MARQUETRY TOUR DE FORCE
An extravagant modern rendition of a 17th-Century antique.
SHOP OWNER: W. Patrick Edwards
LOCATION: San Diego, CA
This is my latest piece, which was featured on the back cover of Woodwork magazine recently (October 2006). The form of the piece is based on an antique I found in London a few years ago. It had French attribution, but I felt certain it had originated in Flanders. Later I learned that my hunch was most likely correct, as there was a history of Flemish marquetry desks with organizers like this having been built in the late 17th Century.
I wanted to do this project using the "painting in wood" process which was popular at the end of the 17th century in France and Flanders. This method requires that all the woods in the picture be cut at the same time, using a perpendicular blade. To accomplish this, the ebony background, the green, brown, and all the colors need to be properly placed in the packet where they belong, and during the cutting, you must be careful to keep the single piece which you need, while discarding all the waste.
I used only sawn veneers, purchased from Patrick George in Paris (http://www.george-veneers.com/uk/index.htm), which are 1.5mm thick (about .059"). All the colors are natural, except the green and blue, which are dyed maple.
The ivory for the feet and pulls is legal, with proper certificate of origin. The finish is a shellac French polish. The cabinet is 48" wide and only 10" tall. The secondary woods are white oak (drawers), maple and beech (case) and the case has full blind dovetails on all corners. Of course no power tools were used (since I don't have any).
In all, this project took me 650 hours over a 6-month period. Price: sold.. . . Patrick Edwards
[EDITOR'S NOTE: You can visit Patrick's website at http://home.pacbell.net/ebeniste/ to view many other examples of his work, including the incredible Louis-Philippe Tilt-Top Tables that he finished last year. Other articles and shots we've done with Patrick include his Boston Pier Table and an exquisite marquetry center table.]
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