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The House Journal   | November 1902

Marquetry Painting

Small box decorated with marquetry paiting
image 1  A little box decorated with Marquetry Paiting

Much beautiful work may be done by the application of little pieces of ornament to ordinary woodwork articles, the decoration being effected by some delicate pigment. This work of marquetry painting, as it is called, is usually applied to large panels, and is of a somewhat ambitious character.

There is no reason, however, why a much simpler form of the same work should not be more commonly used. Where the whole surface is required to be treated, a great deal of care must be exercised to see that the lines do not overlap, and that every portion of the surface is covered. The simpler method on the other hand is quite feasible.

To give an instance of what I mean: There recently came into my possession an old circular dial wall clock dating back to about 1800. This clock I wished to stand on the top of a bookcase, and some form of understructure was necessary. I had a simple wooden one made and stained a dark colour, and, in order to provide some slight decoration, painted on it a little swag of leaves.

The effect exceeded my expectations, and suggested to me the possibilities inherent in what some might call an inferior method of marquetry painting. I will proceed to apply the lesson to the small box and tray sketched on this page. I have given on the next page a series of little pieces of ornament applicable for this purpose. They are numbered 3 to 11, and by their numbers I can refer to them.

Tray insert with marquetry paiting
image 2  Tray insert decorated with Marquetry Paiting

Crafting Instructions

Taking first Figure 1, the sketch of the box, on the top of it we have first a little piece of ornament numbered 5 in the large diagram. On the sides appear number 9 with simple piece of foliation of a similar character. In Figure 2 (the tray) the corners are ornamented number 10, and the centre is composed repetitions of number 11. I have not, however, limited the pieces of ornament to those illustrated in the sketches, but have inserted others in order to help those who are inclined to carry out the idea in other directions.

And now a word as to pigment. For the purpose of my clock I found the ever popular Aspinall's enamel to be exactly what I required and I do not think I could do better than recommend it for the examples here given. It has the great advantage of drying quickly, and being altogether without any suspicion of running.

Suggested patterns for Marquetry Painting
figure  Suggested patterns for Marquetry Painting

The box might be clear varnished after the ornament has been painted in. I hesitate to suggest colouring, because an indefinite number of schemes are possible, and where whitewood materials are used, as here, light schemes in yellow and bright reds with pale greens come out very prettily. The new metallic paints just brought out by Aspinall's could also be applied with success.

figure  suggested enamel colour scheme

I should be glad to hear from any of my readers who wish further suggestions in this connection.

Technical Tutor.

DIY magazine or musix box with copper mount
click on image to download stencil plan

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[Re-Editor's Notes]

Advanced Marquetry Painting Ideas

Artificial intelligence has come to the fore in the arts & crafts world. In honor of the ideas presented in The House by Technical Tutor, I have generated various novel painting ideas. These images have been generated using the artificial intelligence tool, Craiyon. I find these marquetry suggestions to be beatiful. These drawings require advanced crafting skills to execute. This should not stop the crafter from developing ideas from these images.

The House Re-Editor

AI created marquetry painting with two legs
AI created marquetry painting of personal box
AI created marquetry painting of craft box
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