FANTASY MARQUETRY #7: Another Marquetry Process

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I didn’t get much done today on my wizard marquetry, but what I did do maybe brings up an interesting topic, sand shading. A disclaimer here as I have only tried sand shading once before and it didn’t turn out very well, but it is a subject worth discussing because it also has a lot to do with how the marquetry is cut and that is my main point here.

As you can see from the photo below the wizards hand has been cut out around each finger and a little less obvious also on the hand between the knuckles and the wrist. It’s all the same color and just looks like a lump. You might wonder why all the cutting when only one color veneer has been used. The answer is that the cutting facilitates sand shading on the edge of each finger and the hand to give them a three dimensional appearance. I might also be adding some lighter tones in a later cutting to define the knuckles.

Sand shading philosophy by Platter
While sand shading is much used in marquetry work it is normally used with great restraint so as not to call attention away from the veneers. Beautiful veneer is after all the whole point of doing marquetry in the first place. At least that is my take on it based on what I have read and seen, and I agree whole-heartedly with that philosophy. Some others might not agree and that is fine with me because I am only concerned about how I do my own work and not how others want to do theirs.

I hope you found something interesting here. Thanks for reading.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway

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Thanks Abbas. I bought some reptile sand at the pet store. As I mentioned above, my first try at sand shading didn’t go that well. I had heated it in a thick cast iron pot (cast iron holds the heat well) but I used way too much sand, about 3 or 4" high when I should have used only 1" to 1-1/2" to get it hot enough. I’m not expecting problems with sand heat this time, but I might not do such a great job with the shading due to my inexperience.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway

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