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Marquetry Buffet

Listing #433   Listed on: 10/12/2006

Company Name: Old World Wood MastersThis is a marquetry buffet that has 4,000 pieces of wood. It was a whimsical design entitled "Birds of Fray", a play off of Birds of Prey. There are 20 birds tearing off all the design elements and harrassing the family members depicted in the various panes. All the furniture mags have apparently passed on publishing it, so I thought I would post it here.

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My three year old son takes his dart gun and tries to pick off the destructie bird in the center door.

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Some of the bird images were from the famous cabinet makers Boulle, Oben, and Roentgen.

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The wheels are just to move the cabinet around for the photographs. The lattice fretwork has veneer glued on to create the illusion of shadow lines. There is Mother of Pearl in the center.

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Last picture, the sides. Sorry for all the typos.

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The bird on the drawer has decided to use the scrolling to build a nest. The upper bird is tearing the eneer away to expose the english oak substrate.

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This motif is from an accompanying 20' marquetry dining room table (8000 pieces). It is nice to reuse a design.

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The bird motif is carried through to the mounts. Is sculpted this out of clay, made a rubber mold, then cast it out of poly resin from Smooth cast (Task 9).

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Thats me getting one of the culprits before he flys away.

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My daughter having a tug a war with the bird from the center door.

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The right side of the top.

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This guy just didn't like the parquetry pattern is guess.


Viewer Comments:

Posted By: Paul Downs     [10/12/2006]

They passed on this? This looks like a back cover of FWW to me. Absolutely outstanding idea, design, and execution. Congratulations, my hat is off to you.

Paul Downs

Posted By: Vern     [10/13/2006]

Fantastic work. That is almost unbelievable.
I have to ask how many hours.
And on the lighter side are you still able to move your fingers and use your hands?
Again outstanding.

Posted By: John Richards     [10/13/2006]

Truely inspiring work! Some of the finest parquetry I've seen.

Posted By: Dave S     [10/13/2006]

Thanks for posting. Very nice work, and interesting way of handling your subject. Thanks for raising the bar of the craft, your devotion shows. I am humbled.

It is understandable that the various mags would pass on this since the piece is well outside of normal (mundane?). Don't be insulted, consider it a compliment.

Posted By: Fred F     [10/13/2006]

Very Very nice!

Posted By: Adam M.     [10/13/2006]

WOW!! # of hours?

Posted By: Gregg     [10/13/2006]

400 hours to complete. It seems that whenever I do this type of work it takes 1 hour for every 10 pieces, no matter how difficult the carcass. My dining table had 8,000 pieces and took 800 hours, and the carcass was simple. I have done some 30" table tops with 200 pieces and they took 20 hours. Go figure. Thanks for the nice words.

Posted By: Brian     [10/13/2006]

I'm very suprised they took a pass on it, it belongs in a museum, it's a true work of art. You are extremely creative and I find it amazing that you can be funny and fun with the work and still uphold craftsmanship at the same time. Great work, but how did that not drive you nuts? I just drove myself nuts the other day trying to do some marquetry and inlays on some simple tapered legs for a desk, I still haven't gotten the hang of it.. I got them all done but still question the way I did it and the quality it of work it was. Any tips on resources for inlay and marquetry, it's something I would like to explore. Thanks!

Posted By: gregg     [10/13/2006]

Here are my bookmarks:

Onlays & compo:
I own all these catalogs and get good ideas from them. To purchase these catalogs will set you back around $400, but if you are into the classics, this is the best reference material.

Veneer Suppliers

Tools Suppliers

and the industry reference for marquetry is the book "Masterpieces of Marquetry" by Pierre Raymond. This will set you back another $250 or so, but this is my bible. I sleep with it ( I really do!). Some people fancy modern educators like Maloof and Krenov, but I am a sucker for Oben, Boulle, Riesener, Roentgen, and Linke; my Rembrants of Woodworking, with Linke being the best.

Other books in my collection are :
1) "19th Century European Furniture" by Payne
2) "Francois Linke, the Belle Epoque of French Furniture", by Christopher Payne;
3)"18th Century French Furniture" by Giacomo Wanneses
4) "Russian Furniture" by Cheneviere
5) "Furniture" by Judith Miller
6) "Matthew Boulton: Ormolu" by Goodison
Another good site for ideas is an importer of French from Egyp

As far as marquetry tips, here are my big five:
1) Don't take the tape off until the glue is curred. With marquetry, everything is covered with tape, so the whole piece gets wet when you remove the tape.
2) Wet everything to test for glue failures before sealing, (and it gets the tape residue off as well)
3) Never sand marquetry with wet wood (avoid the temptation of sanding immediatrly after pulling the tape off). Dark dust sticks into grain of light woods when wet.
4) Never fill gaps with grain filler until after at least 1 coat of sealer is applied. (only use grain filler, not regular wood filler). You don't want the filler in the grain, just the gaps.
5) Use a lot of glue. Large glue failures are impossible to fix in marquetry. The benefits of glue filling the gaps (unibond 800) far outweigh the potential bleed though, and gaps give someplace for the excess glue to go.

Posted By: Joe     [10/14/2006]

That is incredible to say the least! I am inspired and in a state of awe. You must be one of the most talented woodworkers I have ever seen. Outstanding!

Posted By: Clint Walker     [10/14/2006]

Amazing. From a basic cabinet builder and furniture maker, let me just say that I will never understand how something like this can be done. Absolutely amazing. Great work.

Posted By: Luke     [10/18/2006]


Posted By: paul gehlsen     [10/20/2006]

Absolutely beautiful! I am humbled and amazed. The overall vision and ambition to pull that off is huge. I thought I was a very patient woodworker.
Please post more of your work. I am suprised FWW did not want to post it in their mag, sad. I guess they would rather post another article on router bits than show off real talent.

Posted By: Tim M.     [10/22/2006]

Fantastic! a true classic.

Posted By: Gregzall     [10/23/2006]

I teach marquetry at College of the Redwoods and California College of Arts and Crafts. I put together slide shows for the students and am allways looking for new pictures. Any chanch of hitting you up for some slides (to be used only in the slide show I put on for students?) Great fun work, love it!

Posted By: Dave Mohring     [10/23/2006]

That work sets a standard to be striven for. I have never done any marquetry and would love to see some of the steps you take to make some of these scenes. If possible please post a few pics showing the construction process. Again, incredible work!!

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