The Canadian School of French Marquetry

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Level One, Boulle Style

This entry level course is designed to acquaint the student with the tools and techniques used in French marquetry. It requires no previous experience in marquetry. Level one is required or recommended as a pre-requisite for the others as subsequent courses demand a level of familiarity with the tools and techniques to achieve success.

Boulle style marquetry involves simultaneously cutting several different coloured layers of veneer in a single stack or packet. When the packet is disassembled the pieces are interchanged to produce multiple “pictures”, identical in pattern but differing in colours.

 Students will complete three different motifs and finish class with several pieces of their handiwork.

As well as cutting on the chevalet level one covers parts organization, assembly board preparation, assembly of the marquetry on the board, hide glue basics including hammer veneering and time permitting an introduction to French polishing. All critical materials are supplied.

Level Two, Painting in Wood

Painting in wood is a variation of the Boulle method, and was used as a process throughout Europe, where the chevalet was not available.This technique permits the marqueteur to cut very intricate pieces while  reducing waste of precious veneer and benefits greatly from the use of the chevalet. Like the Boulle method, accuracy in cutting is not critical. We recommend this class  be taken as a second class to further develop the skills required to succeed in the more challenging Level Three

This class will cover techniques traditionally employed in the specialized packet assembly used in painting in wood and will look at the impact of modern technology and explore its value in the organization and planning of these packets. On completion of motifs the technique of hot sand shading will be used to add dramatic 3D effects to the marquetry. All critical materials are supplied.

Level Three, Piece by Piece

Pre-requisite: At least Level One

This class introduces the student to the most advanced method of marquetry, developed by the French marquetry craftsmen during the 18th century.  Cutting the elements of the design separately from the background veneers allows for a minimum of waste and a maximum of production. The great advantage of this technique is the ability to cut up to 12 copies at the same time, each identical to the other. In addition, the student will be taught how to use hot sand to create the traditional shading for a dramatic 3D effect to the composition.  

As piece by piece marquetry requires accurate line following, it is required that level one be taken first. This style really opens up the possibilities and advantages of French marquetry  but as with all good things, it is the most challenging.

All critical materials are supplied.