"Fuji Seen from the Sea" Marquetry

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Project by mauibob posted 10-03-2010 03:08 PM 4889 views 5 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
"Fuji Seen from the Sea" Marquetry
"Fuji Seen from the Sea" Marquetry No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
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There’s something about the visual impact of Hokusai’s woodblock prints that beautifully shows the movement and tremendous power of nature. Here is my marquetry interpretation of one of his earlier (1834) prints, “Fuji Seen from the Sea” from his series “A Hundred Views of Mt. Fuji”. The foam breaks up into a flock of birds as the wave disperses itself into the wind. The tension of the sea is drawn out through the use of lines riding up the side of the wave – which I reproduced here using the beautiful figure from a select piece of Chechen rosewood.

The marquetry design uses maple for the background, holly for the snowcap on Mt. Fuji and sapele for the mountain itself, aspen for the froth of the waves, and Chechen rosewood for the wave body. The fir trees in the background used slices from a stabilized, emerald green colored pen blank of curly maple. I used both heartwood and sapwood from the same piece of Chechen (particularly the transition from heartwood to sapwood) to get the feel of the wave slowly breaking into foam (upper right) and to add some additional depth to the wave crest in the foreground. Chechen rosewood can have some really spectacular figure and seemed to be a good choice for expressing the tension in the foreground wave front.

The flock of birds posed an interesting problem in this design. The relatively small size of the image (6×8 ½ ”) made the birds no larger than 1/8” long. Several techniques for producing the birds were considered – double bevel marquetry as in the rest of the image, inlay with either colored epoxy or crushed stone, and painting. The latter approach, using white acrylic paint, actually yielded the crispest looking birds, and I used a stencil approach to place the images on the background veneer. I’m a lousy painter, so by using a homemade stencil I could exactly produce a crisp image each time and the amount of paint deposited on the wood was miniscule so it didn’t have that “3-D” look to it but rather looked like the birds were inlayed into the background.

-- Bob, Potomac, MD

13 comments so far

View mafe's profile


13872 posts in 4543 days

#1 posted 10-03-2010 03:18 PM

I love it! You done a wonderful job.
Am a big fan of Hokusai’s drawings, he is my biggest insiration when I draw.
Best thoghts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Judge's profile


32 posts in 4768 days

#2 posted 10-03-2010 04:03 PM

Simply amazing job!

View CaptainAhab's profile


214 posts in 4251 days

#3 posted 10-03-2010 04:03 PM

Nicely executed shot of humility to the rest of us! Beautiful.

-- Dave

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 5277 days

#4 posted 10-03-2010 04:04 PM

I’m mesmerized by the fantastic imagery. That must have taken a long time. Wow.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 4650 days

#5 posted 10-03-2010 04:29 PM

I love this! I’ve been fascinated by these prints for some time now and hope one day to do this some of the prints in marquetry as well….some day. Very well done!

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 4758 days

#6 posted 10-03-2010 04:52 PM

Very nice.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View shipwright's profile


8816 posts in 4252 days

#7 posted 10-03-2010 05:45 PM

A very fine representation of a classic work. Well done, you are an inspiration.

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

View grosa's profile


1101 posts in 4283 days

#8 posted 10-03-2010 06:00 PM

I like the fact that you used the wood grain to enhance this project. Very well done.

-- Have a great day.

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 4408 days

#9 posted 10-03-2010 06:06 PM

Very nice indeed. As an admirer, and modest collector (very) of ukiyo-e, I suspect that Hokusai would approve.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1133 posts in 4428 days

#10 posted 10-03-2010 06:36 PM

This is really beautiful

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View CaptainSkully's profile


1615 posts in 5013 days

#11 posted 10-04-2010 03:32 AM

I love that print! I’ve actually got one rolled up waiting for a suitable Japanese frame. Nicely done. I can’t imagine the effort on these inlays…

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 4290 days

#12 posted 03-31-2011 12:45 AM

Thanks so much for sharing and for telling us about it and how you did it. I really love the simplicity and the natural coloring.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View Bigkahunaranch's profile


141 posts in 2963 days

#13 posted 06-30-2014 06:13 PM

Outstanding work, I loved the use of the grain.
You, sir are truly an artist !!!

-- Living the american dream in central Texas !

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