|Marquetry Panel For Lecount Case Door|
I have been rather busy lately with the business of business. I knew that when the jobs and housing markets turned around the phone would ring. Well, it has, and I am looking at a shop full of antiques that need my attention. Also, I had two weeks of teaching which is always a nice change in routine.
The Lecount project has been calling me...literally. The clock works sit on a stand in the corner of the shop and chime precisely on the hour, reminding me that they need a case. The amazing thing about this set of works is that they run for 30 days! And they keep time to the second. Not bad for a set of brass works made by hand around 1690. How many mechanisms made today will still be running perfectly in 300 years?
During the last week we had a holiday, and holidays mean that I can work without interruption. So I returned to the chevalet and cut out the remaining panels for the door of the clock. At the same time I thought I would make a video of the process of building marquetry face down on an assembly board, which is the French method.
I have written before about this method, but I find that using words to explain it really is confusing. Watching a video is much better. So I selected a simple flower example to demonstrate. I should note that the only thing that didn't happen during this video was the phone or door bell ringing. What did happen was the Lecount clock chimed, the mail man arrived and Bridget kept barking, Patrice stumbled over the stool while filming, and the garbage truck drove by the shop, making it impossible to hear what I said at the end.
All in all, a very professional shoot. Watch it HERE
I am using sawn veneers, which are 1.5mm thick. The building process is very easy and you just place the pieces in the picture cavity face down, holding them with hot protein glue. The glue allows for some adjustment if you do it quickly, so you can move pieces around slightly for a good fit. Later, if you find a mistake, you can easily reheat the pieces and remove them or replace them.
When the panel is assembled, I will use diluted protein glue and fine sawdust to make a mastic to fill the saw kerf, again working from the back side (glue side) of the marquetry, so the front surface remains clean.
Here are some photos of the process of building a marquetry panel using an assembly board. The first photo shows the gluepot, assembly board, simple tools and a tray with the parts. Note I have just completed the first panel and am ready to build the second. The paper design goes with the parts in the tray for the second design. All the parts in the tray are laid face down, and the paper design is inverted left to right so I can follow the design easily.
|First Panel Done, Ready For Second|
Here are the parts in the tray, carefully laid out according to the design. All the pieces have been burned in hot sand.
|All The Pieces Laid Out|
Here is the ebony background which has just been laid into the hot glue on the stretched paper of the assembly board. It is important to place the branches and leaves in place first, so that the background is properly located before the glue sets. Putting the individual flowers in place takes longer so is done after the branches and leaves.
|Sawn Ebony Background Glued Down|
Here is the drawing for the flower at the top of the design. It is made up of lots of pieces, and each one is unique, having a walnut piece with cut engraving lines and a box wood piece which is the lip of the petal. This type of flower is typical of work done late in the 17th century.
|Flower Design Inverted Left To Right|
Here are the pieces for the flower, carefully burned and laid out in a precise location in the tray.
|Flower Pieces Ready To Install|
Here is the flower assembled. You are looking at the back (glue side) of the flower, which will be filled with mastic to complete the process.
|Flower Assembled Face Down|
|Ready For Mastic|