Here is the latest rendition of my dragon marquetry and the original art I took the motif from. I know it can’t compare to the original. Nevertheless I hope I have done it justice. I don’t know the artists name as it was not listed on the page I took the picture from, but since I am not profiting from it I don’t feel too guilty.
There are still several tasks unfinished, these are:
1. The plate has to be flattened and sanded
2. The small gaps have to be filled with sawdust and glue
3. The workpiece will be glued between two panels and veneer applied to the outside of each panel.
4. After the glue cures, the workpiece will be resawed to create two book matched copies.
5. The surfaces will have to be smoothed (no clue as to how I will do this yet).
6. Frames have to be made for both copies. One will be a gift and I will keep the other until I get tired of it.
I plan to blog the resaw and the results of that, good or bad and that will be the last one in this series. I will post it as a project after it has been all finished up and nicely framed.
NEW CHALLENGES AHEAD
I’ve decided to give veneer marquetry a try. It seems a natural step to take, given all the color and grain choices offered by veneer. I’m doing this with some trepidation as I’m still not sure I will enjoy working with thin delicate veneers on my scrollsaw. Generally speaking it means new skills are needed in the following areas for me. These are:
1. Working with hot glue which will include hammer veneering.
2. Knowing how to condition the different kinds of veneers for use and storage.
3. Using a veneer press to flatten veneers and maybe for some gluing. Not sure yet.
4. Learning how to sand shade properly
5. Becoming familiar with the selection of veneers available
6. Relearning the color wheel (it’s easy to forget if you never use it).
7. Finding out which marquetry technique works best for me
Many books have been written about all the other things I need to learn in addition to the above, but these are things are my immediate concern.
STEPS ALREADY TAKEN TOWARDS VENEER MARQUETRY
1. I just received my first shipment of veneers in the post today.
2. A 10ton bottle jack was purchased to power the veneer press I plan to build next week.
3. A veneer saw and a roll of veneer tape is on order.
4. I have a big stash (2kg) of hide glue granules and the equipment to use it.
HELP, ADVICE AND SUPPORT
I am getting help on this front from Paul ‘Shipwright’, Mathew Nedeljko, and Elaine ‘Justoneofme’. Elaine just posted a wonderful marquetry tutorial blog and some very inspiring work she has done. Paul has been posting several marquetry blogs plus given me some very good advice. The same goes for Mathew whose veneer press I am copying. I trust these folks because I’ve seen their work and they all do some fantastic projects and they are the ones who have inspired me to give marquetry a go. SO A BIG THANK YOU TO YOU ALL!
Because I don’t have a Chevalet marquetry saw, I’m sure I will be using Elaine’s marquetry technique or at least some pretty darn near it. My main worry is that high quality marquetry is not just a skill or a craft. It is an artistic endeavor basically using wood to paint with. My thought is that if you work with something like this for awhile you might eventually develop some artistic insight and a higher degree of creativeness. That is my hope anyway!
I will be posting a blog to show all the stuff I’ve gotten to do this work with.
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.