Intarsia Wedding Gift

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Blog entry by justoneofme posted 05-02-2012 03:09 AM 2845 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m Back to Blogging Again! Don’t panic … that’s not me!!!

Before I begin, I thought I’d share a couple of photos taken last Friday while a friend and I viewed all the beautiful artworks on display through our local Cowichan Valley Arts Council, on Vancouver Island. I know you will be interested … because Lumberjock Paul Miller ‘Shipwright’ was demonstrating his superior technique of cutting on the Chevalet de Marqueterie he built from scratch. A mighty fine ‘machine’, and very impressive ability with his creative artistry, considering Paul is fairly new to the Marquetry world! This multi-talented guy definitely has the talent and enthusiasm to go far! It was great to see him back on home turf again … I just wish I’d taken a few more pics of the artistic pieces he had on display!

He was cutting this beautiful design while demonstrating!

Okay … back to the Intarsia Wedding Gift, and where I left off … the bird and birdhouse are both ready to paint. Notice two small items to the left of the bird? You’ll see what one of them will become before long!

Now … I know this poor little feathered friend doesn’t look like much right now, but there are a series of ‘layers’ he (or she?) needs before it’s ready to ‘take flight’.

Just as much as that bird needs layers … so does the birdhouse. Much thought went into how I wanted the house to look, until finally taking a page from human nature. If a birdhouse is looking drab, slap more paint on it! And more!!

Back to the poor little bird …. what a mess! I’m sure it’s building an inferiority complex … and I’m starting to feel a shade insecure myself!!

Back to the birdhouse … there was purpose for all those bright layers, because I wanted to really rough it up to make it look old and worn. It takes lots of guts to scrape and coarse sand and gouge!!

The final stage of ‘wear and tear’ was to apply a weak tea solution of watered down dark brown acrylic paint, to slightly stain all the bare wood now exposed, and lend a ‘dirty’ look. With the roof area cleaned up, shading was applied to the house and a dowel button perch (which endured the very same treatment) was glued in place … go back to the first picture, and now you know! After that, a couple of lacquer coats to protect it from getting dirtier than I planned!

Ah … my fine feathered friend looks good. What was I getting so worried about?! The one good thing about acrylic painting on wood … if you’re not happy with what you see, wipe it off immediately with a just slightly damp cloth. If the paint has dried, then sand it off. I think this bird has a few layers of feathers underneath it never expected!!

Now … on to the Dogwoods. This is beautiful British Columbia’s provincial flower. Right now, every Dogwood tree is pretty much in full bloom. The flower comes before the leaves, and so with this design showing full grown leaves, the petals of the flower will start to diminish in colour. The brightness of white, creams up with browns starting to show.

I wasn’t happy with the look of this blossom, and decided to change it a bit.

A little cut, and bit of sanding, back to the paint … and there’s a happier Dogwood. Well, at least I’m happier!

Well folks … that’s it for now. I was complaining to Paul there just are not enough hours in the run of a day to sit at the computer to blog … I’m running out of time! However, I realized while working on the framework today … there are blocks of glue setting moments when I could be sitting down, relaxing with my Lumberjock friends!

Until next time … oh ya … there’s more to come! … enjoy a creative moment of your own!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

7 comments so far

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4257 days

#1 posted 05-02-2012 10:02 AM

Wonderful Elaine. It just shows what an artist is capable of when let loose with some paint. I loved the effects you got on the birdhouse and the bird and of course the flowers too.

My intention for my intarsia is/was to concentrate on grain directions (using mainly pine) and keeping the acrylics thinned to a wash so the grain would show through and sticking more or less with wood colors, but after seeing the possibilities in your painted work I might dare to experiment a little. I’m not worried about being a purist, I just want the result to look good, but I do want people to know that it is made of wood. Your work certainly does that and so it is very inspiring to me.

I hope Paul will be showing us his latest marquetry work when finished. Looks fantastic so far.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View shipwright's profile


8621 posts in 3721 days

#2 posted 05-02-2012 02:37 PM

Thanks for the kind words Elaine.
Your painting skills are right up there with your cutting skills and I’m very impressed with the effects you can create with these layers of paint.
I guess you aren’t going to show an overall view until the “reveal” when finished but if I can spill a few beans here, having seen the whole piece, the whole is much greater than the sum of these beautiful parts.
Really fine work!

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3195 days

#3 posted 05-02-2012 03:04 PM

Your capabilities boggle my mind. Straight from a beautiful Soul at ease.

Thanks for sharing. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View ~Julie~'s profile


623 posts in 3957 days

#4 posted 05-02-2012 04:22 PM

Beautiful work, Elaine. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t love to receive that as a gift, wow!

-- ~Julie~

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3590 posts in 4635 days

#5 posted 05-04-2012 05:11 AM


You are creating one incredibly magnificent heirloom! Thanks for taking us on your journey.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View justoneofme's profile


841 posts in 3403 days

#6 posted 05-05-2012 10:52 PM

Hi All: Again … thank you for such warm and supportive feedback!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View ShipWreck's profile


557 posts in 4675 days

#7 posted 05-06-2012 12:50 PM

I could look at this stuff for hours.

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