Merlot Anyone?! - The Marquetry Wine Box Saga #5: Merlot Anyone?! - The Marquetry Wine Box Saga

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Blog entry by justoneofme posted 03-27-2013 02:47 AM 2414 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Merlot Anyone?! - The Marquetry Wine Box Saga Part 5 of Merlot Anyone?! - The Marquetry Wine Box Saga series Part 6: Merlot Anyone?! - The Marquetry Wine Box Saga »

Welcome back everyone!

I’ll jump right into this next blog from where I finished off last time. Thankfully things are progressing … although my pace may seem rather slow! I actually consider myself extremely lucky if I can manage one full day in my workshop each week. Ecstatic if more than that!!

Most days I’m split between family, friends, domestic chores … and now that the weather is finally showing off in the most awesome way, spring gardening has been taking up a large block of time, and will for as long as this sunshine and unusually warm weather holds out.

It feels good right now, to set my weary body down in front of this computer for a rest!!

So here she is … my ‘Nouveau Gal’ ... in the flesh!

Now … because I want to work on the grapes (for the floral bouquet, as well as the grape clusters for each of the other three panels … you are all probably wondering ….. WHY? Can’t that wait until I’m actually working the bouquet?? Yes, it could, however it’s my design and I’m doing it my way!!

Actually there is nothing written in stone as to how a Marquetry design should be approached when cutting … especially with the window method. You can begin at a focal point and work around that … or veer off in another direction. I tackled the Poplar motif set into the Rosewood background first because I wanted to make sure it was going to look exactly the way I wanted it to. I could have easily waited and worked the gal into the background first.

So what I’m trying to convey (to all those out in LumberJock Land who are just starting their journey into the wonderful world of Marquetry) is don’t be afraid of the design … or feel insecure in your approach. Start wherever you feel comfortable, because eventually the whole of your Marquetry piece will come together!!

I’m happy with my Nouveau Gal, so now I’m really giving thought to the floral arrangement she will be holding. BUT, if I’m going to all the trouble of making grape clusters (which is part of the arrangement), I might as well consider all the grape clusters necessary for the entire Wine Box.

I want to make it easier on myself because grapes are really a nuisance to do!!

So … instead of just cutting out a pad of 6 veneers to produce the 6 clusters needed (2 per panel) ... I’m going to bump up my pad of Redwood burl veneer so I end up with double the amount. ... because I may want some for the lid I haven’t yet designed. And I definitely need grapes for the bouquet.

In this photo you’ll notice that there are 3 taped veneer pads in the bottom left corner. This gives you a glimpse into the indecisiveness of me!! I didn’t just wake up that morning and tell myself to make a 12-pack pad for the grapes. Once upon a time my mind was as sharp as a tack! It still is … but it just takes a bit longer to feel the sharpness of the point!!

Speaking of tacks … I’m using them to hold the entire 12-pack together. This is the best tool ever devised for working with tiny tacks! Insert the tack, push down on the handle and the tack finds its home!

Another really good reason I’m about to cut these grapes out now, following the penciled lines … is because I don’t have to restrict myself. If I want more grapes to the cluster … or move a grape … or make one bigger/smaller … I can. Because the set of clusters will be inserted into the design after the fact … already put together. Trust me, this will work!!

You can’t see where I’ve cut into the pad to begin the grape cluster because it’s behind the blade … but my plan is to cut the entire section out grape by grape so the background pad remains totally intact.

So now, with the grapes cut out and set carefully aside, the pad is separated … now I have 12 minature ‘templates’ to use precisely for the purpose of avoiding confusion!! Just stop and count these grapes … a cluster of 9×12 = 108 individual little things to sand-shade. Where are they all going to go?! Right back where they came from!!!

I’m all set … tape, sticky side up so that each sand-shaded grape is held in place from underneath.

Each grape (once cut from the pad) was carefully placed in its clustered position. That way it’s easy to pick up one little pile, strip off the cover tape showing where I need to sand-shade …....

............ and proceed to shade all 12 grapes, before going to the next little pile to repeat that process … until the entire cluster is finished.

I don’t think I really have to tell you what it’s like to stand around sand-shading one hundred and eight tiny little grapes of wrath!! Now I have 12 grape clusters waiting patiently to be used!

It did take a while to complete all that sand-shading. But … time flies when you’re having fun!!! Just as this time spent ‘chatting’ to my buddies was lots of fun! Until my next blog, I hope everyone takes a moment out of their hectic schedules to have some fun :)

.... and again I thank you all for following along, plus sending me such encouraging messages!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

11 comments so far

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4844 days

#1 posted 03-27-2013 02:51 AM

Wow nice job. Its going to be nice when completed can;t Waite to see it.

View shipwright's profile


8621 posts in 3718 days

#2 posted 03-27-2013 04:11 AM

Elaine Elaine Elaine, you are so damned organized!
I know it is sometimes necessary but I still cherish my beloved chaos.
Philosophy aside, this is just a lovely piece and will be a show stopper when it’s all finished up.
Oh yes and a great blog and personal style too.

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

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3854 days

#3 posted 03-27-2013 05:25 AM

Wow Elaine! That’s a lot of work.

so many pieces so many details. watching you work is fascinating.
I am starting to think to leave marquetry alone up until I retire. It does require a lot of work and time.

I am thinking you did not chose an easy piece for this blog series so you can cover a lot of techniques.

On a different note, we too have been spending a lot of time in the yard. the weather has been fantastic.

Thanks for the blog.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Ken90712's profile


17910 posts in 4108 days

#4 posted 03-27-2013 08:35 AM

Wow Elaine! That’s amazing and lot of work. great job and how artistic. What a great job and can’t wait to see more!

I have a bad habit of not looking at the Blogs page for some reason, so I need to catch up!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3776 days

#5 posted 03-27-2013 10:35 AM

Elaine, it is very impressive and I’m enjoying following its progress.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Chase's profile


448 posts in 3946 days

#6 posted 03-27-2013 10:58 AM

That is going to be a lot of scroll work. About 1000 hours more than I am willing to do.

-- Every neighborhood has an eccentric neighbor. I wondered for years "who was ours?" Then I realized it was me.

View ~Julie~'s profile


623 posts in 3954 days

#7 posted 03-27-2013 11:37 AM

Those grapes, with the shading, look 3 dimensional.
I’m with you in that family, domestic chores and the computer take me away from my workshop. I’m always happy to get back in there. I haven’t started gardening yet because my garden is still under more than a foot of snow!

-- ~Julie~

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4254 days

#8 posted 03-27-2013 02:12 PM

Great blog Elaine. I can see that shading those grapes might send you to the bottle (I’m thinking wine). The shading came out great and you are obviously thinking ahead with regards to the extra pads and also passing on this quality thinking to uswhoarenotsoexperienced. The gal looks wonderful. The flesh tones look perfect to me, especially with your artful shading work. I know what you mean about limited time in the shop this time of year. Our weather here is beautiful, but it is still too cold for my wife and I to work outside. It’s getting close though, and soon it will be the end of the woodworking season for me. It’s almost physically painful just to think about it! Looking forward to your next installment, so please try to stay out of the garden.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View justoneofme's profile


841 posts in 3400 days

#9 posted 03-27-2013 04:09 PM

Many thank everyone for tuning in ... I know this is a busy time what with improving weather … and Easter weekend approaching! Ian ... You’re right about this complicated design being blogged … especially for those just starting out, and I’m hoping certain complexities won’t turn them away in frustration! But the techniques are definitely there to view repeatedly just by tapping onto the blog!! Paul ... Others may see ‘organized’ when I appear to be all over the map on approaching this design, but I do have a very strong feeling that you know exactly what’s coming next! Mike ... I know what you mean about painful thoughts of summer chores taking over workshop time! For me, it got to the point that I had to have my little workshop built at the lake. When I can’t find time for workshop I get really grumpy!! Julie ... Enjoy another ‘carefree’ month before your spring hits! We don’t have snow to contend with, but lots of rain. The sun came out last Friday but just soooo cold. Then suddenly we have this warm stream coming through. Now I’m hoping once the flower beds have been tended to (today should be the last) I can get back into the workshop!! Ken ... Glad you’ve ‘caught up’!! Sandhill & Jamie ... Glad to know you’re hanging in and still enjoying this series! Chase ... Welcome! I’m not even recording my hours this time because this one’s for me!!

Happy Easter Everyone!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4223 days

#10 posted 03-27-2013 06:06 PM

to me there is nothing more enjoyable then watching and seeing someone work there craft in a masterful way, i don’t know if i will ever become very good at this, but it wont be from lack of knowledge that’s for glad your getting some time off from the menial chores of the day and i know you love your garden work , so enjoy that too, as from being from Alaska i know how the weather can be…., thank you Elaine so much for this blog….grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View justoneofme's profile


841 posts in 3400 days

#11 posted 03-28-2013 03:44 PM

Thank you Grizzman for your ongoing support, and most wonderful words of encouragement!! I’m glad you are enjoying this blog :)

-- Elaine in Duncan

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