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"Toscana" is a hand dyed marquetry plaque mounted on 3/8" MDF. I made it at the request of my good' wife for a decorative accent to go on our new granite / tile cabinet upgrade. The substrate is cut precisely to the outline of the picture and dyed black on the edge.

The marquetry is all cut from a single layer of plain maple and all the pieces are hand dyed in the watercolor dye technique after cutting and before assembly. This method allows lots of artistic leeway in shading and colors but is very fragile in that the dyes do not penetrate deeply at all and must be protected from all moisture and abrasion. That is the hardest part of the whole process.

The photos show the original photo I used, the sketch I made from it, the mess I made dyeing and the final in situ appearance. The finish, although semi gloss is very difficult to photograph.

As a learning experience it was great, as marquetry I'm not so sure. I can't really compare it to real marquetry because in my mind it just isn't. I think it has to be looked at as a separate entity and in that light time will tell whether I (we) really like it or really don't. I can never tell how I feel about a different piece like this until at least a few months have passed. For now we are both happy enough with it to keep it in its new home on the backsplash but I'm still considering re-creating it in "real" marquetry.

The project is written up in segments four to seven of the watercolor dye blog in the link above.

Thanks for looking.

Comments, critiques and questions are always welcome.

Gallery

Comments

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387 Posts
Paul,
Nice work. Really nice work. Always look forward to your posts.
Roger
 

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26 Posts
Beautiful work, I'm sure your wife loves it.

Phil
 

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beautiful work, and i have always l;oved seeing tuscan scenes, i know you have been there, and having it really at recall memory wise is a wonderful gift from god,
 

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19,716 Posts
Great Job Paul even your experiments turn out fantastic.
 

· In Loving Memory
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A wonderful result Paul and I'm sure a fond reminder of happy times spent in Italy. I love Italian food and I can't think of a better place for this marquetry than the kitchen, especially your very nice kitchen.
 

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Paul, that is just a beautiful detailed piece. And a very nice setting for displaying it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cheers, Jim
 

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Paul, your talents always amaze me but I have to say this turned out much nicer than I expected. What a wonder addition to your kitchen. Truly an artistic beauty.
 

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Super COOL…
 

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Hi Paul,

Beautiful marquetry, Very interesting way to color the veneer, it almost looks like a painting. It looks great in your kitchen, my vote is to keep it in that spot, it blends great with the cabinets!
 

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Beautiful job, Paul. Almost can't tell it apart from an imported Italian tile mural.
 

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Very ,Very Nice.
You should be pleased with the result ,I sure like it .
Go for a sail and enjoy your work with a bottle of wine .
 

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Very nice Paul.
My my, you have more talent in your little finger than I have in my entire body. I am really impressed.

It looks great in the kitchen.
Steve
 

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Great job with this Paul, it's like looking through a portal and actually being there! I'm sure that this piece has found its permanent spot right there where its at. Bravo!
 

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The quality of this work is really outstanding. It is definitely not just a wood project, even though wood is the medium. The year that I put my painted horse (my mailbox on my project list) in the Woodshow, it created a stir and a bit of outrage in some of the other woodworkers. Give me a break, I'd like to seem them carve a fairly realistic horse that was larger than a carousel horse out of solid Cuban mahogany. It weighed well over 150 pounds and was amazing. Such a gasp, it was painted!!!
So to this piece in your marquetry adventures, I say BRAVO!!! Why not stretch yourself and claim that victory.
Great job Paul!
Cheers :)
 

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Paul,very nice job !!!
 

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Well that's it. I can never think about doing something that amazing. Time to get my tools on Craigslist before anyone knows I'm a woodworker…

Great work Paul. Need to spend some time with you and learn the technique. Looks like a great way to make interesting colors and textures.
 

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Once again you have mastered a different concept and proved that it can look very artistic and real. I think I
can understand your feeling about the marquetry part, but you have satisfied the person that asked for the
masterpiece and you will have to be happy with that, it is no longer yours, but hers. Thank you once again
for sharing.
 
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