Workshop Recap: Introduction to Marquetry

Introduction to Marquetry | Heller and Heller Furniture

Good morn­ing! It’s Jenn here today, with a recap of the work­shop Dad taught in April on an Intro­duc­tion to Mar­quetry. I was lucky enough to assist him teach­ing the course, so I was there to see all the great work the stu­dents cre­at­ed while try­ing (and fail­ing) to keep us on sched­ule.  All­to­geth­er though I think it was a good class, and we got some excel­lent feed­back to help us make the next one even bet­ter.

This course was a col­lab­o­ra­tive effort between the Wash­ing­ton Woodworker’s Guild and the stu­dio space we worked in, Nova Labs. Though Dad has been a mem­ber of the guild for some years, this was our first time vis­it­ing the Nova Labs work­shop and we were impressed! It is a fan­tas­tic col­lab­o­ra­tive space, with some incred­i­ble tools at the member’s dis­pos­al (not the least of which is the wealth of knowl­edge of the oth­er mem­bers).  We hope to work with both groups to bring back a sec­ond class, so stay tuned.

Introduction to Marquetry | Heller and Heller Furniture

We start­ed out learn­ing a lit­tle about mar­quetry in gen­er­al — what it was used for, notable exam­ples, and a lit­tle back­ground of the tech­niques we would be imple­ment­ing. Then we dove right into the scroll saw cut­ting, with this prac­tice cut to help every­one get into the groove.

Introduction to Marquetry | Heller and Heller Furniture

After our first bout on the scroll was, we walked through the basics of build­ing a mar­quetry pack­et for cut­ting on the scroll saw- veneer choic­es, some col­or the­o­ry, and the prag­mat­ic issues that arise when you’re work­ing with a del­i­cate mate­r­i­al that’s 1/​40th” thick.

Introduction to Marquetry | Heller and Heller Furniture
Introduction to Marquetry | Heller and Heller Furniture

Once pack­ets had been assem­bled and then cut, stu­dents had the chance to start build­ing their own mar­quetry pieces by reassem­bling the cut pack­ets into pic­tures, and then we walked through the basics of glu­ing.

Introduction to Marquetry | Heller and Heller Furniture
Introduction to Marquetry | Heller and Heller Furniture
Introduction to Marquetry | Heller and Heller Furniture
Introduction to Marquetry | Heller and Heller Furniture

On day two, we walked through the final steps in the assem­bly process and stu­dents were able to glue up their fin­ished pan­els, and even had time to try a sec­ond pic­ture.  Some stu­dents got real­ly cre­ative with their designs, which was great!

Introduction to Marquetry | Heller and Heller Furniture

In the end not every­one was able to reveal their fin­ished pic­tures due to the dry­ing time, but we are real­ly impressed with the work every­one cre­at­ed.  Here are some exam­ples of fin­ished stu­dent work:

We’re real­ly look­ing for­ward to the oppor­tu­ni­ty to try a course like this again!  In the future, we would love to try both an intro and more advanced class, where we could dis­cuss tech­niques to give a pic­ture more depth, like sand shad­ing. If you’re inter­est­ed in a course like this, be sure to fol­low Dave on insta­gram where we will announce a newslet­ter signup, and new class­es.

A big thank you to Nova Labs and the Wash­ing­ton Woodworker’s Guild for mak­ing this hap­pen!

Share on Facebook|Tweet this Post|Pin Images to Pinterest|Back to Top

May Happenings

Anoth­er month swim­ming right by, and here we are in the first week of May! Here are our upcom­ing May events:

Arts in the Park Richmond, May 6 – 7th — THIS WEEKEND

11:00am to 6pm Sat­ur­day, 11am to 5pm Sun­day at Byrd Park, Rich­mond Vir­ginia.

We’ll have our full array of end-grain cut­ting and serv­ing boards, mar­quetry pic­tures and new keep­sake box­es, bud vas­es, clocks, and chess boards! It just might be a good time to pick up a thought­ful gift for Mom… or come by and say hel­lo and see the goods in per­son.

You can vis­it the show web­site here for more infor­ma­tion — the show has free park­ing, and there’s lots to see!

Piccolo Spoleto Craft Fair in Charleston, South Carolina — May 26 – 28 AND June 2 – 4

Fri­day and Sat­ur­day 10am to 6pm, Sun­day 11am to 5pm

Wragg Square/​Meeting House at Char­lotte Streets

A new show for us — this is a two week­end craft show that runs con­cur­rent­ly with the sig­nif­i­cant music fes­ti­val Spo­le­to USA. We’re look­ing for­ward to meet­ing new future fans in the Low Coun­try, as well as tak­ing the week in between the events to enjoy Charleston (which just so hap­pens to include our wed­ding anniver­sary.) We will have more infor­ma­tion on our loca­tion in this show when we have it.

You can also vis­it the show’s web­site for more details.

 

Share on Facebook|Tweet this Post|Pin Images to Pinterest|Back to Top

Project Update: Oeben Desk

Dave is back today with an update on a piece you may have seen float­ing around our Insta­gram — the Oeben Desk, or Sec­re­taire a Cylin­dre in French. We’ll be using the hash­tag #oeben­desk to post pho­to updates of the piece on Insta­gram but today Dave has a process update.

Oeben reproduction panel | Charlottesville Custom Furniture | French Marquetry Louis XV | See more at www.hellerandhellerfurniture.com

Sec­re­taire a Cylin­dre

In 2015 I went to Nor­mandy with my love­ly wife. She got to work, and I played tourist. With Paris only a two hour dri­ve away, the fur­ni­ture muse­ums beck­oned. I went to find a piece wor­thy of being my fur­ni­ture life-goal. Some­thing so amaz­ing that when I made my copy of it I could say that I real­ly am a fur­ni­ture mak­er and that would have real­ly stretched me to fig­ure out how to make it.

I had expect­ed this piece to be a Ruhlmann piece. His work is exquis­ite, very fine and very com­plex. There is a won­der­ful col­lec­tion of his pieces at the Musee des Arts Dec­o­ratif, and I spent sev­er­al hours with them, and have sev­er­al hun­dred close­up pho­tos from every angle, so that I could in the­o­ry make any of them. In the end, that wasn’t what real­ly grabbed me though.

At the Musee Nis­sim de Camon­do, which cel­e­brates fur­ni­ture of French roy­al­ty from 1740 – 1790, there is a desk by Jean-Fran­cios Oeben. It is a petite roll-top desk in the Louis XV style, com­plet­ed around 1760. It is sen­su­ous and ele­gant, and cov­ered in amaz­ing flo­ral mar­quetry. This is my objec­tive. The case alone is extra­or­di­nary – there are no flat sur­faces oth­er than the desk writ­ing sur­face and the top. Every­thing flows.

Even mak­ing a case this com­plex will be a huge endeav­our. Only a fur­ni­ture mak­er would even notice the struc­ture though, because the mar­quetry and veneer­ing for this piece is off the charts. And it is applied to curved sur­faces, often com­pound curves! This was one of the main rea­sons I went to the Amer­i­can School of French Mar­quetry in 2016 – to under­stand how to cut mar­quetry for curved sur­faces. One of the instruc­tors there, Patrice, gri­maced when asked: “It will be dif­fi­cult.”

One of the real chal­lenges for this desk will be devel­op­ing a work­ing draw­ing. I gen­er­al­ly design my fur­ni­ture on a nap­kin, but that won’t do here. I can get the case shape pret­ty close from pho­tographs but I was very con­cerned about the mar­quetry – not every sur­face is equal­ly vis­i­ble, so pho­tos of a cou­ple of pan­els were pret­ty sparse.

Volume 3 of Masterpieces of Marquetry by Pierre Ramond

Turns out, this is where my fur­ni­ture library came in real­ly handy: Vol­ume 3 of the Mas­ter­pe­ices of Mar­quetry by Pierre Ramond con­tains pho­tos and plans of some of the finest work by Oeben, Jean-Hen­ri Riesen­er, and Abra­ham and David Roent­gen, the stars of the 18th cen­tu­ry Euro­pean fur­ni­ture fir­ma­ment. And there, on pages 33 – 37, are detailed draw­ings and pho­tos of every mar­quetry pan­el on my desk. Thank you, Pierre. I don’t have to draw them at all, just inter­pret them — no small task.

This is a mul­ti­year project. My first bite was this spring. There are 12 mar­quetry pan­els on this desk. I made one of the medi­um sized ones, on the left side of the roll­top por­tion, as you look at it from the front. This is curved pan­el (lat­er) with a com­plex flower spray sur­round­ed by an elab­o­rate bor­der. The spray and the bor­der are this year’s exer­cise.

Painting in wood | Layoung out cut marquetry pieces | See more at www.hellerandhellerfurniture.com

The spray has been cut. I used Paint­ing in Wood, a tech­nique taught at ASFM. There are about 25 species of wood in my ver­sion. The orig­i­nal used tobac­co dyed sycamore as the back­ground – I used wal­nut burl. My col­or use was a lit­tle more gen­er­ous than JFO’s, but he would have used more col­ors if he’d had them.

I’m pleased with it so far. The col­ors are vibrant but not crazy; the cut­ting was dif­fi­cult but not impos­si­ble. The biggest chal­lenge was man­ag­ing the deep inclu­sions of back­ground into the cen­ter of the pic­ture. It took me about 25 hours to cut the pieces, and I had enough wood in the pack­et to land up with three copies – two that are essen­tial­ly the same and one slight­ly less good but prob­a­bly sav­able.

My chevalet only has an 18” throat so unless (until?) I make a big­ger (and heav­ier, and more unwieldy) saw, so I am lim­it­ed in the size of what I can cut. Since the pat­tern with­out the bor­der was 17”, I made it with­out the bor­der, and I plan on inlay­ing the pan­el into the bor­der once I get some pur­ple­heart, which should be soon. I may regret this approach, but that’s why you make test pieces. I hope to have the pur­ple­heart with­in the next few weeks, and have time to work on the bor­der in July?

Pay­ing work­ing super­sedes this kind, but it’s been very sat­is­fy­ing to start work­ing on some­thing so grand.

Oeben reproduction panel | Charlottesville Custom Furniture | French Marquetry Louis XV | See more at www.hellerandhellerfurniture.com

 


Be sure to fol­low Dave on Insta­gram to see more of the piece as it comes togeth­er!

margaret heller - Hi Dave, this is ‘flip­pin’ amazing.….I will fol­low the sto­ry with inter­est.

What a clever bun­ny you are.

Love…Maggie xx

Share on Facebook|Tweet this Post|Pin Images to Pinterest|Back to Top

April Happenings

Oeben reproduction panel |Charlottesville Custom Furniture | French Marquetry Louis XV |  See more at www.hellerandhellerfurniture.com

And here we are already in April!  Jenn here, ready to fill you in on what’s hap­pen­ing this month which is.…very lit­tle.  Which we are grate­ful for.

April 24th week­end Dave will be teach­ing a Mar­quetry Intro­duc­tion course at Nova Labs.  We would nor­mal­ly be shout­ing this to the uni­verse except half the spots are already full, and the oth­er half are only open to mem­bers of the Wash­ing­ton Woodworker’s Guild.  How­ev­er, if you’re a WWG mem­ber and need more info on how to sign up, please feel free to shoot Dave an email.

Based on this lev­el of inter­est, there may well be more class­es like it in the future, so stay tuned!

Next Month

Com­ing up in ear­ly May, we’ll be show­ing at Arts in the Park Rich­mond on May 6th and 7th!  We’re ful­ly restocked on chop­ping boards, mar­quetry pic­tures, keep­sake box­es, and new chess boards!  We also have our very pop­u­lar bud vas­es per­fect for Mother’s Day (hint, hint.)

That’s all for today! Have an excel­lent Mon­day!

 

Share on Facebook|Tweet this Post|Pin Images to Pinterest|Back to Top

Gallery Piece: Tabriz Wine Table

Custom wine table | marquetry pattern inspired by Tabriz carpet | Ribbon mahogany side table | Elegant living room custom furniture | See more at Heller and Heller Furniture www.hellerandhellerfurniture.com

 

Today we are revis­it­ing one of our first cus­tom pieces — a wine side­board table, designed house part of an exten­sive wine col­lec­tion while work­ing har­mo­nious­ly with the client’s exist­ing mahogany fur­ni­ture and beau­ti­ful Tabriz car­pet. The result­ing piece is blend of styles that works per­fect­ly in the client’s home.

Custom wine table | marquetry pattern inspired by Tabriz carpet | Ribbon mahogany side table | Elegant living room custom furniture | See more at Heller and Heller Furniture www.hellerandhellerfurniture.com

The deep rib­bon mahogany veneer of the table stood let the piece become a focal point of the room against the deep marine wall col­or, and you can see in the pho­tos how the mar­quetry pat­tern emu­lates the rug’s over­all motif.

Custom wine table | marquetry pattern inspired by Tabriz carpet | Ribbon mahogany side table | Elegant living room custom furniture | See more at Heller and Heller Furniture www.hellerandhellerfurniture.com

For extra empha­sis on the lat­tice design of the wine bins, the gold fed­er­al knobs add a pop of detail in the low­er sec­tion of the cab­i­net, and coör­di­nate with the for­mal drop-pull han­dles.

Custom wine table | marquetry pattern inspired by Tabriz carpet | Ribbon mahogany side table | Elegant living room custom furniture | See more at Heller and Heller Furniture www.hellerandhellerfurniture.com

Thanks for stop­ping by today — look for more gallery fea­tures here on the jour­nal in the com­ing months!

Reminder: we will be at the Dulles Expo Center this weekend beginning Friday March 24. We will have chopping boards, decorative keepsake boxes, marquetry pictures, and more — including our new line of wooden bud vases. Be sure to stop by and see us, and pick up a special gift or treat for yourself!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Share on Facebook|Tweet this Post|Pin Images to Pinterest|Back to Top