I am a lover of travel and of Italy in particular. Toscana is my favorite province and Chianiti my favorite region. When I built my first chevalet, my first attempt at marquetry with it was Il Gallo Nero, the black rooster that is a very old symbol of the region. It is also the logo symbol of the Consorzio Chianti Classico, the co-operative of growers who produce one of my favorite Italian wines. My first attempt may have been a little too ambitious and never actually reached a finished state although I still have the pieces.
Now I have a little more experience and knowledge of marquetry and thought it was time to revisit Il Gallo so here is what I’m working on. This photo is the logo that you will find on the little pink paper seal on the top of every bottle of Chianti Classico produced by the consorzio.
If you checked the blog in the link above you may have noticed that I didn’t try the lettering….. I wasn’t that crazy …............. then. Well now apparently, I am. I decided to start with a practice logo in plain maple veneer, a packet of only two layers, and cut the whole thing Boulle style to get the feel of how hard the lettering was going to be. When all cut I would dye the elements prior to assembly. Here are some photos of that process.
I was happy enough with the process to move on to the better veneers but I decided to cut the letters in classic style in order to get sharper corners on the serifs of the letters. In classic style there is a waste side that you can cut out into to make outside square corners. In Boulle style there is no waste side and you have to make the turn on the spot.
I was going to make four copies so I made some little mid cut checks on squareness of the blade to the packet. An easy check is to take the bottom piece, which in my case is a piece of 1/8” plywood “waster”, and see how it fits in the hole at the top of the packet.
Then you place the piece from the top layer in the hole in the bottom layer. If the fits are the same, you are as square as you can be.
In classic style the letters are cut from a different packet, all holly, from an identical copy of the pattern. The theory is that when you cut the background, you cut away the inside half of the line and when you cut the letters, you cut away the outside half of the line. When assembled, there should be no kerf. ..... not there just yet, but getting better. This is the stuff that Patrick will be covering in stage two at ASFM next month so maybe I’ll improve….. or not.
Here are a few more photos of the first packet being finished up. Other than the letters themselves the rest was cut Boulle style so it included two padauk, two bloodwood, four maple and four dyed black veneers. The letters are 1/2” high.
Here are the letters, complete with a few do-overs, another advantage of classic style. They are backwards because the face side has the paper backing on it and the assemblies are done face down.
These are the chosen letters along with their background “islands” taken from the other packet.
Next time I’ll get into the sand shading and assembly of the pieces.
Thanks for looking in. All comments, critiques and questions are welcome, as always.
-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglas boats he would have given us fibrerglas trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/