Friday, September 23, 2011

Marquetry with Ann Casey

     At our last meeting, our featured speaker/demonstrator was Ann Casey. Before I get into that let me go over some of the other issues from the meeting.  First of all, it was brought up that several members did not get the link to the Cafe Press website for the Sin City Woodworkers.  This site features the logo that Allison Lull, one of our members, designed.  There is quite a selection of things you can get with the logo and Allison mentioned that if there is something in particular you want to let her know.
Here is the link for the site:  
     As I mentioned, I decided to order one of the journals with the task layout as an attempt to organize my time.  I make lists but get so involved in the first item or two that it takes a few days to get to the end of it -- hope this will help!
     One of our members, Ed, offered the use of his new shop for next month's meetings.  It's been interesting hearing him talk about the progress of his dedicated woodshop the past couple of months and it'll be great to see it up close and personal.  Since he lives in a gated community we will need to give him a list of everyone who's planning to attend that meeting.  Between Jamie and I, we'll start to compile that list a week prior to then.  When I get my new task journal I'll write myself a reminder to do that, it'll be my test!
     Another thing that was brought up were plans for our end of the year/Christmas party/meeting.  It was agreed that with the money left over from the dues we've paid will be used for the refreshments. Any surplus funds will be used for a raffle for all of the dues paying members.  This raffle will feature gift certificates to your favorite woodworking supply.  Right now the two that come to mind are Lie-Nielsen and Lee Valley.  If there's another place you'd like to have the chance for a gift certificate to, let either me or Jamie know.

     Alright, let's get to the meat of the meeting!  Ann applied and was accepted for a week long Marquetry class at the College of the Redwoods.  They're located in Fort Bragg which is a coastal community in Northern California.  The class had an all day (9-5 I think) schedule but Ann said that many students came early and stayed late.  After she started explaining the process we all understood why.  It begins with drawing your design on different species of wood that is 5/32" thick.  Your base and contrasting design wood is then taped together and cut out with a precise angle with a fret saw.

And this is why most Marqueters are cross-eyed!

It's all in the wrist!
Here you see Ann cutting the wood on a support known as a Donkey, probably because it looks like donkey ears.  The Donkey is at a precise angle so the parts will fit together with the bottom piece going up into the upper piece.  As she cuts, it's important that her fret saw remains perfectly plumb and perpindicular to the work.  Failure to do that will result in holes in the design.

Ann's class Project: 37 pieces I believe -- Wow!
To complicate matters, you need to start with the piece that will be in the back of the design and work your way up to the pieces that make up the front of the design.

Some of the 5/32" materials used for the marquetry 

Ann's first project/practice piece

Lupe having a go between the Donkeys Ears!

Handy Glue Applicator
This little glue applicator was used to assemble the pieces as they were cut out.  Because they are cut at a specific angle they fit tightly so you can continue working on your piece almost as soon as you glue it.  Ann mentioned that even if you make a mistake you can glue your piece in, then cut it out to mask that mistake with the next part.

Assorted pieces of wood and Ann's current project

Ann giving some guidance 
    An interesting observation I made during her demonstration is that a number of us (me included) really thought that this was a lot of close-up and intricate work and weren't sure if we'd want to take that on.  I think that as woodworkers we all have our own limits as to what we find interesting or too difficult to attack.  Some woodworkers enjoy the power tool process, some the hand tool process, some the carving process, some ........... well, you fill in the blank that suits you.  It's just nice having a group of like minded individuals that can share and appreciate the work we do.  See you next month in Ed's new shop.

No comments:

Post a Comment