Baseline Marquetry

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Project by shipwright posted 05-13-2011 11:48 PM 3207 views 10 times favorited 36 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the first marquetry to be cut on my new chevalet. It represents my baseline, the point from which I would like to grow and improve. It is fastened to the front face of the saw so that I will always have it to look back to, hopefully with a smile.

It is also my first attempt at “classic style” marquetry where the pieces are individually cut from packets of identical veneer and separately from the background. Unlike either Boulle style or double bevel style, the classic style requires that the piece and the others to which it adjoins are cut separately. Perfect fits are not guaranteed here as they are in the other styles. The plus side is that you simultaneously make several identical copies of the motif.

There are lots of gaps here. It is not good marquetry but it is a challenging style and I’m determined to improve. The saw itself is amazing and improvement is just a matter of practice.

The cutting may be a matter of practice but the real art in marquetry, as I am discovering, lies in the creation of the color separated artwork and the choice of veneers to best portray the feeling and life of the subject. Again, I have many miles ahead of me.

Thanks for looking.

Any comments, critiques or questions are always welcome.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

36 comments so far

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3093 days

#1 posted 05-14-2011 12:02 AM

Enjoy the journey. I’m sure we will enjoy it along with you. To study and master a style is always a long term task but I’m sure you’re up to it and indeed relish it from your approach and what we’ve seen of your work so far.

But then lifes a journey not a destination.

Happy trails.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View peteg's profile


4333 posts in 2879 days

#2 posted 05-14-2011 12:34 AM

Boy oh boy Paul, you realy enjoy a challenge, all that intricate cutting & matching. still I guess having the skills to make the Chevalet in the first place, you now can’t allow it to become a beuatiful ornament :))
Going to love watching where this all takes us.
BTW the frame is a rather nice little number as well

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View patron's profile


13611 posts in 3398 days

#3 posted 05-14-2011 12:34 AM

thank you paul

this is the first time
i’ve gotten a feel for marquetry

i have done a little in the past
but got tired of remaking torn pieces
from razor knives

keep us informed
i am learning with you
from this distance
not the hands on thing yet
but certainly the steps to it

i always wondered…........

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View peteg's profile


4333 posts in 2879 days

#4 posted 05-14-2011 12:47 AM

Paul, just realised this is the “Mark 2 ” machine, (are they “handed”) :-))))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View tsangell's profile


216 posts in 2749 days

#5 posted 05-14-2011 12:49 AM

Paul, you blow me away. I can’t wait to see where this goes.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4045 days

#6 posted 05-14-2011 12:51 AM

That’s one hell of a high bar you set!

Amazing work!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3584 days

#7 posted 05-14-2011 01:09 AM

You’re going to start from here? Looks like you skipped the awkward stages. Cool, that takes up too much time.

That is a great start. Beautiful!!!!!

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6860 posts in 4036 days

#8 posted 05-14-2011 01:12 AM


This is piece # 1? ...where are you planning on going from here?

Beautiful job.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View shipwright's profile


8006 posts in 2854 days

#9 posted 05-14-2011 01:13 AM

Thanks all.

Pete They are both right handed. Just that the other one is at my place in Az. and it’s too big for carry-on.

Gary Thanks, aren’t pictures wonderful. It is what I call a very nice three foot (away) job.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View tdv's profile


1188 posts in 3127 days

#10 posted 05-14-2011 01:33 AM

Paul quality speaks for itself I just heard it say “fantastic”
Nice one mate

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2711 days

#11 posted 05-14-2011 01:41 AM


That is beautiful!

I am a sailor at heart and tall ships have always been a big fascination for me (I build static sailing ship models for relaxation). My father sailed on the USCGC Eagle while he attended the Coast Guard Academy in the early 50’s. His love of the sea rubbed off on me and got me hooked.

I dabbled in marquetry (Mark Adams School in Indiana) a few years ago and found I just didn’t have the patience for it. I wanted to do a project exactly like this to incorporate into the raised panels for my yet to be completed tool cabinet (here).

Again, GREAT JOB!!!!

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3243 posts in 3769 days

#12 posted 05-14-2011 03:01 AM


You’re certainly making good use of your Chevy . . . and the photo essay was very informative. Your work looks really excellent (but we’ve come to expect that from you).

I’ll have to remember the 3-feet-away rule. That should work really well for me . . . that is, if I take my glasses off. That way I won’t even know what I’m looking at so I won’t have to worry if I did it right! ;-)


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View larryw's profile


335 posts in 2718 days

#13 posted 05-14-2011 04:02 AM

What a beautiful and well executed piece Paul, if there are gaps, I don’t see any. I have to say that this “classic style” marquetry is cut in much the same way that I cut my pearl inlay, in that each piece is cut separately, which requires clean thin lines on your drawing or pattern, and careful focused cutting to achieve a tight fit. Even doing that, I still have gaps sometimes. I wish us pearl cutters had some type of tool such as the chevalet to keep the cuts perfectly perpendicular to the piece being cut. Cutting by hand with a jeweler’s saw increases the chance for gaps. Anyway, awesome job here, and if this is just your baseline, I can’t wait to see more.

-- "everything is beautiful, but not everyone sees it" ~confucius-551-449 b.c.~

View Woodenwizard's profile


1334 posts in 3100 days

#14 posted 05-14-2011 04:33 AM

Paul; Very nice job. I too am learning the art of marquetry. For a first attempt your subject mater and choice of veneer appears outstanding and trulyl motivates me to continue my effort to improve. I look forward to seeing future projects.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3074 days

#15 posted 05-14-2011 07:33 AM

All I can really say is doubleyou oh doubleyou!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

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