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!

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