Cattails in wood

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Project by Woodenwizard posted 09-18-2012 07:12 PM 1988 views 4 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am building a set of drawers and plan to put some marquetry on the top. I thought I would do some cattails. This is a practice piece to see what it might look like. It didn’t turn out too bad so I think I will do another one for the top and maybe try to have some reeds going up the front of the drawers. Anyway that is the plan. Any comments or suggestions would be welcomed.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

11 comments so far

View garriv777's profile


142 posts in 3041 days

#1 posted 09-18-2012 07:17 PM

Very nice work and the frame is pretty sweet also.

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4449 days

#2 posted 09-18-2012 09:20 PM


That turned out great… Of course all of your marquetry is great. Hope all is going well over your way.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View grace123's profile


240 posts in 2938 days

#3 posted 09-18-2012 09:37 PM

Beautifully done.

View scrollingmom's profile


1188 posts in 2640 days

#4 posted 09-18-2012 09:46 PM

Very nice. I like it. Is that a butterfly in the inlay. I was thinking a dragonfly might look cool.

-- Kelly, Allen,KS

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 4006 days

#5 posted 09-19-2012 03:57 AM

John, I like this piece very much. You are obviously getting to the point where you are not afraid of taking on the more challenging projects, and natural scenes like this are among the toughest. It says a lot about your personal standard for excellence that you would put this much effort into creating a “practice”piece which looks great on its own merit.

I like the idea of the cattails as a theme, especially the idea of them growing up the front and over the top of a dresser. I can already picture the cattails gently bowing in the breeze. I like the combination of the green and brown foliage, and a very natural looking arrangement of stems and leaves. I would like to see a bit more of a focal point in the composition, so the idea of a dragonfly or perhaps a red wing blackbird would be another level of challenge you could choose to embrace.

I’d also like to offer a couple points of constructive feedback. I am not sure what you are thinking for the field veneer for the dresser, but I would go for something lighter in tone and not so wavy in grain. I think you are trying to represent the cattails against a sky background, and this dark curly veneer is not doing it for me. I think a more subtle selection for the background would make the marquetry stand out and draw you into the picture a bit more.

Finally I think the cattails themselves need a bit more color definition of highlights and shadows around their edges to add some depth and definition of their round shape. Right now they look a bit flat and as a result remind me a bit of a bunch of hot dogs being roasted on sticks. Have you every tried sand shading?

Forgive me for going on, and thanks for sharing a wonderful piece. Can’t wait to see the dresser!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View shipwright's profile


8133 posts in 2974 days

#6 posted 09-19-2012 05:42 AM

I like the idea John.
I’m with Mat that some sand shading would really make it pop though.
I’ve always been intrigued by marquetry of grasses and reeds. They somehow really lend themselves to the medium. I have thought of doing them several times and one day I will but I have too many ideas.

You might try a two tone background with a darker lower area suggesting the surrounding marsh and a lighter sky of maybe curly maple to simulate that mackerel look.
Just some thoughts. The cutting looks very good and the overall feel is going to be very evocative.

Again, I like it…............. can’t wait to see the finished piece.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View michelletwo's profile


2762 posts in 3192 days

#7 posted 09-19-2012 10:43 AM

I know nothing of marquetry, but I say go for it..I find this piece wonderful..I usually dislike dark backgrounds, but this one I like. It reminds me of the weather during duck season!

View Pete Jansen's profile

Pete Jansen

250 posts in 3097 days

#8 posted 09-19-2012 12:37 PM

Really nice. I bought a marquetry starter kit a couple years ago and
haven’t tried one yet. I guess I’m afraid it will come out terribly.
It’s a good one to try over the winter here in Colorado.
Beautiful job.

-- Lovin' sawdust in beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado

View Roger's profile


20949 posts in 2980 days

#9 posted 09-19-2012 01:02 PM

Artistry in wood. Very awesome! I think they moved

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Woodenwizard's profile


1341 posts in 3219 days

#10 posted 09-20-2012 03:37 AM

Thanks Garriv777 Glad you liked it

Max – Thanks for the comment. Things are going well here except my work tends to get in the way of my fun. Hope you are doing well. Plan to be in your area around thanksgiving. Hope you have the coffee on.

Kelly – that is suppose to be a bird in the distance. My kids gave me grief about it. They say it doesn’t look anything like a bird.

Mat – Thanks for taking the time to comment. You always have great insight. I truly appreciate your suggestions. I hope to try some sand shading soon. Just need to find a hot plate. Oh! and some more time.

Paul – Wish I had some of your skills. Thanks so much for your comments. I truly admire your work and get a lot of my motivation from what you share. This is becoming a bigger project for me than I anticipated but I am going to stick with it and hopefully come up with something passable. At anyrate I am learning every step of the way.

Thanks Pete – Being just up the road from me in Ft Collins you would think we could get together for coffee and some wood talk.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View oakwood's profile


327 posts in 2245 days

#11 posted 12-24-2012 03:19 AM

A wonderful piece of work. That will look great on your finished project.

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