Process

Marquetry is the art of assembling thin slices of wood to form an image. In the 16th century Italian craftsmen began using marquetry as a furniture decorating art.

The vibrant character of wood and the beauty I witness in nature inspires my art. By sawing my own veneer, I can use woods from local New Hampshire trees, responsibly cut woods from distant places, scraps from other woodworkers, and lumber milled from storm-damaged trees.

I use only the natural color of the wood.


 

I am cutting lumber directly from a butternut log that was stored in a neighbor's barn.

 

Using a bandsaw I cut wood into thin slices about 1/16” thick.

 

My drawing flows from my sketchbook to tracing paper.

Then using carbon paper the design is transferred to the wood background panel.


 

To create a precise fit with no gaps I cut two layers of veneer at the same time.

With the scroll saw set at an angle, the result is that both the inlay piece and the background panel have beveled edges and fit perfectly together.


 

To add visual depth, I dip some of the inlay pieces into hot sand to darken an edge.

 

Once the marquetry image is complete it is glued to a stable layer of plywood and a backing of hardwood.

 

I mix my own shellac in small batches for a fresh finish. Shellac is made from the secretions of the lac bug.

The final coat is beeswax.