It is difficult to word what a fantastic human J.D. Falk was, and I won't really try to do it here. He was a very close friend of the family, and I was incredibly honored to be asked to build his urn.
It is is based on the School Box design I have been working with, but it has a couple differences. It is made entirely of lightly spalted curly maple, and lacks moulding. The top has a subtle live edge, with some hints of moss still attached. The bottom, instead of being nailed on, is a raised panel ("raised" downwards) floating in a groove. Inside the box, instead of a partition, is a tray made of Port Orford cedar, which could be used to store wedding rings, photos, and so on.
Building this box was a rich experience for me. Because of its special nature, I took absolutely no short cuts and tried at every turn to do the best work I am capable of. At the same time, as I was building it, I kept thinking about J.D. and life and death and family and friends and more. It helped cement my recent beliefs that woodworking (and by extension just about any craft) truly is a valid spiritual pursuit. The meditative quality of this project is difficult to adequately word, but it was very valuable time for me. The box is not perfect, but neither am I and neither was J.D. However, I feel great about being able to say that I did the best work I am capable of at this point.
I hope you like it J.D., I sure enjoyed making it for you.