WORK DONE SINCE LAST POST
The upper and lower belly sections are done (excepting remedial work), the claws have been added together with some other small bits and pieces here and there, The eyebrows are finished except for the yellow to be added, and the walnut outline to the head and lips are in place. The walnut in the head will only be an outline after the final Ash piece is inserted in the middle.
The three photos below show the original artwork, the last update and where we are now.
I’m not happy with the lower belly. The dividing walnut is way too thick. This will have to be redone. No big deal, but it does take a little extra time. So what? I’m retired and get paid no matter what I do.
I rough planed the whole thing down today as some of the infill pieces were a bit thicker than the background piece. That went well, but then I decided to sand it a bit too. That didn’t go well. The saving dust from the African Blackwood and the Cocobolo smeared into the Linde wood background making quite a mess of things, so I had to plane again lightly to get it clean again.
Unless someone knows a better way, the finished piece will have to be fine planed and maybe card scraped to the final surface before finishing. No sanding! Ok, I knew this problem was a possibility beforehand, but I thought it worth trying to sand anyway. I have never before worked with any tropical hardwoods, so now I know.
HOW IS THE QUALITY HOLDING UP?
Contrary to my bragging at the start of the project that there would be no gaps, there are a few, but I’m happy and relieved to say that there aren’t any significant gaps and most of them are in high contrast areas, so a little mastic fill for the dark wood here and there and Bob’s your uncle!
Most of the gaps were in areas where my poster board pattern failed me. This was due to the paper not having strength enough for pointy thin cuts (where the point hangs out in the middle of hole for example). Other cuts with relatively simple outlines worked fine. I guess cutting some extra veneer for this purpose isn’t really a big deal.
TOMORROW’S WORK AND AFTER
I plan to finish with the mouth, and do the eyes,plus put the face in again. I also plan to redo the lower belly tomorrow.
I’m getting close to adding the finishing touches, that is the yellow together with the black on the beard, legs, and ears. I’m a little worried about this step. The technical part is easy enough, but I want the project to be enhanced, not overdone or ruined. Please wish me luck!
I think this is the most enjoyable project I’ve done to date, bar none! A lot of time has been wasted with the tracing pattern business, but no regrets. I am now beginning to wonder if I will continue with this form of marquetry, or graduate to veneer marquetry work. I’ll let my heart decide, not my head.
Thanks for joining me in my journey!
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.