Early American, Contemporary Paintings, Sculpture and Fine Antique American Indian Art.


Robert Preston Brackbill - The Art of Making Elegant Jewelry Boxes

View available wooden boxes by Robert Preston Brackbill

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Read Robert Preston Brackbill's Biography

Robert Preston Brackbill Heirloom Wooden Jewelry Boxes

by Tony Lydgate

Published online courtesy Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.


Born in the coastal town of Santa Cruz, California, Robert Brackbill was first introduced to woodworking in high school. After a series of summer jobs, as an apprentice carpenter, a friend asked Robert to help him build a sailboat to sail around the world. During the five years it took to complete the boat, Robert acquired two sets of useful skills: finish woodworking and marine carpentry, and - thanks to service in the Merchant Marine - seamanship and navigation.

The young men christened their project the Fairwind, and set sail for Hawaii, first stop on their world tour. One thing led to another, and their cruise never got any farther. However, Robert earned his captain's license and went on to skipper the Fairwind as a snorkel-and-dive business off the Kona Coast of the "Big Island," where he lives today.

Robert Preston Brackbill Heirloom Wooden Jewelry Boxes

It wasn't long before he discovered koa wood and became fascinated with box-making. "I call my work ho'ala, which means "to awaken" in Hawaiian," Robert explains. "Compared to working on boats or houses, boxes are more manageable, and I enjoy the challenge of getting it just right. I never liked boxes with drawers that fall out when they're opened, so I developed my slide mechanism that allows full extension. It took me three months of experimentation, but it's a solution that really works."

Robert Preston Brackbill Heirloom Wooden Jewelry Boxes





Permission to reproduce photos and paintings in this online catalog secured by J. Mark Sublette. All rights reserved. No portion of this online catalog may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from J. Mark Sublette, Medicine Man Gallery, Inc.

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