The Black Rooster, My Latest Marquetry Project #2: Sand Shading, Assembly and Some More Cutting.

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 01-06-2013 05:50 PM 3966 reads 1 time favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Cutting Letters in Marquetry Part 2 of The Black Rooster, My Latest Marquetry Project series Part 3: Assembling the Serving Tray »

There is not a lot of sand shading on this project, but it is an essential element that will really “pop” the motif into three dimensions. One of the features of this logo is the folded ribbon around the central medallion. In order to make the rings look folded over in three dimensions the shading must be applied accurately and with a relatively sharp edge. This can be accomplished with a “heat blocker” like the pair of hemostats I’m using in this photo. The metal draws the heat away from the sand immediately adjacent to it and prevents it from scorching the wood. The scorch actually stops a sixteenth of an inch or so away from the metal, even when the sand is piled right up to it. Resting the spoon carefully at the other side of the desired scorch prevents the sand from spreading too far up the piece. It’s a bit tedious when you have a lot of pieces to do but the effect is worth the trouble.

After shading the logos are assembled and ready to go on to whatever eventual project they may adorn. The two here that have square backgrounds are the dyed practice motifs and the others are three of the four from the second batch. The brown tape you see here and there is from taping the veneer layers into the packet and it will be removed eventually in the process.

The first of these motifs to be used is to make a round serving tray. It will be cut into a curly maple background and surrounded by a garland of grape vines. It will also have the word “RISERVA” added under the logo. “Classico” denotes that the wine is from only grapes grown in the Chianti region. “Riserva” denotes that it has been produced under rigid controls to make the best product.

This is a packet that contains two book-matched pieces of maple, folded over at the match joint so that both halves can be cut together in mirror image.

This is a classic style cut, background only, so the idea is to cut only the inside half of the line. This whole cut came out in three pieces. I made a couple of small changes while cutting to avoid making some too small pieces. The notes on the side of the pattern are to remind me to do the same when I cut the infill pieces.

When all is cut and the packet is opened up, this is how the background looks.

Next I re-assembled the packet but with the background opened up this time and attached a pattern with the outline of the logo and the word “Riserva” included. After removing the logo outline I slipped a smaller piece of black dyed veneer into the packet where the “Riserva” was and cut the letters in Boulle style.

Placement of this pattern was facilitated by the alignment marks in the photos above. The other packets in this picture are the purpleheart packet for the grapes and the poplar packet for the leaves.

Here the leaves are being added after sand shading.

And this is what the final assembly of the tray marquetry looks like.

Next time I’ll cover making the tray and finishing up but I may just wait until I post the project to keep the secret a little.

Thanks for looking in.

As always comments, question,s and critiques are welcome.


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

22 comments so far

View Marco Cecala's profile

Marco Cecala

189 posts in 4084 days

#1 posted 01-06-2013 06:07 PM

More great work Paul. Love the idea, it may end up in my work some day.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3354 days

#2 posted 01-06-2013 06:10 PM

well as i always do i marvel at your work, i dont know how in the world you can cut things so small without it breaking..i cant see myself being able to cut that small, i think i would go blind…lol…well ill be looking forward to your next post on this, im sure all is going well and your en joying your time there…grizz

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

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3004 days

#3 posted 01-06-2013 06:20 PM

Very nice. Yes, very nice. You continue to amaze.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View Porchfish's profile


831 posts in 2583 days

#4 posted 01-06-2013 06:32 PM

Innovation is your middle name , me thinks ! Gorgeous as always !

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

View Dez's profile


1166 posts in 4128 days

#5 posted 01-06-2013 06:49 PM

Beautiful work! You set the bar very high indeed!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3385 days

#6 posted 01-06-2013 06:54 PM

Great to see the step by step action Paul. Marvelous work of course and a great blog. I found the shading part very interesting too since I might be trying it in the near future.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 3881 days

#7 posted 01-06-2013 07:20 PM

So this is what has been keeping you busy! Very nice!

I like the combination of techniques you are using here Paul, very practical. Good idea with using registration marks for aiding the alignment during re-assembly of the packet. The circles look very smooth, and the lettering looks crisp. I like the shading of the leaves, but noticed that you didn’t include any veining?

Again, beautiful work!

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

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6860 posts in 4030 days

#8 posted 01-06-2013 07:25 PM

Hi Paul;

You better hurry up, hockey season is back on!

This is looking really good.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View rance's profile


4259 posts in 3211 days

#9 posted 01-06-2013 07:47 PM

Thanks for the answers from Part 1 Paul. It is fascinating watching your progress. The part that baffles me the most is your drive to do all this intricate work. That takes some real patience and tenacity. Brilliant work.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2855 days

#10 posted 01-06-2013 08:01 PM

You never fail to amaze Paul. An arteeeest is what you are my friend.

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

View Sodabowski's profile


2374 posts in 2884 days

#11 posted 01-06-2013 09:16 PM

Oh man, I’m like totally in awe! =O

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3975 days

#12 posted 01-06-2013 09:43 PM

Thanks Paul I am learning so much from you that will help me when I get rolling.

View tinnman65's profile


1358 posts in 3465 days

#13 posted 01-06-2013 10:23 PM

This was a very interesting read Paul. I really like the trick with the sand shading, I have never seen that before. Its the little tricks like using the hemostat during sand shading that can make a very nice project a great project! I just wounder how they did that 200 years ago when they didn’t have those tweezers! I can’t wait to see the finished tray.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View Schwieb's profile


1858 posts in 3512 days

#14 posted 01-06-2013 11:07 PM

I’m in awe too. Makes me want to quit posting. You are so far above most of us. I’ve said it before, I wish I could be a fly on the wall watching you do this. My journey into marquetry has just begun, I could only dream of making something like this. (and I do)

I was introduced to the concept of sand shading at my first discussion on marquetry. your insight into the process is phenomenal. Way to go Paul!


-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View shipwright's profile


8002 posts in 2849 days

#15 posted 01-07-2013 06:44 AM

Thanks everyone,

Mat, I was somewhere between thinking it was busy enough already and lazy on the veining, I’m going to claim the former.

Lee, Marquetry in the daytime and hockey at night …..... works for me.

Rance, I think stubbornness might be a better word.

Ken, Does this mean that your classes have begun?

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

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