Guy Lewis Maple Box

June 22, 2006

Having long left the dark pleasures of drink and drugs to more robust types, I’m unclear as to whether the concept of the stash box survived into the new millennium. But current slang notwithstanding, “stash box” pretty much defines this excellent wood container by British musician and craftsman Guy Lewis. The box—Lewis declined to coin a clever name for the product, opting to “just make it and not worry about marketing”—is perfect for holding pens, pencils, slides, picks, batteries, jewelry, or contraband. The first such box was commissioned by the wife of former 10cc multi-instrumentalist Eric Stewart as a Christmas gift for her husband, and was loosely modeled on Stewart’s favorite ’58 Fender Stratocaster. To date, every single box is still personally made by Lewis in his Shaftesbury, Dorset workshop.

Constructed of maple with ebony fret markers, the box absolutely evokes a satin-finished Strat neck, and the fretwork is very good. While the exchange rate makes this £55 item a $98+ deal (at the press time rate of $1.78 per pound, shipping not included) for Americans, that’s certainly not an outrageous price for a fine piece of handcrafted guitar art. I used it as a combination Sharpie/pen/plectrum box in my studio, and it looked very rock and roll as it sat atop the mixing console. It will look just as groovy on an office desk, and if you love the guitar, it just might ease a bit of work tension by seducing you to run your fingers across its frets every time you’re mired in some banal drudgery.

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