“Boule de Canton” Captive Wooden Spheres

Known as Captive Wooden Balls / Captive Spheres or in French "Boule de Canton"  (Cantonese Balls) - these are made from a single piece of wood and each ball is made up of either 5 or 7 individual spheres.

Boule de Canton
Captive wooden spheres

It takes a lot of precision, patience and skill to make these. Each ball is precisely 65mm in diameter to start with.

There are not a lot of people in the world who make these as it is a very specialised skill set that requires specialised tools. Each piece is a true collector's piece and an investment in something truly unique and rare.

At the moment these are the pieces that I have available for sale:

Piece 1:

Award winning wood art

This piece won the first prize in the category for 'Small Pieces' at the 150th Royal Easter Art show in Auckland. See the news item here.

Diameter: 65mm

Wood: Maple

Finish: None - Raw wood


Woodturned Captive Sphere
French Box Wood Captive Sphere

Diameter: 65mm

Wood: rare French Box wood

Finish: None - Raw wood

Price: NZ$400.00 incl GST


Each ball starts life as a sphere that is perfectly round and exactly 65mm in diameter. There is quite a bit of math involved in creating the different openings.

I was very fortunate to be taught this skill by a true master of his art, Paul Texier. Paul has spent 25 odd years perfecting the art of turning wooden balls, captive spheres and other geometric shapes.Guy du Toit and Paul Texier

Guy du Toit and Paul Texier who teaches the making of captive wooden spheres

Then it is a lot of patience, some really, really careful turning with specially manufactured tools and a calm demeanor to create these incredible wood turned art pieces.

I made the tools for creating these myself with some help from my friend Rolly Munro in his metal shop where he also makes his Munro Hollowing tools.