March 2017

Fine box making in the Shropshire hills


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newsletter no. 21 – March 2017: smartWare launch issue

Hello everyone – having announced that ‘the eagle has landed’ on the smartBoxmaker homepage a little while back, I had to do a little bit of hasty back-tracking, partly due to a very minor change I wanted to make that took far longer to implement than I thought … leaving the poor eagle in an extended holding pattern …

Now safely landed, and with the smartLock finally available I‘ve decided to have an open day to launch the now complete smartWare range. It’s a bit short notice, I know:

Sunday, March 19th.
11 am to 5 pm

fine boxes workshop
Acton Scott Estate

coffee, tea, beer, wine and snacks will be available …

Anyone is welcome, but please email me to say you’re coming as it would be helpful to have some idea of numbers. Also you will need the workshop address – NB: NOT the Glebe Farm address on the website. For those who leave the decision to come to the day itself, you will need to text me on 07939 541627 and I will text you the details. If you’ve attended a course you will already know where the workshop is, but I would still appreciate a headsup if you’re intending to pop in.

And as an added incentive:

free smartWare set!

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A free polished brass smartWare set – worth £67.90 – to the first three to confirm their places by email to me at

first opportunity to purchase smartLock

Most importantly, the open day will be the first opportunity to purchase smartLock. I won’t be enabling the website to take orders immediately – there may even be a period when the websites won’t be accessible due to major changes happening. This is a long overdue process to distil my four websites down to two, delayed not least by the incompetence of the host I’ve been lumbered with for the past 12 months.

10% off all smartWare and other smartBoxmaker items:

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There will be 10% off smartWare, all other smartBoxmaker items – lining materials, inlay lines, glue bottles, wide abrasives and more – and a number of very special offers.

work to show:

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I very seldom have any finished work in the workshop – as soon as anything is complete it’s out the door pronto on its way to some very patient customer. But as it happens I currently have three past pieces in the workshop, two for repair. And I’ll only have them for a very short time – so a good opportunity to open the workshop …

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Laurence Brand, designer maker [who occasionally works for me when he has the time] will also be there showing some of his beautiful vessels, boxes and other work.



I still have some places left on my spring/summer courses – more info on the weekends here and the 5 day courses here.

I’ve added a couple of extra dates: note the non-standard days for the “weekend” – Friday and Saturday.

  •  ‘Gold’ 5 day: July 20th-24th [Thursday – Monday]
  •  weekend: August 25th-26th [NB: Friday/Saturday]

These are bookable here, or please email me any Qs.


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thank you & health update:

Thank you to the many who sent kind messages after newsletter 20. I’m still suffering the same effects – right arm, both hands and my diaphragm significantly weakened – but gradually improving …

I’m resigned to the fact that it may be a long haul and there could be some permanent impairment. In the meantime I’m not in pain and I’m becoming much more left handed [less affected] and generally finding alternative ways to do the tasks I regularly need to do …


Thank you or reading – I look forward to meeting some of you next Sunday, and seeing some old friends …

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Andrew Crawford.


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