Jan Walker's Introduction to Marquetry
by Jan Walker

Produced by SKB Veideography, Canada


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As reviewed in The Australian Woodworker Issue 128

Jan Walker’s Introduction to Marquetry covers the making of a relatively simple marquetry design formed from 10 pieces.

While the project is suitable for the complete beginner, the pattern nonetheless introduces a number of concepts such as the window method, small cross-cut pieces and the use of slivers both for repair and detail, that will rapidly advance the viewer's skill, enabling them to undertake more complex designs.

A short section at the start of the DVD on selecting veneers deals with American and European woods, but suitable alternatives are available from veneer suppliers in Australian and New Zealand. For example, Rivergum Timbers, Ph: 07 5450 8877, can provide veneer packs specifically to suit the pattern supplied with the DVD.

As for the other tools and materials mentioned, most can be bought in the average craft or hobby store. The glue is ordinary PVA adhesive. The particular brand of clear finish is not readily available here but there are suitable alternatives.

Jan works from the back of the pattern so that the knife blade leaves a thinner kerf on the front of the picture. She adds the segments, one at a time, gluing them to each other along their edges by smearing a tiny amount of glue to the back face of the joint. Tape on the front face strengthens the joint and prevents glue seeping to the front surface.

To shorten the 'boring bits' but avoid any significant jumps from one stage to the next, the video runs at five times normal speed in some of the cutting segments.

Throughout the DVD there are tips on how to minimise gaps, keep the veneers tight together and avoid or fix common defects.

Once the picture is complete it is glued to a substrate. The DVD covers the use of either contact adhesive or yellow glue (an aliphatic resin such as Titebond) to glue the marquetry to the substrate of MDF or plywood. Yellow glue requires a press to achieve the pressure necessary for a complete bond, but otherwise it is more convenient to use than the contact adhesive.

After the glue has cured, the picture is trimmed to its final size and the front is sanded, both to improve its appearance and remove any unevenness due to differing thicknesses of veneer. A clear finish is then applied.

At the end of the DVD Jan provides a few extra tips for successful marquetry and a short segment on artistic composition when selecting or creating your own designs.

Jan Walker's Introduction to Marquetry is a well-explained guide to this form of decorative woodwork and would enable most viewers to begin creating marquetry pieces of their own. The DVD is ideal not only for the novice marquetarian, but for any woodworker who would like to incorporate a veneered pattern or picture in their furniture, carving or turning.

Duration: 100mins