Watercolor Dye Technique

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Blog series by shipwright updated 08-28-2013 11:23 PM 7 parts 31011 reads 66 comments total

Part 1: General Concept

01-30-2011 03:52 AM by shipwright | 6 comments »

This is the blog that I promised detailing my experiments in what I call “watercolor style” aniline dying. My sincere hope is that it will encourage some of you to jump in and help develop what I think is a huge potential of which I’ve only scratched the surface. The idea of hand dyeing pieces of inlay or marquetry came to me because I was frustrated by the limited array of colors available to me in the veneer and solid wood supply to which I have access. I was enjoying ...

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Part 2: New Lessons Learned from "Facets"

02-03-2011 10:51 PM by shipwright | 13 comments »

The biggest and most dramatic new lesson I learned from the “Facets” project’s dyeing was the huge dimensional movement that you can get when you wet out this particular kind of veneer work. The most important thing learned from that experience is that if the pieces fit when you cut them they can be made to fit again, no matter how far out of whack they may seem to have gotten. It’s only water and all you have to do is restore their original moisture balance. This can ...

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Part 3: Tips and Tricks I've Learned

02-05-2011 09:13 PM by shipwright | 0 comments »

Time to wind up this little blog about my venture into hand dyeing marquetry. Most of what’s been covered here so far is also covered in the blogs of “Cabinetree” and “Facets”. It appears here as a “one stop shop” for the initial stages of development. What remains is to list a few of the tips and tricks I’ve learned through experimentation, mistakes, etc. to give any of you who want to give this a try a head start. The first picture shows a ...

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Part 4: Toscana, My most intricate dye job to date

08-24-2013 06:28 AM by shipwright | 15 comments »

I have done a few dye projects since the last post to this blog but they have been small and not very noteworthy. I did however learn from them and have decided to try something a whole lot more intricate than I’ve attempted before. The story begins with new granite countertops for our kitchen and my wife’s request for a bit of marquetry for a feature area in the new backsplash. She tried my Chianti tray there and likes it but it’s a little too small. She liked the...

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Part 5: Toscana, cutting and assembly

08-26-2013 12:48 AM by shipwright | 9 comments »

As this blog is supposed to be about hand dyeing and not marquetry, I’ll try to cover the cutting and assembly as quickly as I can. The method here is like Boulle style except that there is ultimately only one layer. I say ultimately because for the initial few cuts there were overlapped pieces. Due to the size of the piece it was necessary to use five pieces of maple veneer to accommodate it and in the initial cuts these were overlapped to avoid unnecessary joints in the picture. The d...

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Part 6: Toscana, Disassemble, Dye, Re-assemble

08-14-2013 12:23 AM by shipwright | 10 comments »

The general method of applying the dye is with an artist’s brush as seen in the first segment of this blog so I won’t go into great detail here. Suffice to say that each piece is done separately in one or more colors allowing the color to flow into the grain. The work area will become colorful so a cover of several layers of paper is a good idea. The procedure I used here was to first mount the whole piece on clear “Contact” shelf paper face side up and then to ...

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Part 7: Flip, Flop, and Press ... protecting the dye.

08-28-2013 11:23 PM by shipwright | 13 comments »

Warning: boring content. ............ This is technical junk about a sequence of events that will interest people who want to try this technique. Others may fall asleep. The marquetry and dyeing are done so the next step is to mount the assembly on a substrate, right?Not so much. First and foremost the very fragile surface dye must be sealed to prevent its being abraded or smeared in the mounting process. To make things just a little trickier the Contact paper that it is currently mount...

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