-- forwarded message, please reply to sender and MMD --
[ I asked Jack to tell us about the background of his book on
[ marquetry, and where to buy it, and I inquired if he has worked
[ on the rounded shells of old banjos! -- Robbie
Robbie, The book I have written is quite short. It deals with my
experience with marquetry. I had been doing it for a number of years,
and the book is a culmination of my thoughts as to the best way to do
it. In visiting a factory in Italy, I found that their methods where
the same as mine except that they cut a quantity of pieces at a time,
while I cut one.
Harvey Roehl suggested that I write the book after I did some projects
for him. Harvey and I went to high school in Ithaca, NY. My sister
graduated with him and she introduced us. In the course of conversa-
tion it was mentioned that I was into marquetry and he showed me a
basket of parts for a barrel (monkey) organ. I ended up doing four
barrel organs, two for Harvey, and two more for other people.
Only one of these organs was not a basket case, and entailed the
construction of a case. At the risk of revealing my age, I used to see
these monkey organs on the streets of Brooklyn during my younger days.
Marquetry : The How-To-Do-It Book
Jack Garside / Paperback / Published 1996 / $11.96
The book is available on the Web at these book stores:
Crafts Across America:
Barnes & Noble:
I have never worked on old banjos and they would be quite challenging.
Part of the process is providing pressure to the surface while gluing
the veneer in place. The banjo has a small open space inside and it
would be difficult to provide that pressure without crushing this open
space. I'm sure it could be worked out, but I have had no experience
with that situation.
809 Sequoia Lane
Vestal, NY 13850
[ Editor's note:
[ Marquetry is the art of painting pictures with natural wood
[ veneers. A fine example of Jack's marquetry art may be viewed at
[ I found a description at http://alpha.bevcomm.net/~ami/marquetry.htm
[ "Marquetry is an art form that had its inception in ancient Egyptian
[ wood mosaics. It was revived by ecclesiastic orders during the
[ Renaissance and reached its highest levels of perfection in the 18th
[ Century primarily as an embellishment on furniture for royalty.
[ "The primary material used is natural wood veneers from some 200
[ species of trees from all over the world. The marquetry artist
[ selects species for the right combination of grain, color, and
[ texture to create the impression he wants.
[ "The veneers are cut by knife or fretsaw into the various components
[ that make up the picture. Once assembled the veneers are mounted on
[ a rigid base, sanded and a finish is applied to protect the wood.
[ The infinite variety of veneers, grain, and figuration insure a
[ unique, one-of-a-kind product every time."
[ Thanks to Harvey Roehl for urging Jack to write his article for MMD.
[ -- Robbie