Road Kill Cafe, Seagull Four Ways

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Project by shipwright posted 03-08-2013 10:37 PM 2167 views 2 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was an experiment with some different techniques, never meant to be great marquetry. The photo is of a pushy little gull I met in New Zealand at Orewa Beach in 2004. The four takes are Plain marquetry, shaded (poorly) marquetry, hand dyed (watercolor style) and the last is a “sanded through” attempt.

If I get a whole lot better at the last, I may refer to it as “fusion” and give credit to Patrice Lejeune. At this moment I’m referring to it as “sanded through” and while intentional here, it’s not something I need anyone else to show me. I’ve done it many times unintentionally and have often thought I should try to duplicate the effect on purpose some time. I kind of like how the clouds and water area turned out but not so much the beach.

If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the dyed one, but really the biggest thing I learned here was to pay more attention. I don’t mind the piece because I learned a lot from doing it, but let’s just say it’s not my favorite.

I thought long and hard about posting this but decided that I would for just the reason above. Even when a piece doesn’t come out the way you wanted it to, there’s always something to learn and that’s never bad.

Thanks for looking


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

28 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3354 days

#1 posted 03-08-2013 11:48 PM

i would agree with you i like the dyed one, for some reason my eye keeps going to the glue line in number 2, but i still know one thing, your still dam good and i dont know how to do this yet…so your work always looks good to me paul..if you dont like one of them , send it to me…but your also right , there is always something to learn..thanks for sharing this with us…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Patricelejeune's profile


375 posts in 1971 days

#2 posted 03-08-2013 11:48 PM

This is a pretty cool etude.

I like the fact that you tried different things, methods, woods, shading etc… on the same subject. It’s like a pallet for future projects.

Congratulation on this on purpose sanding through.

-- Patrice lejeune

View a1Jim's profile


117159 posts in 3627 days

#3 posted 03-09-2013 12:14 AM

You always do great work Paul ,you mean that’s dyed not blue wood :))

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View oakwood's profile


327 posts in 2120 days

#4 posted 03-09-2013 12:37 AM

That little gull does look pushy. Very interesting to see the different versions. I must say that you do keep raising the bar. Very nice work.

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3932 days

#5 posted 03-09-2013 01:24 AM

Fascinating. Just fascinating.
Out of these four, the dyed does look ‘better’, but the if the sand shading wasn’t so strong, maybe….

Thanks for the post,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2740 days

#6 posted 03-09-2013 02:26 AM

You may not be happy with the marquetry but you certainly captured the gull’s “attitude”. The dyed is my favorite also. But the 4th is a close second. One looks like a morning at the beach, the other looks like dusk at the beach to me. But what does an Okie know about the beach! We do have gulls though!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 3129 days

#7 posted 03-09-2013 03:15 AM

They are great, Paul. Don’t be so hard on your self!

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3243 posts in 3763 days

#8 posted 03-09-2013 03:37 AM


Your talents and skills are just so far above ours that we just enjoy the journey and learn a little more each time! Thanks for sharing.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View rustynails's profile


754 posts in 2579 days

#9 posted 03-09-2013 03:50 AM

Paul I see you could not help yourself and had to put a boat in the picture… :) I like it. I would agree with the others I like the dyed one best. How did you make the photo into a line drawing or should I say what program?


View shipwright's profile


8000 posts in 2848 days

#10 posted 03-09-2013 04:13 AM

Richard , I use Inkscape, the free version.

Steve, The shaded one should be better. I think it’s the worst job of shading I’ve ever done. :-(

Patrice, I will use the four up format again. The style lends itself to doing that. I do however have to pay more attention at all stages.

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

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 3880 days

#11 posted 03-09-2013 05:13 AM

I’m with the crowd on this one Paul, the dyed looks best to my eye, but an interesting study nonetheless and kudos for giving the sanding through approach an attempt. I’m sure you learned a bunch, and of course practice makes perfect.

Question, in the sanded through are we seeing the substrate in the sanded through section or did you first glue down a base layer of veneer that is exposed in the sanding through of the top marquetry layer?

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

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3385 days

#12 posted 03-09-2013 09:34 AM

I love experimentation Paul and I admire and appreciate your willingness to share the results with us even though you are not particularly happy with them.This is the kind of work we learn the most from. Besides, we already know what a great craftsman and artist you are. I like the bottom left picture best. I have spent a lot of time at sea and the shore. This rendition looks right on to me. My wife liked the bottom right one best.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View shipwright's profile


8000 posts in 2848 days

#13 posted 03-09-2013 02:34 PM

Mat, The substrates are what you are mainly looking at. In the beach and water the overlay veneer is almost sanded away. In the sky, I just placed small strands of cloud and then sanded them thin.

Mike, Thanks for the re-enforcement about posting this. I agree that these kind of pieces are the ones we really learn from. I’m guessing it’s the sea foam that you liked. Am I right?

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

View helluvawreck's profile


31666 posts in 2917 days

#14 posted 03-09-2013 03:21 PM

Wonderful work, Paul.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View woodsmithshop's profile


1319 posts in 3596 days

#15 posted 03-09-2013 03:33 PM

I would hang any one of them on my wall.

-- Smitty!!!

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