Holy Moly but time is flying by!! There are slips of paper all around my kitchen desk (where I’m blogging to you all on my laptop at this very moment!) ... messages reminding me to do this … do that … don’t forget … appointments to keep … plans to make … phone calls. Yikes!! I don’t know about you folks, but when I see this kind of mess pile up I just head straight to the workshop :) Today I couldn’t avoid it any longer … the mess had to be cleared away so I could blog!!
It’s time for Nouveau Gal and Lady to get a lovely hairdo! And so the front panel that I began working on so very many blogs ago!! ... incorporating the Poplar veneer motif into the rich Brazilian Rosewood veneer background … comes back into the light of day.
My pinky and forefinger are holding Nouveau Gal (literally by the hair!) and a straight edged section of the template in proper position.
With tape holding other parts down so nothing shifts, I pencil around where needed … and scribe everywhere else, as this whole portion will now be entering into the background.
Then everything is dismantled. Notice the lower curlycue of motif remains intact with the background … because there are grapes that enter that portion of the motif.
The scribed lines are then ‘shoe-polished’ in for better visibility … and that whole portion to be cut is taped securely to a piece of cardboard for support during the scroll saw cut.
You must be wondering why all those X’s are marked everywhere? … ‘workshop messages’ ... as a reminder for me to be cutting on the inside of that scribed line. Sometimes you really have to think … what side of the scribed line should be cut … inside or outside?? When the Exacto blade scribes all around the outside of Nouveau Gal, the cut line is fully exposed. For NGal to fit snuggly into that space, rule of thumb states you should cut on the inside of the scribed line to achieve that snug fit.
It’s a good rule to follow … however, I feel quite fortunate just being able to follow the line!! I’m not going to fly into a hairy conniption if I stray from the inside to the outside or smack down the centre … because … and I’ve said this before … filler is my friend!!
Just to ‘clarify’ … because for some of you younger and more capable members able to follow lines, and wanting to learn the finer points of protocol … this is one of the more important points of Marquetry 101!! I’ve purposely marked ‘waste’ and a dotted line on the photo below to show that I should cut on the waste side of the scribed line.
Hey! Whadaya know?!! You can clearly see (peering through the magnifying glass!) that I’m doing exactly what I should be doing. Please allow me to bask in this splendorous moment as it is very short lived!!
Now … with the background veneer cut to incorporate Nouveau Gal it’s time to fit her into place … and work the motif into the bouquet.
Ah! I like what I see!! And that’s exactly what I thought, walking into the workshop to start another day of play. But wait!! Something’s wrong!!!
............. and I noticed it right away as I gazed upon my NGal from a distance.
It is always good practice to step away from the constant up-front and intense working of your design. Most importantly because this is the time any changes can easily be made!
I didn’t like how the Poplar of the bouquet and the Poplar of the motif collided … that didn’t look good at all! But an easy enough fix to remove excess from the bouquet …........
........... and yes, because I’ve blown this photo up so things can be seen clearly … OMG! Look at all those gaps!! They look much larger than in real life and will really be nothing at all once the filler comes into play.
My mentor and teacher, Herbert Lapins, explained to me (many years ago) that gaps are actually good! As wood tends to swell, these filled gaps allow movement without damaging the Marquetry picture. That was his story … and I’m sticking to it!!
In actual fact, the poor fellow was having ‘seeing issues’ such as I’m experiencing more and more as I ‘mature’. Once upon a time I didn’t need anywhere near the amount of filler I need today!! ......But I digress!! The fix was made, and all is much better now :)
At last … it’s time to tackle her hairdo!!
I’ve chosen Bird’s Eye Maple for her hair. Nouveau Gal will be restricted to the confines of the motif … however, because there are no restrictions for Nouveau Lady’s hair, a second piece of Maple is place underneath the scribed section made for my Gal. Notice the second piece has a black asterisk on either side (more workshop messages to myself!).
And this is when I got confused because I wasn’t paying attention!!
With the two veneers put together, I marked with an overly big dot just where I wanted to stop cutting … to separate the two veneers so that I could continue on finishing off my Gal’s haircut. Nouveau Lady’s haircut would happen a bit later. However … I started at the wrong side of the veneer and ended up actually starting where I should have stopped. But, not only that … I ended up cutting in the wrong direction!! Are you confused yet?!!!
Back-track … pencil in arrows as I obviously need more messages to myself! ... and start again. Thankfully I had caught myself before going too far into that cut! And so the photo below shows Nouveau Lady (granddaughter Abby’s B.Day-gift-to-be) waiting patiently for me to give her lots more style … and work around that boo-boo!
But first I have to work with Nouveau Gal … and yes, Rosewood is so brittle it doesn’t take much to brake off points like this. What puzzles me is how once broken off they can just disappear into thin air! Another fix!!
.......... and a minor change to make. I’ve marked where a leaf was supposed to go, but because of the issues I had blending the motif and bouquet … I did not want the same thing to happen here. Enter flower power!!
Once the decision was made where to place the daises in her hair … and where the leaves would go … and how the hair would ‘fall’ into place …............
............ the cutting began. And this time I was more attentive once Nouveau Lady’s hairpiece was put in place for the cut! You can see where the flowers, restricted to NGal’s motif … carry through as the whole flower in NLady’s veneer. A very rough outline of where the remainder of flower would be was penciled in reminding me not to cut outside that penciled line.
A bit of sand-shading and there’s her stylish do!
This blog was rather long, trying to get her hairdo finished so I could move on. I’m just hoping you didn’t get lost along the way … or drift off to sleep!!
I’m sure you’ll find the next blog more stimulating! I’m going to show you how gaps just disappear like magic! Now … if only all these little bits and pieces of messages taped to surfaces all about me would just disappear!! Oh-oh … so … now you know I didn’t exactly deal with them all before blogging!!!!
Thanks again for tapping in and following my every move!!! Until next time … I hope you enjoy some playtime of your own :)
-- Elaine in Duncan