Eye of the Tiger represents the second time I’ve tried the erosion or fusion technique of (not) marquetry. My first was this one which was a composite of traditional marquetry and some sanding away for “fade-out” effect.
I didn’t take enough care selecting veneers for the seagull and the shading is bad. I don’t like the marquetry much at all but that wasn’t what I was focusing on. I do like the sanded out effect in the clouds and in the breaking wave crests. Then there’s the beach…... oh well, as Meatloaf says “two out of three ain’t bad”.
On to the second attempt which was actually two attempts. In the first I cut the main black and movingui background together in one layer, like regular marquetry, except that the line between black and movingui was not cut at the edges of where those colors were to show. Instead it was cut in the center of areas that would be white. Then white pieces were added to cover these “seams” and overlap on both sides. Some bits of black that were to blend with the movingui were added at this time as well. Lastly the built up veneers were”eroded” away. In all cases the eye was a precision marquetry cut and dyed after cutting.
There are still parts of this one that I like better than the second but the main problem with it was that if you eroded too much, you exposed the hard line in the underlying layer. One of the real advantages of this whole style is that you can go on adding and eroding away almost forever so you’re almost never completely “screwed”.
In the next iteration I started with a whole layer of movingui on the bottom. Over this I glued the white parts and eroded them away. Then I added the black parts and eroded them. This seemed to work better. Again there was a fair amount of adding and eroding after the initial work.
It’s really a very simple process that anyone can try. It is very much more like drawing or painting than it is like woodworking. The technique and precision are less important than just the vision of what you’re trying to achieve.
A couple of other points about techniques. In the seagull piece , I used sandpaper to achieve a smooth blend. On the tiger, I used a small wire wheel in a drill to get the fur texture. There are no rules. You can do whatever floats your boat. The other technique that I used was to dye the movingui black and then sand it right back, leaving the dye only in the pores. This gives a quite good fur simulation as well. The eyes were dyed by hand with a watercolor brush much like the technique in this blog.
That’s it. This is a really simple technique that anyone can use to create veneer images without the need of chevalets, scrollsaws or really much of any cutting tools or technical skills.
Thanks for looking in. I hope this answers the questions, if not ask some more.
-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglas boats he would have given us fibrerglas trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/