May 2016

Fine box making in the Shropshire hills


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newsletter 18, May 2016


Now the April ice and snow have passed and it looks like spring might actually be just around the corner, this is a short newsletter to tell you about a couple of special last-minute deals on my spring/summer courses, to post my autumn 2016 course dates and update briefly on smartBoxmaker and smartWare matters.

last-minute course deals:

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I still have some course places for the spring and summer, and am offering a couple of last-minute deals on places coming up very soon:


weekend, May 7/8 – 2 places, £195 each
‘Gold’ 5 day course, May 12-16th – 2 places, £495 each


Go to for more info on the content of each course.


The cost of these if booked on the site are £265 and £595 respectively, so hurry up and email me to grab your place now at the reduced rates!


One comment from a recent happy weekend course participant:


“I had one of the best informative and enjoyable times of my life over the weekend, my head is buzzing with loads of ideas and information …”


 … and yet more savings:


I’m also offering newsletter subscribers 10% off places for the rest of the spring/summer season if booked by May 13th. Go here, choose your course and date and the enter code ‘fz2016box‘ at checkout.

autumn 2016 course dates:


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I’ve already had a lot of enquiries for course dates in the autumn so I’ve now finalised the dates until the end of the year and a fair few places are already booked. So I’ve decided to offer the dates to newsletter subscribers earlier than usual – they are:



September 17/18
October 8/9, 29/30
November 19/20
December 3/4


‘Gold’ 5 day courses:

September 22-26
October 13-17
November 24-28


I have at least some places still available on all dates – please email me if you’d like to book a place. I will be posting these on the website in a few weeks.


smartWare news:


the key to success …


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Finding the right key has been something of a stumbling block in finally making my smartLock available.

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Getting the right size, shape and feel of the key is very important – something the previous manufacturers of my smartWare completely failed to understand, despite my best efforts!


The image above shows the fine boxes busy R&D department [keys and locks section] in full swing – much time and effort has been expended arriving at just the right format and a prototype is in production as I write.


There will be more news on this very soon.


Interested to know as soon as the smartLock is available? – email me.


The smartHinge is currently out of stock again, my apologies, but this is only temporary and is in a good cause! The new manufacturers have been working steadily towards producing the most consistent hinges possible and there’s currently a short break in production while they re-jig with a view to achieving this and at the same time meeting the ever increasing demand. The new production should be up and running in around 10 days, and soon the full smartWare range will be available at last – I promise!

smartBoxmaker news:


And with the full smartWare range being available shortly I’m intending to re-activate the smartBoxmaker site offering a range of box making materials again very soon.


This will include lining materials: pigsuede and adhesive backed card, inlay lines: snakewood and ripple sycamore – I have a particularly beautiful and consistent piece of snakewood that will soon be turned into inlay lines …


As before there will also be glue bottles, wide abrasive sheets, books, downloads and more.

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and finally …


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Nothing whatever to do with boxes – click on the image to see what happens when 12 piglets try to feed where there’s only space for 11 … Enjoy!


Thanks for reading.

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