Having reviewed my previous posts on the topic, it occurred to me that I should provide a (somewhat) proper definition for those unfamiliar with this discipline of woodworking. If you have followed along thus far, and were confused, my apologies!
Marquetry is a woodworking embellishment wherein pieces of veneer are cut and arranged to form a desired pattern. Typically, it is found on panels, or furniture.
There are several methods to create marquetry pieces:
- Piece-by-piece, is perhaps the most challenging, requiring great skill. With this method, a packet of like colored veneers is created. Multiple copies of a single piece are then cut from this packet. A single design may require multiple packets, one for each of the different parts that compose it. Once all pieces are cut, they’re assembled into the final design.
- The traditional Boulle packet stacks two different colored veneers together from which the design is cut. These pieces are then interchanged to create “positive” and “negative” final designs.
- Conical cutting is similar to Boulle except that blade is angled slightly. This creates tapered pieces which fit together snugly leaving no saw kerf.
- Perhaps the simplest marquetry technique is the window method. Requiring only a knife, a design is cut from the background veneer, which then becomes the template to cut the desired complementary veneer.
A previous posting provided references illustrating these methods. Of these, both Boulle, and piece-by-piece are well suited to production, making several copies per design cut. The window, and conical methods yield solitary products.