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Alongside my furniture apprenticeship, I also did an apprenticeship in marquetry that began 3 years ago, with my mentor (and now-business partner), master fine art marquetry artist Spider Johnson from Mason, TX. This piece was a commissioned piece. the client requested a West Texas Landscape, with a cowboy on his horse. This piece is 60" X 36".
While researching sky treatments in marquetry, I came across a piece by an LA artist, Patrice LeJeune, which employed an ancient French technique called ‘fusion’. Unlike traditional marquetry, which fits neatly together like a puzzle, the fusion process overlaps veneers, and then you sand and scrape the edges until they become transparent, or in some cases, sanding all the way through (Ha! I can see the look of horror on your faces now! ) to reveal the veneer below. the result is a much more ‘painterly’ effect with no hard lines. We used this technique (our first time) in the sky of this piece, while sticking to traditional marquetry in the foreground. The contrast also helped to create the illusion of the foreground being closer to the viewer. We added some of the critters you might see in this landscape in the corner pieces just for fun!
I will warn you that the fusion process takes a VERY LONG TIME, but the result, I think, is worth it. We had a combined 400 hours on this.
While I cannot recall all of the names of the veneers we used, I will list some: Redwood burl; Amboyña burl; Laurel Burl; Pelin Burl; Mahogany burl; Red Gum; Purple heart; Walnut burl; Maple Birdseye; Holly; Oak, Black, blue, green and raspberry died tulipwoods; and the rest escape me at the moment!
-- Amor Vincit Omnia
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