Wood Painting 2

Video of me planing veneers of the image here.

On April 28th 2018, my daughter was born. Becoming a dad was a very special time for me and very emotional. To celebrate this and help myself process the intense feelings I delved into this intricate marquetry project depicting my daughter at age 2 days old.

I used 9 different woods, chosen for their color and also their density. The reason was that I intended to plane the image into veneers the same way Japanese masters make Yosegi-Zaiku. You may have seen this wooden pattern veneer on traditional puzzle boxes before. I wanted to push the limits of the material and tools as far as they could possibly go with this project. It was a gamble and I had no idea if it was going to work. I spent odd hours each night working on it as my baby daughter and wife slept. In the end I created this stunning image...and made 14 copies of it.

I used a technique called double bevel marquetry to build the image. To do this I cut small shapes of stacked pieces of wood on the scroll saw with the saw blade tilted at a slight angle. If you have the angle just right, the upper shape will fit perfectly into lower hole of the shape after the cut.

After image was made, I cut it into 3 strips and mounted this on solid wood blocks. The blocks help absorb vibrations when planing so a tear free veneer pops out of the plane and can be used as an overlay. Japanese planes called "kanna" are well suited for this and can even be very wide.

I consider this technique one of the highest levels of woodworking. I always wanted to create Yosegi-Zaiku like the Japanese masters. I have not yet seen anyone apply this technique to a marquetry image, but I know in Japan there are also images made in wood called Zougan Art and I wouldn't be surprised if there is a technique for planing this into veneer too.

Later I obtained a large plane (okanna) and did this. I'll use it on my next wood painting.

Assembling the image.

Closeup. Many different wood shapes.

This shows how thick the actual image is. Enough for planing 15 veneers (zaiku).

The three strips are mounted and ready to plane.


home | about kagen | gallery | what is new | for sale | tools| links | kagenbox@gmail.com