2017 Nov – My book is published

At last, thanks to the hard work of Karin Clarke of Raven Publishing Inc, my book has been published.

This book is intended for people interested in learning about marquetry, or those who already have some skills in marquetry and want to learn about the Northwest Coast Native Indian art form. Others who know this art form may be interested in re-creating their designs using wood veneers.  Readers will learn about the skills and techniques of marquetry using the “window method” and cutting wood veneers with a knife.  This book demonstrates how marquetry (whether using the saw or knife for cutting veneers) can be adaptable to any subject in addition to Northwest Coast Native art.

Cutting exercises are included, as well as step-by-step instructions to complete the Blue Hummingbird picture in the Nuu-chah-nulth nation’s style. Also included are four other Northwest Coast Native art designs by Jim Gilbert and directions about how to reproduce them in marquetry.

2017 Oct – Marquetry on Media Center

After buying a new Smart TV, I decided that I should make a new media center to put it on. I thought it would be a good opportunity to apply marquetry to the four front sliding doors.

I had a number of sheets of Tamo Ash and a few pieces of Jarrah (from Joe Veneers ). After a discussion with my wife Bonnie, we settle on a simple design based on a Rennie Mackintosh design.

 

2017 Jan – I want to write a book

I came to Canada nearly 40 years ago and in my time here I have been fortunate to have traveled to the west coast a number of times. While visiting Vancouver and the Gulf Islands, I saw many forms of Pacific Northwest Coast Native art and I was eager to learn more about it. I read a number of books including Northwest Coast Indian Art, An Analysis of Form by Bill Holm (1965 and 2015), in which he explained the complex structure of this art form. During later visits I discovered three books on the subject by Karin Clark and Jim Gilbert, published by their company, Raven Publishing Inc. The three books, Learning by Doing Northwest Coast Native Indian Art, and Learning by Designing Pacific Northwest Coast Native Indian Art: Volumes 1 and 2, explain how this ancient and complex art form developed and can be learned. Since I have been doing marquetry for many years, I was eager to attempt to reproduce some of the NWC designs in wood veneers. In 2015, I completed about a dozen pictures, and, happy with the outcome, I discovered that it is possible to reproduce NWC art designs in the medium of marquetry with dramatic and aesthetically pleasing results.

I have wanted to write a book on marquetry for many years. There are a number of great books available on the subject of marquetry. Marquetry has a long history stretching back several millennia, similar in longevity to the art form of the Pacific Northwest Coast indigenous peoples. I decided to write a book devoted mostly to the actual process of creating pictures in marquetry using a number of designs that Karin Clark provided from her books. As a result, the book will have a short introduction to the NWC art form, history of marquetry, and wood veneers. As with other practical marquetry books, I will include a practice exercise using some of the basic concepts of the NWC art form using the “window” method of cutting veneers with a knife. I would encourage all readers to complete the exercises as these concept shapes are used in all NWC designs. Some of the concept shapes use fine lines, for which several methods are described in the book.

Readers will notice that most of the designs use curvilinear shapes. There are few, if any, rectilinear shapes (square or rectangular). Some shapes have parallel lines (for example the ovoid) and the use of a ruler is recommended to ensure these lines are straight and parallel. There is a strong symmetrical element to many of the shapes and these should be made as accurately as possible in marquetry. When drawing these shapes on paper, the paper is folded in half to ensure the accuracy of the symmetry.

In the original form of NWC art, the main colors used are black, red, blue, yellow and green. The negative or white space is usually the background color. In a lot of NWC designs, this is the wood on which the design is carved or the paper on which the design is drawn. This feature translates well in to marquetry by using the “waster” or background veneer as the white spacer.

 If one wishes to learn more about NWC art forms and find more designs, I recommend the books by Jim Gilbert and Karin Clark, Learning by Doing Northwest Coast Native Indian Art, and Learning by Designing Pacific Northwest Coast Native Indian Art: Volumes 1 and 2. There are hundreds of designs in these books, any of which are suitable for reproduction in marquetry for personal use.

2016 June Maple Leaf Sofa Table

In the fall of 2015 I started a cabinet making course at our local Technical College SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology).  It was a four session course which end in May 2016.  The final project was to make a sofa table out of Beech wood.

I decided to make a Marquetry picture to inlay into the top of the table. After giving the subject some thought I settled on making a picture of maple leaves. See: Applied Marquetry

sofa-table-top-landscapemaple-leaf-sofa-table-40w-x-14d-x-30h-inches

2015 Pacific Northwest Coast Native Art

I have had the opportunity to visit the west coast a number of times over the last twenty plus years.  Like a lot of people I have been interested in and impressed with the Northwest Coast Native art. I have read a number of books on the subject including Bill Holm’s book Northwest Coast Indian Art, An Analysis of Form.  I also found Jim Gilbert and Karin Clark’s series of books on Learning By Designing.  So I decided to see what this art form would look like in Marquetry. I purchase some dyed veneers from B&B Rare Woods and proceeded to complete a number of pieces.  You can view these in my Northwest Coast Art Gallery.

2014 Two new pictures

It is time to start work on my next two pictures.  The first is a picture of an orchid and I plan to make a custom banding that contains the main colors in the picture.  The second picture is one of an Elk in front of Mount Rundle in Banff National Park.

2014 – Reflections on New York

2014 – I am working on a number of marquetry pictures for family members.  First is a picture of the New York skyline for my sister.  I decided to make the buildings reflect in the Hudson river while the Statue of Liberty stands in the background. See more details about this marquetry picture here.  After, I will start work on an orchid and a third picture including an Elk.