Maker Stories

The Art of Meditation: Jayne Riew’s Temporary Canvas

March 28, 2014

Jayne Riew Maker Story | UncommonGoodsWith a background in literature and painting, artist Jayne Riew was always inspired by the combination of words and images, along with the connection between art and psychology. “For me, art is most compelling when it offers greater self-awareness,” says Jayne, explaining her process of creating pieces that people can turn to when they need help. “Sometimes when we wrestle with unwanted thoughts or tough emotions, language fails us.”

The Meditation Box’s temporary canvas of shifting sand provides a private place to confront these feelings; “no one—including yourself—will ever see it again, so why not scrawl out a mantra, confess something to yourself, or even draw the face of someone you wish you could see?” Once you get all of that mental clutter out of your system, you can simply shake the box, close the lid, and walk away.

Jayne created the prototype of the Meditation Box for a friend who admitted that she found it difficult to unplug at night, losing hours of would-be sleep to her laptop. In response, Jayne created her first box as a way for her friend to lighten her mental load at the end of the day. The laptop size felt familiar, while the layer of sand within gave her a space to be alone with her thoughts.

Meditation Box | Jayne Riew Maker Story | UncommonGoodsRecognizing the design’s versatility, Jayne also gifted it to a friend who lost a spouse. He uses the space to write what he would say to her if she were there. When Jayne apologized for the limited space, he pointed out that all the really important things one human needs to communicate to another can be offered in five words or less.

Living with her family in New York City, Jayne uses her own design as a declarative space to help her sort through seemingly never ending busywork, making even a simple to-do list a motivational affirmation. “I’ve actually been able to combat procrastination just by avowing something to myself in writing at the beginning of each day. When you declare things in writing, you see them outside of your mind. Sure, I could write it down on a piece of paper, but the strangeness of the form and the opportunity for play makes me pay attention and remember.”


  • Reply Micheal Callahan June 16, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    My biggest concern is how long does it take to ship. I’ve ordered from this placed before and commonly it takes a couple of months to receive product.

  • Reply Cathy December 2, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    I just bought the customized Meditation box. Could I get the top cover personalized with my first name or something rather than Be Still? Thanks!

  • Reply Joan Ryder December 13, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Can I get this to Aspen in time for Christmas if I order now?

    Thank you.


    • Reply Cassie December 15, 2014 at 9:57 am

      Hi Joan,

      Today is actually the cut off date for ordering the personalized version of the box if you want it delivered by Christmas. If you’re planning to get the original, non-personalized version, you still have a few days to place the order. We have several different shipping options for that version, and a customer service representative would be happy to help you find the best option to make sure you’re gift gets there when you need it. You can speak to a member of our team at 1.888.365.0056.

      Thanks for asking!

      Cassie | UncommonGoods

  • Reply Agripina McKenzie December 28, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    I would like to know if the outside of the top lid can be inscribe with my name and the inside with a quote?

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