Those are all good ideas.
He was a Stress Eng. MIT Grad. with a Master Degree in Business Management from another College on the East Coast, and his hobby was wood working. He was one of the passed pres. of our WW club an the only thing he ever showed were these complicated jigs,and vacuum venturas for vacuum veneering, that I can remember, his woodworking knowledge was low to mid level in my book. Nothing like I see from you members.
His wife is a Structural Engr. and a Masters in Material Stress Engr. ,They lived in an upper middle class neighborhood, raise 10 kids, they each had 4 and they adopted 2 more. She has very high tastes and I am not sure I could meet her level of approval, but will do my best.
I am thinking along the same lines as you are. A box sounds good, I like the planter idea,I will definitely use the live edges and try to maximize the grain. It is going to be a lot of hand work as the warpage of the boards is extreme, but I plan to use that as a feature too.
Thanks for the input, now back to the shop,I am on a mission.