|Project by mauibob||posted 10-03-2010 03:08 PM||3797 views||5 times favorited||13 comments|
There’s something about the visual impact of Hokusai’s woodblock prints that beautifully shows the movement and tremendous power of nature. Here is my marquetry interpretation of one of his earlier (1834) prints, “Fuji Seen from the Sea” from his series “A Hundred Views of Mt. Fuji”. The foam breaks up into a flock of birds as the wave disperses itself into the wind. The tension of the sea is drawn out through the use of lines riding up the side of the wave – which I reproduced here using the beautiful figure from a select piece of Chechen rosewood.
The marquetry design uses maple for the background, holly for the snowcap on Mt. Fuji and sapele for the mountain itself, aspen for the froth of the waves, and Chechen rosewood for the wave body. The fir trees in the background used slices from a stabilized, emerald green colored pen blank of curly maple. I used both heartwood and sapwood from the same piece of Chechen (particularly the transition from heartwood to sapwood) to get the feel of the wave slowly breaking into foam (upper right) and to add some additional depth to the wave crest in the foreground. Chechen rosewood can have some really spectacular figure and seemed to be a good choice for expressing the tension in the foreground wave front.
The flock of birds posed an interesting problem in this design. The relatively small size of the image (6×8 ½ ”) made the birds no larger than 1/8” long. Several techniques for producing the birds were considered – double bevel marquetry as in the rest of the image, inlay with either colored epoxy or crushed stone, and painting. The latter approach, using white acrylic paint, actually yielded the crispest looking birds, and I used a stencil approach to place the images on the background veneer. I’m a lousy painter, so by using a homemade stencil I could exactly produce a crisp image each time and the amount of paint deposited on the wood was miniscule so it didn’t have that “3-D” look to it but rather looked like the birds were inlayed into the background.
-- Bob, Potomac, MD