When asked, "What is Marquetry," my usual response is "Painting with wood." Although I have been involved in making and demonstrating many crafts such as Swedish weaving,sculptured paper lamp shades, cold water lye soap and kaleidoscopes, my first love is marquetry, which I was introduced to more than 40 years ago. I was fascinated with the way the intricate patterns in the pictures were made using the myriad of colors and grains of the natural woods. Some time after that I had the opportunity to begin learning and I have never looked back.
I have been a demonstrating member of the Village of Yesteryear at the North Carolina State Fair for more than50years and participate in several other craft shows each year. I currently teach a weeklong class at John C. Campbell Folk School. As a member of the Chapel Hill , some of my finished work is available through WomanCraft.
In my studio-workshop in Hillsborough, NC, I use a manual fret saw to cut each piece of the picture out of veneer which is 1/26th to 1/42nd of an inch thick. Pictures are cut one at a time so no two pictures are ever the same. I prefer using only the natural colors of the veneers, but occasionally use dyed woods. The pieces are assembled as they are cut,similar to a jigsaw puzzle. Once the picture is completed, veneer is used to self-frame the piece and it is applied to a stable core, which is also covered by veneer. It is then sanded and a protective finish is applied.