Classes at Marc Adams School of Woodworking

Painting with Wood: French Marquetry with Patrick Edwards

Dates: 10/9/2017 - 10/13/2017
Tool List: Click here for tool list

Cost: $775
Materials: $75
Deposit: $300

Masters Fellowship

From the late 17th century to the start of the Industrial Revolution, France led the rest of Europe in the development of extremely decorative and complex marquetry decoration which allowed them to create the finest examples of furniture ever made. The epicenter of this trade was Paris, where a special cutting tool was perfected and kept secret: the "Chevalet de Marqueterie" often translated into English as "donkey." This tool, made of wood, allowed the worker to sit in comfort, use his feet to easily clamp the work, and cut the designs out of packets of veneer with amazing accuracy. This class will introduce the student to the chevalet as well as the traditional method used to create elaborate marquetry designs, referred to in the 17th century as "painting in wood." Students will begin with a simple etude or project which will allow them to learn how to operate the tool. In addition, the first project will demonstrate how a simple marquetry packet is assembled, the proper sequence for cutting Boulle designs, how to tension the blade properly in the tool, and how to keep track of the parts. As soon as the first project is completed, the student will be ready to create a new packet, using a more complicated process of adding various layers of veneers in different areas. There will be extensive instruction in how exactly this packet is designed to allow for different grain direction and colors in different areas of the marquetry. Although this class will use the chevalet as the primary cutting tool, these projects can also be done with a jigsaw. The process of building packets and working with assembly boards and hot glue will be a valuable skill in either event, and the instruction provided in this class is designed not only to introduce the beginner to the art of marquetry, but also to add important and useful techniques to any worker who aspires to create beautiful designs in wood for their projects.

Key Points:

  • How veneer is made, and the difference between sawn and sliced veneer
  • How traditional French packets are assembled
  • How to make an assembly board
  • How to use protein glue in a glue pot
  • How to make mastic
  • How to clean up the surface
  • How to build and use a chevalet

There is a $45 annual registration fee that will be added to your the total amount of the class if this is the first class you are registering for this season.

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