Michael Hamilton & Dee Roberts (wood)

portrait_Hamilton-RobertsHamilton/Roberts Designs Woodworking is actually a husband and wife team (Michael Hamilton and Dee Roberts) that has been pursuing a livelihood in woodworking for about thirty years.

Why wood boxes? It seems there’s something universal about boxes. We’ve been hooked on them for a while now…the last work we did before “retiring” from clay and moving to wood was small porcelain boxes. Very few of the thousands of people we’ve watched inspect our wood boxes at art festivals can resist opening them in the off-chance that there is a surprise hidden inside although they know the interior of each is the same. We always hope that people that purchase our wood boxes will become attached enough to use them to hold articles close to them in one way or another from the precious to the mundane. We’ve heard from enough customers to know that most do. We look at our boxes as small pieces of furniture that can be held in the hand and displays our attention to detail and love of the wonderful variety found in wood. The boxes in their present form came about, as much good design does, from a slow evolution and refinement of design.

After receiving our BFA degrees from California College of the Arts in Oakland in Ceramics (Michael) and Painting and Drawing (Dee), we taught ceramics and art classes and operated a pottery and ceramic sculpture studio in Walnut Creek, California for several years. Michael (who was always interested in woodworking) also became involved in antique restoration and commercial furniture repair. We were married in 1977 and moved to Caldwell, Idaho (Dee’s home town) the next year. Michael continued to work at restoration and repair while also practicing woodworking. In 1984 we moved to Boise, Idaho and shortly thereafter began to produce boxes. We soon found a market at art festivals and began to sell through fine craft galleries across the country. We have participated in many festivals from a tiny show in Ketchum, ID to the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. Today, we attend 6-8 art festivals yearly and supply three or four galleries.