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Marquetry with a knife – Workshop, 18 March 2018

For the March Scroll Saw and Marquetry SIG meeting, Robin Cromer and Don Rowland led an informative and interesting day long workshop on marquetry with a knife.

We started with a discussion of perspective and which pieces to cut first – always start at the back of the picture. Types of knives and blades were discussed and covered in a handout. How to cut wood veneer with a knife was then covered – a sharp blade and multiple cuts are essential.

Robin’s method of marquetry is to cut a window in a background piece of veneer, and use the window to position and mark the fill piece, which is then cut out and fitted. One of the big advantages of using the window technique is that you can see the colour and grain of the fill piece and make sure it is oriented correctly before you start cutting it. Robin then demonstrated cutting out some practice shapes. We all tried the shapes, and it didn’t take long to realise that it is going to take some practice to get to the level of artistry that Robin regularly achieves.

Our project for the day was a picture of gum leaves, suitable for use in a box lid. We worked on our project between lectures and demonstrations. Robin had a completed piece as an example, which he used to demonstrate glueing the picture and a backing piece to a board. Robin and Don showed us pictures and discussed their history of doing marquetry, and Don introduced some parquetry techniques and pieces. We also covered techniques for book-matching veneer and its use for effective design of marquetry pieces.

None of us managed to complete our gum leaf project but we came away with the knowledge to do that and enough materials to do a few more projects, with the hope that more marquetry pieces will be entered in the Guild’s show this year.

Mary Jean Vickers

Click on a photos to enlarge and scroll through images

Keen students watching Robin
Keen students watching Robin
Robin demonstrates cutting
Robin demonstrates cutting
Jane concentrating
Jane concentrating
Cathy, Warwick and Hugh
Cathy, Warwick and Hugh
Bev
Bev
Keen students
Keen students
Don giving a presentation
Don giving a presentation
Close up of inserting pieces
Close up of inserting pieces
President Graham at work
President Graham at work