|Project by mauibob||posted 10-08-2011 07:55 PM||1836 views||3 times favorited||12 comments|
This piece was created for a marquetry contest. The topic was “The Koi Pond”, a somewhat unusual one.
When considering entering the contest, I thought what could be better than to go straight to the source for some ideas for a design. So, I scoured the Internet for Japanese Koi, and quickly realized that the country that brought us Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidora also had some mighty big Koi!
Well, here is my marquetry interpretation of a Japanese woodblock print (artist unknown) featuring, you guessed it, a monster-sized Koi being fought by two Japanese samurai. This is really the one that got away – not your average garden center variety!
My design used double bevel techniques throughout, and a selection of woods including quilted big leaf maple, American holly, Chechen rosewood, Macassar ebony, fiddleback mahogany, poplar, purpleheart, padauk, sapele and Hawaiian koa. I added a touch of pyrography for the samurai faces and patinated copper gilding for the Koi’s scales. The entire piece is banded in Hawaiian koa.
For the gilding, I used an oil-based size, restricting the gilded area to the Koi’s back. Copper foil was applied to the desired area, and the scales were simulated using a wash of potash sulfurated (liver of sulfur) applied with a fine brush. The chemical reaction of copper with the chemical reagent produced some beautiful patination effects. I haven’t seen gilding used with marquetry before, but this seemed to work out quite well and produced some really interesting effects in different lights.
The finished, gilded marquetry piece was first protected with a clear spray shellac, and then treated with two additional coats of high gloss wipe-on polyurethane. A paste wax finish completed the piece.
Well, to paraphrase from a famous movie – “You want Koi? You can’t handle Koi!” At least these two samurai are having a dickens of a time!
(I took shots of the piece in different lighting to show the effects of the copper gilding.)
-- Bob, Potomac, MD