A Bit of French Marque...tray

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Project by shipwright posted 07-03-2012 11:29 PM 4636 views 7 times favorited 71 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first marquetry tray. You can only build so many boxes so I am branching out looking for new marquetry venues. A serving tray seemed to be a nice place to start. The design is my own and grew and changed quite a lot during construction. The motif itself is from the workbook that came with Patrick Edwards’ course.

The “music” motif is one, if you are following my projects, that I suggest you get used to for a bit. I originally cut it in “painting in wood “style for an elaborate table I’m working on but decided I didn’t like it with the birdseye maple background. .... Soooo … I cut it again in classic style giving me four identical motifs with different backgrounds. Then of course I changed my mind again and used the original one on the table. This tray represents the first iteration of the four “classic” cuts. I will try to vary the presentations to reduce the yawn factor but they will be showing up.

The basic tray is sawn (not bent) curly cherry and besides the marquetry it is trimmed out with Sapele pomele (background and handles), and holly (stringing) veneers and a strip of amaranth (purpleheart) to tie the rim back to the central medallion.

The finish is french polish.

Thanks for looking

Comments, questions and critiques are always welcome.


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

71 comments so far

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 3979 days

#1 posted 07-03-2012 11:43 PM

OMG Paul, this is what I would call a “world class mrquetry tray” !!!
The design is just fantastic and unique ( I love it ) and the colors/wood combinations
just “pop”. Your french polish is first class…........ but now the critique…..
You made this so beautiful that now no one in there right mind would put anything on it !!!!!
I could stare at the talent and techniques that you put into this for days !
Thanks for sharing…again

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View Karson's profile


35198 posts in 4883 days

#2 posted 07-04-2012 12:07 AM

A man of many cuts. I don’t like this lets make a change, Don’t like it either, Ops I really liked the first one.

Where I’m at on this. I love this one and I’m glad that you saved it for us to see.

I’m now looking forward for the other mistakes.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Boatman53's profile


1062 posts in 2679 days

#3 posted 07-04-2012 12:09 AM

Nice job Paul. That tray turned out great.

-- Jim, Mid coast, Maine home of the chain leg vise

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3339 days

#4 posted 07-04-2012 12:16 AM

Very nice Paul

Such small pieces yet incredible grain


-- 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 RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3436 days

#5 posted 07-04-2012 12:18 AM

Marvelous work Paul. I really love this one. The entire design is perfect, and the execution is flawless as per your usual. Each project more impressive than the last.

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

View Woodenwizard's profile


1359 posts in 3526 days

#6 posted 07-04-2012 12:19 AM

Outstanding Paul. Some day I hope to do something half as nice. I truly appreciate your sharing your talent with us.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View tinnman65's profile


1388 posts in 3896 days

#7 posted 07-04-2012 12:21 AM

Very nice Paul, I was looking at this thinking what a great job you did and then I zoomed the pics and was then really impressed with the finish you did, of course I do what most of us would do look at the pics first then read the description LOL ! It all makes sense now that I read it was a french polish finish :) Another great post.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View Roger's profile


21010 posts in 3286 days

#8 posted 07-04-2012 12:22 AM

Super nice, as always, Paul. Very kool design also. Of coarse your marquetry is beautiful

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View AttainableApex's profile


347 posts in 3315 days

#9 posted 07-04-2012 12:24 AM

ya great job, amazing

-- Ben L

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 3561 days

#10 posted 07-04-2012 12:26 AM

Beautiful Paul. It even resembles a canoe stern sailboat!

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18658 posts in 4158 days

#11 posted 07-04-2012 12:47 AM

Nice branching out you are doing!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3791 days

#12 posted 07-04-2012 01:05 AM

WoW-Za…What I can I say but outrageously spectacular. I wouldn’t even know where to start if I wanted to make something that intricate….and i probably couldn’t make it anyhoo.

View bobasaurus's profile


3604 posts in 3667 days

#13 posted 07-04-2012 01:13 AM

The design of this tray is amazing, and your marquetry skills are top notch as always. I love the “curl” to the outer decorations. I want to make some marquetry of my own soon.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Druid's profile


2141 posts in 3278 days

#14 posted 07-04-2012 01:16 AM

Really beautiful piece of artistry Paul. Inspiring.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4462 days

#15 posted 07-04-2012 01:21 AM

Fantastic job, Paul.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

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