|Project by mauibob||posted 08-31-2012 02:41 PM||2243 views||16 times favorited||30 comments|
Here’s my marquetry interpretation of a Chinese imperial Dragon, inspired by the Zodiac sign for the year 2012. In Eastern philosophy, the Dragon is a deliverer of good fortune and a master of authority, a symbol of intense power. To illustrate his radiating power, my marquetry Dragon includes a fiery tail (simulated with copper gilding) and, of course, a 22kt gilded gold tooth.
The marquetry box on frame measures approximately 5×7 1/8×5 1/8 inches.
I have always loved oriental designs, as you can tell from my past submissions to LJ. I decided on a Chinese Imperial Dragon for this project because of its Zodiac significance for 2012, but also because of my love of incorporating multimedia concepts in marquetry designs. Inlays (Chinese character for “Dragon” and the Dragon’s fiery eyes) and 22kt gold and copper gilding make this a somewhat unique marquetry box.
Materials used: Hawaiian koa, Macassar ebony, American holly, Sapele, Padauk, Maple, Chechen rosewood, Copper gilding, 24kt gold gilding, epoxy.
The marquetry sides were attached first to a mitered box made from maple. Before assembly, the sides were rabbeted at the top to allow a plywood panel to eventually drop in for the marquetry top. This gave me some elbow room to apply appropriate clamping for the marquetry side veneers before the top was added. The top was then added in two steps: the underside of a plywood panel was veneered with burl walnut (not illustrated) and then glued into the rabbet; and finally the marquetry piece for the top was applied to the newly established box top.
The scary part was then slicing the top off to form the lid. Finally, koa bandings were used to finish off the box.
An interesting side note: I picked up a very nicely constructed veneer press from David Coleman (Veneer Press) which I used in this project. I had been using all sorts of wooden cauls in the past for small projects like this (although I usually resort to a vacuum press for larger ones). This press was built like a battleship and, with its compact size, has been a great addition to my shop.
-- Bob, Potomac, MD