|Guide To Species and Green and Mahogany Layers|
To illustrate how I make a veneer packet for a picture using the Painting In Wood process, I took apart the packet waste, layer by layer, after I finished removing all the pieces I needed for the final picture.
Most important is the initial layout and proper orientation of the individual species of veneer. I use the four corner edges of the design as a locator. Each layer, no matter how roughly put together, must have all four corners match exactly with the drawing. From that reference, I can confidently locate the elements inside the design so there are no errors.
Note that I usually have at least two different species for each flower, and sometimes three. That gives me a colorful flower, and, since I keep each of those colors for each flower as I cut them out, I can change my mind when I put together the final picture on the assembly board. For example, if I have a flower with a light and dark selection, I can decide to have a dark flower with light edges or a light flower with dark edges, depending on my mood. What is not used is discarded, but not until everything is done.
At the top of this post is the layout design with my notes on the woods I selected to use. The yellow highlighted areas are isolated pieces of ebony background, so I don't forget to keep them. The layer missing from this photo is the ebony background, which I used and can be seen in the last post about this. Note the green and mahogany layers are usually full sheets, since leaves and branches are all over the design and too much trouble to try to place individually. The pieces of veneer tape are left over from taping all the layers together securely. Always tape each layer one by one to be sure nothing moves.
I try to use the smallest piece of veneer possible for each element of the design. These pieces are usually small scrap pieces from previous projects, so, in the long run, this is an efficient use of surplus material. In between each element I place a cheap scrap veneer of the same thickness as the others to fill up the gaps and prevent the blade from tearing up the veneer when I saw. Since all the veneers I use for these jobs are sawn material, I can use the 1.5mm Sipo wood that I have on hand for the front of the packets. It is cheap and easy to saw.
|Layers 3 and 4 Face Down|
Looking at these two layers, note that they are face down, so you can see the woods more clearly. The white wood areas are the Sipo and not important. Going down the left side first, you can see the two woods I selected for the Tulip, the two different yellow woods for the next flower, the two woods for the next flower, and so on around the packet. There are no woods for the second tulip on the top right as they are included in the first and second layers sown here:
|Layers 1 and 2 Face Down|
The first two layers in the packet are shown here. Now you can see the two woods I used for the top flower, again on the right hand side the two woods for the tulip and so on. In the center are the two woods for the blue bird, and at the bottom are two woods for the central leafy motif.
Note that I can select the grain direction for each species to correspond with the design.
It is true that all this wood is thrown away, after I select the single piece from the 7 or 8 layers which I intend to use. However, I gain a lot of time, as the cutting is very fast. For example, I might take 4-6 hours to construct a packet of this size, and another 8 hours to completely cut it out. So in two days I can go from design to assembly, and produce a picture which some may think is complicated. I just think it's a fun and rewarding way to pass the time.
To see the final picture check out the last post.