Welcome back everyone!
I’ll jump right into this next blog from where I finished off last time. Thankfully things are progressing … although my pace may seem rather slow! I actually consider myself extremely lucky if I can manage one full day in my workshop each week. Ecstatic if more than that!!
Most days I’m split between family, friends, domestic chores … and now that the weather is finally showing off in the most awesome way, spring gardening has been taking up a large block of time, and will for as long as this sunshine and unusually warm weather holds out.
It feels good right now, to set my weary body down in front of this computer for a rest!!
So here she is … my ‘Nouveau Gal’ ... in the flesh!
Now … because I want to work on the grapes (for the floral bouquet, as well as the grape clusters for each of the other three panels … you are all probably wondering ….. WHY? Can’t that wait until I’m actually working the bouquet?? Yes, it could, however it’s my design and I’m doing it my way!!
Actually there is nothing written in stone as to how a Marquetry design should be approached when cutting … especially with the window method. You can begin at a focal point and work around that … or veer off in another direction. I tackled the Poplar motif set into the Rosewood background first because I wanted to make sure it was going to look exactly the way I wanted it to. I could have easily waited and worked the gal into the background first.
So what I’m trying to convey (to all those out in LumberJock Land who are just starting their journey into the wonderful world of Marquetry) is don’t be afraid of the design … or feel insecure in your approach. Start wherever you feel comfortable, because eventually the whole of your Marquetry piece will come together!!
I’m happy with my Nouveau Gal, so now I’m really giving thought to the floral arrangement she will be holding. BUT, if I’m going to all the trouble of making grape clusters (which is part of the arrangement), I might as well consider all the grape clusters necessary for the entire Wine Box.
I want to make it easier on myself because grapes are really a nuisance to do!!
So … instead of just cutting out a pad of 6 veneers to produce the 6 clusters needed (2 per panel) ... I’m going to bump up my pad of Redwood burl veneer so I end up with double the amount. ... because I may want some for the lid I haven’t yet designed. And I definitely need grapes for the bouquet.
In this photo you’ll notice that there are 3 taped veneer pads in the bottom left corner. This gives you a glimpse into the indecisiveness of me!! I didn’t just wake up that morning and tell myself to make a 12-pack pad for the grapes. Once upon a time my mind was as sharp as a tack! It still is … but it just takes a bit longer to feel the sharpness of the point!!
Speaking of tacks … I’m using them to hold the entire 12-pack together. This is the best tool ever devised for working with tiny tacks! Insert the tack, push down on the handle and the tack finds its home!
Another really good reason I’m about to cut these grapes out now, following the penciled lines … is because I don’t have to restrict myself. If I want more grapes to the cluster … or move a grape … or make one bigger/smaller … I can. Because the set of clusters will be inserted into the design after the fact … already put together. Trust me, this will work!!
You can’t see where I’ve cut into the pad to begin the grape cluster because it’s behind the blade … but my plan is to cut the entire section out grape by grape so the background pad remains totally intact.
So now, with the grapes cut out and set carefully aside, the pad is separated … now I have 12 minature ‘templates’ to use precisely for the purpose of avoiding confusion!! Just stop and count these grapes … a cluster of 9×12 = 108 individual little things to sand-shade. Where are they all going to go?! Right back where they came from!!!
I’m all set … tape, sticky side up so that each sand-shaded grape is held in place from underneath.
Each grape (once cut from the pad) was carefully placed in its clustered position. That way it’s easy to pick up one little pile, strip off the cover tape showing where I need to sand-shade …....
............ and proceed to shade all 12 grapes, before going to the next little pile to repeat that process … until the entire cluster is finished.
I don’t think I really have to tell you what it’s like to stand around sand-shading one hundred and eight tiny little grapes of wrath!! Now I have 12 grape clusters waiting patiently to be used!
It did take a while to complete all that sand-shading. But … time flies when you’re having fun!!! Just as this time spent ‘chatting’ to my buddies was lots of fun! Until my next blog, I hope everyone takes a moment out of their hectic schedules to have some fun :)
.... and again I thank you all for following along, plus sending me such encouraging messages!!
-- Elaine in Duncan