My latest project will be a set of four boxes that may be used for collectables, silverware, or jewellery. They will feature the marquetry tops and parquetry sides of an iconic Jean François Oeben mechanical table. Because I am cutting the marquetry in piece by piece technique, I will be getting four identical copies. All the veneer is 1/16” (1.5 mm) and is either shop sawn or from my Paris stock.
As I have detailed this process before, I will move quickly through the steps covered so far.
This is the table that inspired the project. It is now in the collection at the J Paul Getty Museum in LA.
This is a scientific re-creation of the top marquetry as it would have looked new a couple of hundred years ago.
My box tops will be a challenge as they will be only half the size of the table top but will have almost all the detail and all the pieces.
So let’s get started.
The first thing I did, after making my Inkscape tracing of the motif was to assemble the required veneer. This involved selecting some of my Paris sawn stock and cutting some of my own. The Paris veneers used are Pink Peroba, Araracanga, Holly, and Olive. The shop sawn veneers are Amaranth, Tulipwood, Boxwood, Poplar (which I dyed) and native Arizona Agarita, a member of the Barberry family and bright yellow.
Here are a few photos of that part of the job.
As the Agarita is in very small pieces I jointed and glued up pairs to make my yellow packets.
As well as the natural veneers I also needed to dye some greens, purples, and blues.This is necessary because dyed veneer cannot be found in 1/16” material. I used textile dyes heated by warming trays and dyed for four to seven days.
Then it was on to the cutting. These photos took place over a couple of months.
That about covers what I’ve been up to this winter, almost up to date. The top motifs as seen here are not yet complete. There is still a Tulipwood border and some bone stringing to be added but that will have to wait for the next installment.
Thanks for looking in.
-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/