Even if you are hardly a medieval woodcutting artist, you can make pictures using wood. Ingmar Bergman may never be inspired to make one of the most classic films of all time by your marquetry-and not just because he’s dead-but you can show of your talents to friends, family and even Watchtower giver-outers when they show up to save your soul from eternal dangnation. (I’m trying to cut down on profanity on-in the words of our late President, Mr. Bush-the Internets.)
Marquetry was perhaps the only word in that paragraph that you didn’t understand, I’m guessing. What is marquetry? Well, I’m glad you asked me because otherwise there would be no reason to continue writing. Marquetry is the art of making inlaid designs from wood veneer based on a striking contrast in color or grain.
Still with me? Okay, here’s the skinny on what you need to be a great marquetry artist: a sharp knife, Elmer’s glue, your choice of wood veneers in assorted colors and grains, and a cutting board. Commencement of your first attempt at marquetry should begin with a simple design. Once you get the basics, you can work your way up to more artistic flourishes with your marquetry skills. By the time you get finished, you may even be able to market your marquetry.
A six-pointed star or a pyramidal shape or even just a pretty little circle can do well as the beginning of your career in marquetry. Use your printer to transfer the shape you want as your background. Put the tracing sheet over one of your veneers and have those both rest atop the cutting board. Use the sharp knife to cut away the excess so that you are left with an outline.
Once you have finished that, slip a contrasting piece of veneer beneath the first sheet so that it becomes visible through the opening left by the outline. Marquetry comes to Kansas when you transfer the shape to the piece of veneer that is showing through. Carefully score along the edge of the opening, remove the scored piece and cut the shape out.
Now pick your little squeeze bottle of Elmer’s glue and keep in mind that a little dab will do you. Apply your Elmer’s glue to the edges of the opening and then press the new veneer into place. Your knife handle will work find for the rubbing motion and pressure you need.
Once you start getting better at this and go in for detailed patterns, you will repeat the same set of operations until all the features of the outline have been replaced with contrasting pieces of veneer. You will quickly learn a secret to marquetry success: it works better when you start with bigger elements and work your way slowly down to the finer details.
Get yourself a thin piece of plywood and attach your marquetry to it for display.