A few months ago my buddy Gene (vipond33) posted a superb desk featuring parchment and ebony. He had some parchment scraps left over and he sent them on to me, thinking I might be able to use them for something. .... Thanks Gene!
He gave me some general instructions for it’s use and left me to experiment. The thing that caught my interest was that he mentioned that it’s good to pay attention to the darkness or lightness of the substrate as it can be somewhat transparent. I immediately thought of trying to get a fuzzy “soft touch card” kind of effect with parchment over marquetry.
This was my first experiment. I dyed a piece of plywood in a rainbow blend and applied the parchment over it with fish glue, the recommended adhesive and something which I actually had in hand.
Encouraged by the initial results I set about trying to increase the transparency. To do this I sanded it to a more uniform thickness and then applied some shellac. This was the result.
I was happy enough with my progress and short enough on material to cut to cut chase and try it over some marquetry. Some of you may have seen the project I posted with the orca on a curly maple ground. I actually cut four of them together in a Boulle style packet. This one on plain maple was dyed, sanded a little and then covered with my parchment. Then it was sanded as above and coated with shellac.
I like the effect. It reminds me of when I used to dive in plankton season.
Next up was to make a quick little box to mount it on. It’s nothing special and will serve to hold some small bits and pieces in the shop somewhere. I did however get a little more experimenting done. The bottom of the box is wrapped with a single strip of parchment and trapped at the back with a little spline. The dye on the bottom is under the parchment and on the edges of the lid, I dyed over the parchment to see the different effect.
The back of the lid was just to narrow to hold the parchment so it is missing there. Please don’t think of this as a finished project. It’s just a quick and dirty little box for the sole purpose of learning about parchment.
Any day you learn something new is a good day. I may never use parchment again but if I do, I’ll have a trick or two up my sleeve…. Thanks to Gene.
Hope you’ve found this interesting, I know I had a ball with it.
-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglas boats he would have given us fibrerglas trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/