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 2553 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 fiberglass trees.

22 comments so far

View Marco Cecala's profile

Marco Cecala

188 posts in 2818 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


7230 posts in 2088 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


1321 posts in 1738 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


586 posts in 1317 days

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

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

-- If it smells good, eat it ! The pig caught under the fence is the one doing all thesquealing

View Dez's profile


1131 posts in 2862 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


13762 posts in 2118 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

649 posts in 2614 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

6724 posts in 2764 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


4149 posts in 1945 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


15699 posts in 1588 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.

View Sodabowski's profile


2106 posts in 1617 days

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

Oh man, I’m like totally in awe! =O

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 2708 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


1190 posts in 2198 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


1603 posts in 2246 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


5420 posts in 1582 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 fiberglass trees.

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