|Project by justoneofme||posted 04-09-2012 06:09 AM||1572 views||0 times favorited||8 comments|
Thanks to Mathew’s request that I post some Marquetry projects, I spent some time browsing through a very old brag book of photos past … back in the days when digital cameras and downloading photos onto the computer to easily share with others through cyber-space did not exist. I realize I’m a ‘late bloomer’ in that field, so this all may have existed … I just wasn’t ready to explore. But now I have a better handle on it, and with the use of my (soon to be 92 year old) father’s wand scanner … all these old project photos have now been exposed to technological enhancement!
I actually hadn’t looked through this particular album for many years, and was caught gazing at creative tasks with a feeling of accomplishment as I wandered down memory lane. It was an ego booster! ... just when I felt myself floundering over the latest stage of my current project … the Intarsia Wedding Gift.
It’s been a very long time since enjoying the camaraderie of fellow woodworkers and Marquetarians through the pages of the Marquetry Society of America’s newsletters … and I’ve suddenly realized how wonderful it is again to have that connection through Lumberjocks!
We all know what it feels like to stumble along the path, I’m sure. Confident one moment, then not so the next. Most times the stumble is minimal, and momentum just carries us forward … but then there are other stumbles not so easy to conquer.
As I gazed upon the old photos of my ‘apprenticeship’ piano my thoughts stepped back to a extremely low point in my life, shortly after my oldest brother had suddenly died. I found I could no longer concentrate on woodworking. It was a stumbling block of major proportions, feeling I had not only lost my dear brother … but my creative edge as well.
For as long as I can remember, I have always had a love of pianos. I certainly couldn’t play one well enough to entertain any thoughts of becoming a concert pianist! ... but the child I was, loved more the intricate workings of the action itself. I hadn’t given pianos a serious thought for a great many years, until for reasons still unclear, other than the fact my mind lingered in this bleak and unproductive state … I turned toward piano tuning and technology. Maybe it was time to change careers. And so began a year long nose-dive into that correspondence course. And then came my chosen piano to work with. The poor thing that had been stored for years in an old open shed. It was mine for the taking … but, pianos are heavy! It cost for transport to home base!!
Immediately … upon looking at this poor lost soul of a piano … I felt the tingle of woodworking desire creep in!! So much of it’s veneer had pealed away … I could re-veneer it! I could add a Marquetry design into veneered sections!! I could … and I did … and all I thought lost to me, returned in a rush.
These photos don’t adequately show the damage this poor piano suffered … but so much of me went into its restoration … stripping down to the soundboard for repairs to it and the pinblock, refinishing the harp, and replacing the strings. And while the innards were out … a total re-veneering took place, and the creative juices flowed!
Now … this may not look like a finished project … and as far as the piano is concerned, it remains my ‘apprentice’ piano, still needing new hammers and the refurbishing of various action parts. But the veneering and Marquetry is complete. The front panel does need to be replaced, but I’m glad I left that alone … because lately I’ve considered creating an Intarsia panel to fit into the framework!
This piano has sat within my workshop, under it’s protective cover all too long now, waiting patiently until I find the time to get back to the technology end of things. It’ll happen, when I’m ready to retire from the woodworking end of creativity. But every now and again, when I’ve had to hammer at something … my apprenticeship piano sings, and so do my heart-strings!
-- Elaine in Duncan