Upon first glance, the block of wood looked like it had been covered with tangled pieces of plastic. But upon closer observation, the intricate grapes and graceful vines take form. And when the artist lifts back the top, an empty compartment is revealed.
The pear wood jewelry box was created by Glendale woodcarver Nairi Safaryan and won top honors in the Woodcraft and Pfeil Carving Artistry Contest in April. The prize was a four-day, three-night trip to Brienz, Switzerland, and private carving training with master carver Paul Fuchs at the Kantonale Schnizlerschule Brienz woodcarving school. Safaryan and another winner took the trip in June.
"The Fuchs family has had four generations of woodcarvers," Safaryan said. "We had a half day of training each day, and then they took us to see museums the other half of the day."
Safaryan is a world-class carver, Lori Milner, marketing manager for contest sponsor Woodcraft, said in an e-mail.