One of the advantages of pre-assembling on clear shelf paper is that you can pick up the whole marquetry piece and place it over a variety of backgrounds to find the best look.
Almost any light veneer with some character will do for the sky and I had some mild birdseye maple that worked well. For the intervening land (Saltspring Island and Separation Point for locals) I wanted to use some myrtle burl that I had. It had dark and light areas to indicate depth of field as well as some grain lines that were close to simulating the terrain I wanted. I also had two in sequence…...but first I had to find some ocean.
The available choices were reduced by the both by the required size of the pieces and the fact that I wanted two sequence matched leaves to keep the images a perfect mirror. First I looked at some spaulted beech. It had some wonderful grain around the boat but was way too busy and could never work on this piece.
Next I looked at some Cherry from my first pizza box of veneer from Lee Valley. It works but seems to lack drama.
Those were all the choices that I had at home ….... but I have a friend. Elaine is not only a friend and neighbor (ten minutes) but a mentor and the owner of an impressive stock of veneer.
After looking through her stock and and discussing various options I came home with the oak shown below. It doesn’t look much more dramatic than the cherry did but I think the coarser grain will look a little better once finish is applied.
Next up was to cut the myrtle burl along some of its natural grain lines, re-assemble it and mate it to the other background pieces. This will give an idea of how the final pieces will look.
Finally the pattern had to be accurately located on the assembled backgrounds and then separated at the joint between the oak and the myrtle. This is because the 26” height of the whole background wouldn’t cut in my chevalet’s 18” saw frame. So Here’s the packet to be cut tomorrow morning. It will have the final say about how well I cut the boat pieces.
Much of this is easier than it may look, just a process of following the steps and putting one foot ahead of the other. What really makes this one interesting is the mirror image thing. When paper re-enforcing on the good side, the good sides are not the same but opposite sides. When assembling packets The veneers go good side to good side, not all good sides up as usual and last but certainly not least, each background piece only fits its own background group. They are not interchangeable like all the other parts. I won’t really breath easily until all the background cutting is done and assembled with the marquetry.
I’m done for tonight. Tomorrow will be an interesting day …. wish me luck.
Thanks for looking in,
-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglas boats he would have given us fibrerglas trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/