I have always loved mathematics and the visual arts. The trouble was, how do you combine the two? I attended school up through undergraduate college looking for answers. Still not content to pick one field or the other, I started making wooden boxes for enjoyment. When I graduated college, I worked a year as an assistant professor in the mathematics department, and at the same time I worked as an assistant for the art department wood studio. At the end of the year I was asked to give a presentation of a secret opening box I had made.

So what now? I decided I had much more to learn about this art form. It seemed to me this was the most interesting way to express my ideas, and there was a lot to learn about woodworking. I spent a year learning basic skills from different sources. I apprenticed in a custom furniture shop in LA, worked in a production shop in Denver, and set up a small wood shop for a friend in the town of Marble, Colorado. In 2001, I moved to Portland, Oregon, and started paying rent on a wood studio. I spent four years in Portland learning the trade from various craftsmen hidden in unexpected places, coming across unusual exotic wood species, and creating designs and trade secrets. I could learn woodworking, but there is no place to learn how to make a secret opening box. This, I had to invent in my own way.

Over the years my work has won awards at the International Puzzle Party Design Competition, held annually. I have been published in Fine Woodworking Magazine. I am also featured on the Karakuri Creation Group page, a renowned Japanese site for secret opening boxes. My work is collected worldwide.

Today I live in Denver, Colorado, where I have a studio. I continue to create my newest ideas from wood, and I continue to learn so much about the art of woodworking.

http://www.kagenschaefer.com

Secret Opening Book

The Maze Burr

Pattern Box Edition

Snake Box

The Cafe Wall Table