This awe-inspiring sideboard features exquisite marquetry.
SHOP OWNER: Craig Thibodeau
LOCATION: San Diego, CA
Commissioned by a local couple, the marquetry imagery on this sideboard features white gardenia flowers and branches that emanate from a central point in the top and flow down one side of the front panels. The piece has two mother-of-pearl and abalone butterflies, one colored for each of the clients’ two daughters. The style of the sideboard is loosely based on a Sheraton era demilune sideboard with Federal style inlay added to the legs. Overall dimensions for this project are 72” long by 16” deep by 36” high and is made up of numerous materials, such as wenge, block-figured anigre, quarter sawn maple, ebony, pau ferro, boxwood, maple, poplar, holly, anigre, mother-of-pearl, brass, and abalone.
The exterior is veneered in block-figured anigre with solid wenge trim, while the interior is veneered in quarter-sawn maple. The marquetry veneer work for this piece was cut using a combination of French and Italian methods on a standard scroll saw. The packet method requires cutting all the elements of the design simultaneously with the background veneer. Specific components were then sand-shaded to create the illusion of depth and shadows. The veneer work was glued with modern two part glues. Bent lamination utilizing shaped forms and vacuum pressing was used to create the multiple curves flowing across the front of the cabinet. The drawers are built in the NK style to facilitate assembly to the curved overlay fronts and the doors are mounted with knife hinges. The remaining construction is based on traditional furniture building techniques.
The sideboard has been finished with a combination of polyester to fill the grain and medium rub conversion varnish as a topcoat on all outer surfaces and lacquer on the drawers and interior surfaces. This is the third marquetry piece I have built since studying marquetry with both Paul Schurch and Patrick Edwards and it took approximately 300 hours to complete not including finishing.. . . Craig Thibodeau
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