Sunday, June 9, 2013

Marquetry Madame

Back in April, Eric and I attended the annual wood carvers show in Niagara.  We went last year as well.  It's not a huge show but there are a lot of unique art pieces to see and Eric loves this sort of thing.  It's astonishing to me the level of talent these people have.  I can't get my head around seeing a carved bird, house, whatnot that began as a simple block of wood.  It's really is truly amazing.

This year however there was a man there displaying a piano he had made and covered in marquetry.  I really wish I'd had the camera and snapped a photo.  Marquetry, according to the Marquetry Society of Canada, is the art of assembling veneers from hundreds of species of wood, sometimes interspersed with gems, ivory, mother of pearl, etc. to collectively form a picture or design.   I'm not sure I'm using that word properly in that sentence above, but the piano was beautiful in every sense of the word and I believe it took him 10 years to make.  TEN years!  Now that is dedication to one's art.  He is currently in the process of doing a similar project, but a merry-go-round this time.  I believe he's been at this new one for 6 years now.  Eric and I spent the most time at this particular booth because his work was truly inspiring.  It's definitely a dying craft.

This is a sample of what I'm talking about taken from the Marquetry Society of Canada's website
In our chats with the members manning this particular booth we came to learn that they offer two free workshops for people who are interested in learning more about this art form.  So Eric asked me if I'd like to go with him for an afternoon to test out our skills.  Initially it's not something I would have thought I'd be interested in but because he wanted to do it and he does so many things he hates with me, I thought, "Why not?" and off we went - on a road trip to Toronto.

Everyone was so lovely, kind and helpful to us newbies.  We were each given a 'kit' with the supplies we would need provided.  The entire thing cost us nothing.  We were scheduled to be there for 3 hours.  And once we got going, man that 3 hours whizzed by.  It was truly so much fun.  I actually can't wait to get back up there to figure out how to finish the project we started.

Our projects!
The photo of the wolves depicts our two projects we completed at the first workshop.  The one on your left is mine, the one on the right is Eric's.  There are four different types of wood used in this project, yet when you run your hand across them it feels like one piece of wood.  Yah, I did that!  Crazy right???  So now we have to sort out how to mount it and finish it.  Not so much because I'm dying to display howling wolves, but more so to learn the technique so I can do something amazing (at my skill level anyway).  One man was kind enough to allow us to borrow one of his tools and gave us patterns to work on at home.  I'm going to try really hard this week to start one of those projects so I can take it with me this month to our second work shop.

I really like the idea of taking a garage sale find and jazzing it up with this technique.  Wouldn't that be great??  I know, I have high hopes for myself and Eric.  But what if?  So what are some new things you are working on?

No comments:

Post a Comment