Guild of Oregon Woodworkers

7634 SW 34th Avenue Portland, OR 97219

Bolstad Boxes, Ltd.

"I strive to design objects that are unpretentious and realistic, that add beauty to our everyday life" 
Business Name: Bolstad Boxes Limited
Location: Jefferson, OR 97352
Phone: 541-327-2280
Web Site: 

Bill has been designing and making wooden items for over 50 years. His first professional piece (professional because he sold it!) was a birdhouse he made when he was 12 years old. He now designs tables and boxes for a living.

Bill grew up in northwestern Montana. At age 7 he made a woodcarving as a gift for his grandmother. In high school he continued to make wood projects, and spent summers working as a carpenter with his father. He received a degree in industrial arts with an emphasis in wood from Montana State University then went on to receive a M.S. in Industrial Education from Iowa State University. He taught Industrial Arts for 9 years in St. Paul MN.

Is My Heart in the Right Place?

Madrone Table top with Cherry base. Natural heart in bookmatched top.

The hallmark of my work is utilizing highly figured wood grain and burlwood. I like to use spalted Western Maple and woods indigenous to the northwest. Each creation features the natural characteristics of the wood. Many boxes and tables feature wood that has been infused with an acrylic resin which may have had color added. The resin makes the wood harder and more durable; the color brings out the chatoyancy in the wood.

Infused Western Maple Tables

Purple infused Western Maple table with ebonized legs. 
Red infused Western Maple table with ebonized legs.

Each piece of wood is carefully chosen for its natural characteristics. I emphasize the beauty of wood grain patterns and color. The lumber I use is harvested from sustainable forests. I often utilize wood that is leftover from harvests of timber that is to be made into dimension lumber. The wood we use for infusing is highly figured wood unsuitable for the manufacture of musical instruments.

Bill utilizes age-old fine woodworking techniques in each piece along with tools and techniques developed with new technology. His style falls into the Pacific Rim category, and has been influenced by Scandinavian and Oriental design. Table tops have always appeared to float above the base instead of being attached.

Red infused Western Maple table with black ebonized legs. 
Blue infused Western Maple Table with ebonized legs. 
Dragonfly Table of spalted Western Maple.

The work is designed to be functional as well as beautiful. Bill currently sells his work through over 100 galleries and fine craft stores in the United States and Great Britain. Locally the work can be seen at The Real Mother Goose in Portland, Earthworks/Bay Gallery in Yachats and Newport, and The Dapper Frog in Dundee, Pacific City, Nye Beach and Salishan.

Jewelry Boxes

Classic Maple jewelry chest with one drawer. 
Maple jewelry box with walnut legs and tray. 
Western Maple Jewel Chest with three drawers and lift top; Walnut handles and legs, burlwood lid insert.

Several pieces are featured in The Art of Making Elegant Jewelry Boxes400 Wood Boxesand 500 Tables. He has been given several awards from The Guild of Oregon Woodworkers for his work. Bill is a member of The Guild of Oregon Woodworkers and the American Craft Council. He has also served on the advisory board for the Buyers Market of American Crafts. Designs from Bolstad Boxes have been finalists forNiche Awards six times.

The use of spalted material and infusing it with acrylic:

Spalting is a color variation in wood caused by decay when a fungus attacks chemicals in the wood. White Rot fungus creates thin black lines (called zone lines ) when colonies of the fungus move through the wood. The decaying process of the wood is stopped by drying the wood. Voids and rough spots in the wood are natural to the process and contribute to the uniqueness and rarity of the wood. Spalted wood is generally very soft, and unusable. Infusing spalted wood with an acrylic resin converts the wood into a dimensionally stable material that resists dents and abrasions and is much harder than untreated wood. The process intensifies the woodgrain pattern, giving the wood a chatoyancy (or shimmer) even more dramatic than untreated wood. When color is added to the acrylic resin the shimmer is highlighted. This is NOT a surface treatment; the resin and color are infused throughout the wood.

Jewelry Boxes - Limited Edition Pieces

Beaver Limited Edition Series. 
Toledo Limited Edition Series with slumped glass handle. Yachats Limited Edition Series. 
All are made of spalted Western Maple.

Garibaldi Limited Edition Series. 
Talbot Series Limited Edition featuring bow tie handle and arched base.

Special Pieces

Mini jewelry armoire with 5 drawers; case is Walnut, Western Maple drawer and door pulls and burlwood lid inserts. 
Ruffled Feathers hall table made of Carob.

© Guild of Oregon Woodworkers

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software