Marquetry 'Sealover's Wine Box'

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Project by justoneofme posted 08-16-2011 06:52 PM 2425 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello all my new Lumberjock friends!

This Marquetry wine box was commissioned for a lover of Harbour Seals … as though you couldn’t guess?! The box was specifically made to house a wine sack … with the spout protruding through the seal’s mouth.

When I first started cutting Marquetry 35 years ago, a thin handled Exacto knife was all I used. But when my first very demanding commission piece came along I needed something better, and revamped an old (motor driven) Singer sewing machine for my needs, replacing the needle with a fine jewellery blade. A bit tricky to get used to, but it worked! As time went on I moved into ‘mass production’ (4 pictures per cut), and bought myself a Dremel Scroll Saw. All the fitted blades had to be ground down in the cutting section to produce a finer cut. The blades broke easily but worked fine. However, I ended up going through 2 of those scroll saws before finally earning enough money to purchase my industrial strength Excalibur Scroll Saw. It’s an everlasting beauty that’s kept me happy for over 25 years!

While it lasted, production work (then cutting up to 12 for larger designs, 24 for the smaller pieces) kept my workshop paying for itself. Combined with furniture repair and refinishing, I was a very content mother, wife and homemaker. Whenever I had to ‘label’ myself back then, I was a Domestic Engineer! Today I confidently call myself a Woodwork Artist!!

Back to the wine box. This wrap around design is cut from Bird’s Eye maple veneer. Many cut edges were dipped in hot silica sand for shading and to enhance outlining, with darker areas of the design lightly stained to give that ‘monochromatic’ effect. To complete the Sealover’s Wine Box, a small piece of driftwood, sand and shells were attached. I have a special spray booth in my workshop and so everything I create has a protective lacquer finish.

Thanks to all those who have welcomed me to Lumberjocks. I am excited to have this kind of communication with fellow woodworking artists, and being part of the ‘crew’!

Cheers … Elaine from Duncan

-- Elaine in Duncan

9 comments so far

View jumbojack's profile


1677 posts in 2649 days

#1 posted 08-16-2011 07:17 PM

WOW…...just plain WOW!

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Gary's profile


9333 posts in 3458 days

#2 posted 08-16-2011 07:49 PM

I absolutely agree with jumbojacks assessment

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View getlostinwood's profile


224 posts in 2628 days

#3 posted 08-16-2011 07:59 PM

I’ve been labeling my skill level at intermediate, its projects like this that make me consider “beginner” as more appropriate. Just incredible….

-- The basis for optimism is shear terror

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2823 days

#4 posted 08-16-2011 09:18 PM

Good to see you online Elaine. That wasn’t so hard was it?
The box is lovely.
The harbour seal is very realistic and the other critters are as well.
Can’t wait to see more.

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

View 308Gap's profile


337 posts in 3028 days

#5 posted 08-16-2011 09:18 PM

How much would it cost just to stand and watch, I can wash your car, mow your lawn. Your work is memorable.

-- Thank You Veterans!

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2823 days

#6 posted 08-16-2011 09:24 PM

I just looked again as I remembered you saying it was “wraparound”.

I hadn’t noticed the first time that the seal actually wraps around the whole box… all four sides.

I’d say this one loses something in photos. It would be even more impressive to rotate it in your hands in real life.

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

View terrilynne's profile


836 posts in 2919 days

#7 posted 08-16-2011 09:54 PM

I like all the little details. Very nice.

-- Terri, Rocky Mountain High Colorado!

View jeepturner's profile


939 posts in 2818 days

#8 posted 08-17-2011 02:17 AM

Very nice indeed, welcome to Lumberjocks.
I will be looking forward to more of your work. The marquetry people amaze me. I have never tried my hand at it but I really like looking at the work. So it’s nice to see another artist posting up more art.

-- Mel,

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3360 days

#9 posted 03-27-2013 05:23 PM

Hi Elaine! I was searching your LJ name to show my wife aka Lillian your latest progress on the wine box and I ran into this one. Wonderful work, and with only one veneer to Boot! The seal looks alive as do all the birds. This was a very instructive work for me, and I find it very inspiring, real glad I found it, take care.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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