocket and the door on the back on the CNC as well. You can see 3 rare earth magnets on the top. The center one is recessed so it can be mounted on the wall using a screw.
I painted the lines with acrylic ink and then coated the piece with fixative and a couple of layers of cyanoacrylate. This creates a hard resin-like finish that I hope will withstand some handling.
I like the direction of this project. It’s a fun object that also works as an illustration. It can live on the wall but the owner can choose to show it’s secret contents. I really enjoyed documenting parts of the process with a little animation thrown in.