Editorial - "The Marquetarian", 153, Oxford Road, Dukinfield, Cheshire. August 1953
Since my last letter to you was published in our journal for April, we have held our first National Exhibition of Members’ Work. Douglas Walters who was in charge of Guildford, and did all the admirable organization necessary to such a show, has written an article covering the whole display, and this will be found on another page of the journal. For my own part, let me say that on visiting the show I was very proud indeed of the efforts put into it by all the exhibiting members. Never before in the long history of the craft of Marquetry, has such a display been staged. Well over 100 exhibits were on show and the standard of craftsmanship was beyond praise, the colour and beauty of the work, with every picture hung, was simply marvellous. A panorama of exquisite beauty was seen by everyone who attended and Mr. Rowling the manager of the Odeon Cinema (to whom we extend our sincere gratitude) told me that the interest of the local people was terrific. All I can say is that this first show was a wonderful success and augers well for our future exhibitions. From a membership of approximately 100 we displayed well over a 100 exhibits, and so you can well imagine what the display will be like as our membership increases. It would appear that we shall need very large premises indeed to take our future National Exhibitions. To all concerned with this exhibition, the MARQUETRY SOCIETY offers it's sincerest thanks.
Our membership continues to grow and we are at the moment 154 strong. In order to allow the expansion of the society to take place smoothly, I have set out a few suggestion in an article entitled 'Administration and it's Difficulties’, which I hope will be read by all members. We must allow ourselves time to expand and must make secure all our lines of communication, having contact throughout the country from District to National level. We have seen the District Groups become fact in a very short time, and we must now allow the expansion of this scheme to larger areas, thereby covering the whole country with a network of immediate contacts.
The Annual General Meeting is to be held in Birmingham in August this year and our Birmingham District Secretary, Mrs.P.K.Stenning .......
Editorial — continued.
has charge of all arrangements and the cost of both rooms and a light tea is not expected to be more than 3/6d per head, Tickets will be issued from Headquarters as soon as possible and members are asked to forward their applications for these right away. It is hoped that the number present on Sunday 30th August will be around 100. I sincerely hope that the Annual General Meeting, will become as popular as our annual exhibitions, for we are after all simply postal addresses to each other for most of the time. Let us take full opportunity of this chance to meet each other for I am certain that it will be a wonderful day for us all.
Birmingham have since our last publication, formed an active District Group. Members living in this area are asked to contact the secretary, Mrs P.K.Stenning *** Birchfield Rd, Perry Barr, Birmingham for further details. Meetings are held every fortnight.
By the time this journal has reached members, Manchester District Group hope to have secured premises in the centre of Manchester itself and fortnightly meetings are to commence right away. Members living in or around the Manchester area are asked to contact the District Secretary Mr. Minshall, *** Fenton Ave, Great Moor, Stockport 9 for further information.
P.S. We are once again including a design for members. Mr. Hawkes of Manchester has contributed this and receives our thanks for same.
“ C 0 M M E N T S “
The National Tour of the Exhibition will commence in September this year and will visit the following places: Kensington, Birmingham, Nottingham, Bristol, Leeds, Harrogate, Edinburgh and Manchester. The delay in the commencing of this tour has been due to the immense amount of organization necessary for such a thing, and members are asked to support this effect when it arrives in their localities. Members living in or around the actual place of call are requested to confirm acceptance of the exhibition as soon as they possibly can. When actual dates are known all members will be notified immediately.
Photographs of the exhibition are now available and may be obtained from Douglas Walters at Guildford. Proofs are now circulating exhibitors, but Mr Walters tells me that the response has not been too good. Mr. O’Brien, who is the photographer concerned, did an excellent job with these proofs and asked for no charge whatever for this duty. We do hope that all members will avail themselves of this kind offer and to anyone who is unable to see the show, or has a picture on display, these photographs will be found very attractive indeed. Prices range from 3/6d to 12/—d each.
Noel Malyn is to take over the editorship of the journal and members are asked to send their articles, letters, thoughts, etc., for inclusion in our OCTOBER edition, direct to Mr.Malyn, *** Snell Road, Lewisham, London.S.E.13.
Have you yet given your opinion on the use of DYED VENEERS? If not, please send in your views on this matter as soon as possible. An article covering this subject, complete with an analysis of member’s opinions will appear in our next journal.
Due to the heavy pressure of society business and membership matters, it has not been possible to edit and include the proposed instalment of our suggested comprehensive course on Marquetry, that of Equipment. This will, however, appear in our next publication.
“C 0 M M E N T S” (continued)
The Annual General Meeting has been arranged to take place in Birmingham on Sunday, 30th August 1953. Mrs. Stenning, the Birmingham District Secretary tells me that everything is now being arranged and that a light tea will be available to all members attending. This is to be prepared by the Birmingham District Members themselves and the estimated cost for both the rooms and tea is 3/6d per head. In order that final arrangements may be made, members are asked to notify Mrs. Stenning, *** Birchfield Rd, Perry Barr, Birmingham, of their estimated time of arrival at the Birmingham stations. Arrangements will then be made to have arriving members met at these stations by members of the Birmingham District Group. A mark of identity should be worn, and it is suggested that a piece of BLUE RIBBON worn on the coat lapel would suffice.
No further information has been received by the society regarding the National competition staged by Handicrafts of Peterborough. We are sure that members desiring further information regarding this will be given all the necessary details on application to Handicrafts, Peterborough.
The article featured by Popular Handicrafts last month has brought enquiries streaming into headquarters. Members will note that the design shown in this article was first issued by the society in October 1952.
Members are asked to contribute whatever they can for publication in the journal. It is thought likely that some members are reluctant to send in their articles in case they have included something in error. In order to increase the flow of material submissions, it is suggested that member’s articles will be checked and cleaned up by the magazine editor where necessary. This means that any obvious errors will not appear in print and so there is now no reason at all why all members should not contribute something to the journal. Members not feeling capable of sending in an article are asked for hints, tips, suggestions, etc., etc., which all go to make THE MARQUETARIAN the most up-to-date publication concerning the craft of marquetry.
LONDON GROUP REPORT by Noel Malyn
Since the last issue of the Marquetarian we are happy to report that we have been able to obtain premises in Central London at ***, Hop Gardens (just off St. Martins lane, Charing Cross).
We held our first meeting at our new home on the 7th May, 1953, and had the attendance of 15. After our previous unsatisfactory mode of meeting it was a pleasure to gather away from the “madding crowds”.
The larger part of this first meeting was spent in getting our house in order, appointing a small working committee, deciding on our aims and our programme for the future.
It was generally agreed that we should aim at financial self sufficiency so that we do not become a drain on Headquarters funds for such items as stationery, etc. With this in mind it was agreed that members should pay a regular subscription each meeting which would pay our rent and leave a little towards the creation of a working fund.
Members also agreed unanimously that any provincial member in London, whilst we are holding meetings, would be very welcome to come along to our gathering as guests. We are having a recess in the summer but shall be recommencing regular fortnightly meetings on the 10th September 1953, and we sincerely hope that any members passing through London will look us up. At this point I should like to point out that new members in the London Area can write to C. Penny, Hon. Group Secretary, ***, College Gardens,, E.4.,, for details of the group meetings, etc.,,
Up to the date of writing we have held three meetings at our new abode and all members are unanimous in their feelings that they have been most enjoyable and instructive. At one meeting C. Penny gave a demonstration on cutting a picture which was voted to be particularly interesting and useful. Comment was Invited and the demonstrator was asked to answer some very searching questions, all of which he satisfactorily disposed of. At our last meeting we held a discussion on the use of coloured veneers and arguments waxed furiously. Although the voting was almost entirely against the use of coloured veneers, we decided that the Hon. General Secretary should be notified of the actual number of votes cast for and against, and the Hon. Group Secretary was instructed to do this.
LONDON GROUP REPORT (continued)
Forthcoming attractions include lectures on the art of drawing and composing a picture to be given by J. Brand; on French Polishing by E. Vickers, and an evening spent on picture criticism when each member will be asked to bring along a partly finished or finished picture.
It might be of interest to other groups to know that the policy of inviting interested guests along to group meetings has introduced two new members into the society this way.
We are very keen to get into contact with groups bordering on London with a view to exchanging lecturers during the next winter season. We should pay the travelling expenses of incoming lecturers and would of course expect that the same facility would be extended to any of our group visiting another group to give a lecture.
In conclusion we would like to extend our sincere greetings to the new groups which have been formed in the last few months.
BIRMINGHAM GROUP REPORT by Mrs Stenning.
Whilst we in Birmingham were delighted to read of the history of the formation of the London Group, we felt we should like to record the formation of a group in Birmingham.
Unfortunately, we cannot boast even half the London membership, which we believe is now over the twenty mark, but we are hoping as the second largest city in England, our Group will one day be likewise.
The first of our fortnightly meetings was held on the 20th May, and whilst we are not so fortunate as London in having an expert on veneers, we can boast three members who excel in sketching.
In Birmingham, we are fortunate in being near the Cotswold country and one idea we have is to arrange a coach tour, complete with cameras, with a view to collecting material for our future marquetry.
QUI LABORAT ORAT
There are some that pray by the printed book,
And some by the heart alone,
And some that pray by the work of their hands,
And carve their prayers in stone:
Though he be not wise that handleth the plough,
And giveth his hefers their food,
If his heart is set on the furrows he ploughs,
Then the prayer of his hands is good
The smith, and the cunning worker in iron,
Therein is their hearts desire,
The heat of the furnace may waste their flesh,
And they wrestle with flame of the fire
Though their hearts be set on the things they wrought,
And there be no word on their tongue,
Though the noise of their hammer be in their ears,
‘Tis a hymn that their hands have sung.
By such, as the son of Syroch saith,
The city is built and stayed,
The work of their craft shall speak for them,
In the things that their hands have made;
For in every beam that he sets aright,
And in every stone he lays,
if his heart be pure and his hand be sure.
The labourer kneels and prays.
MARQUETRY SOCIETY AWARD WINNERS
BEST IN THE WHOLE EXHIBITION.
1. ‘Spiral Staircase’ — by Cliff Penny of London.
2. ‘PeveriI Castle’ - by A.Addington of Romford.
3. 'Grange in Borrowdale’ — by T.L.Hawkes of Manchester.
CLASS A. COMMERCIAL SETS AND DESIGNS — BEGINNERS ONLY.
1. ‘The Huntsman’ — by E.O.G.Batchelor—Williams of Rushden.
2. ‘Mallard in Flight’ by L. Hesketh of Liverpool.
3. ‘York Shambles’ - by L. Hesketh of Liverpool.
CLASS B. REPRODUCTIONS - ALL MEMBERS.
1. ‘Spiral Staircase’ - by Cliff Penny of London.
2. ‘Peveril Castle’ - by A. Addington of Romford.
3. ‘Eileori Castle — by G. C. Elliott of Pinner.
CLASS C. ORIGINAL DESIGNS — AMATEUR MEMBERS ONLY.
1. ‘Grange in Borrowdale’ — by T.L.Hawkes of Manchester.
2. ‘Cotswold Scene’ — by T.W.G.BaII of Camborne, Cornwall.
3. ‘Alpine Villas’ - by M.W.A.Wright of Nottingham.
CLASS D. ORIGINAL DESIGNS — PROFESSIONAL MEMBERS ONLY.
1. ‘Cornish Coast’ — by G.CElliott of Pinner.
2. ‘Marsden Inn’ A.H.Starling of South Shields.
No third award presented — Competition Rule No.10 applied.
CLASS E. SET PIECE (OLD ENGLISH HALF’ TIMBERED BUILDINGS) - ALL MEMBERS
1. ‘Country Cottage’ — by Cliff Penny of London.
2. ‘Wordsworth Cottage — by T L. Hawkes of Manchester.
No third award presented — Competition Rule No.10 applied.
CLASS G. APPLIED MARQUETRY — ALL MEMBERS.
1. ‘Pinnochio’ — by H.O. Wagg of Southsea,
No second or third award presented — Competition Rule No.10. applied.
OUR FIRST EXHIBITION by Douglas Walters
The foyer of the Odeon Cinema in Guildford, is beautifully veneered in walnut, and it was against this background that the entries for our first exhibition were most advantageously displayed end most expertly judged.
Those of our members who were able to visit the exhibition will I am sure, agree that the standard of all the work submitted was exceptionally high indeed, this is amazingly substantiated by the fact that it took the judges two and a half hours to reach their decisions on the best entries shown. The classes under which the entries were displayed were very comprehensive and clearly indicated to the public who prior to the exhibition on the whole were unaware that such a craft as Marquetry existed; what excellent results could be obtained by beginners, and how with practice, imagination and general good taste these first attempts could pave the way to the production of what can only be called masterpieces, of which there were many on show.
When the idea of an Annual Exhibition was first discussed, its possibilities were unlimited but also unpredictable. It was impossible to estimate the number of exhibits we might get, but as I had already had the offer of the Odeon Cinema at Guildford it was decided to go ahead. It was obvious that an absolute minimum of fifty entries would be essential in view of the size of the Cinema’s foyer and many anxious moments were experienced before that figure was reached and then - more than doubled. There can only be praise for all exhibiting members for their great interest and industry without which the exhibition could never have succeeded, and it is hoped that the final figure of 117 entries will prove to be an encouragement to all members who were unable to exhibit this year to rally round and double our success next time.
Let me give you a brief picture, for the benefit of members who were unable to visit the exhibition, of its setting and layout. The Cinema’s spacious foyer, rectangular in shape was ideal for our purpose; approached by a broad flight of stairs and of necessity punctuated by various exit and entry doors. It nevertheless possessed empty hanging and table space. The walnut veneered walls were relieved by projecting horizontal bands of sycamore from which the pictures were hung, and the table exhibits were shown to advantage in the body of the foyer. These .......
OUR FIRST EXHIBITION (continued)
table exhibits consisted of stands sent by two prominent handcrafts firms and a local firm showing marquetry materials; another table exhibit showed the step by step assembly of a piece of work from the original drawing to the completed, polished and framed marquetry picture and the tools and materials required; and lastly but by no means least, an exhibit by the boys of Radford School, Nottingham This last mentioned exhibit; deserves special mention in this report, it was made by a group of boys all under 15 years of age, who exhibited not only their very excellent completed pictures, but a most original display of homemade tools and examples of their first exercises in cutting straight lines and curves altogether an excellent effort
This then was our first exhibition, scheduled to run for a fortnight but by virtue of its great appeal to the local public extended for a further week, and during this time seen by many thousands of people. During its run a prominent member of the Odeon organisation, intrigued by the originality and popularity of the exhibition, paid it a visit, as a result of which a tour is being organised by him for the entire exhibition to visit Odeon and Gaumont cinemas in many parts of England. The tour is to commence in September which is the peak cinema season and will continue for a period of about six months. Details are now being worked out for the routing and transport of the exhibition, which of course needs very careful planning, but it has already been decided that the tour will commence in Kensington, London, and finish in Manchester. We are very grateful for this opportunity of showing such a large public the results of our labours and hope that it will attract many new members to the Society.
The actual staging and “packing up” of the exhibition entailed a lot of hard work and I received most able and generous support from a gallant group of members who gave much of their valuable spare time to help in the “behind the scenes” tasks, and to whom I extend my thanks. It only remains for me to offer the most sincere thanks on behalf of the Society to the many people who gave this venture their support and assistance without which we should have been severely handicapped: to Mr. Rowling, the Manager of the Odeon Cinema, Guildford (whom we are glad to welcome as the first Vice-President of the Society) for his kind offer of the foyer of his cinema and for his untiring enthusiasm and energy displayed during the exhibition; to the three judges who gave such careful consideration and showed such a great interest in their onerous ......
OUR FIRST EXHIBITION (continued)
task – Dr. R. M. Graham-Pole, Mr L. R. Garrett and Mr R. W. Smoothey; to the Society members who very kindly made posters and advertisements for the exhibition, to Handicrafts Ltd, Fred Aldous Ltd, and James Rogerson Ltd for their excellent and most helpful exhibit, and finally to a number of local people, who although in no way connected with the Society gave such willing and indispensible assistance In the form of transport, materials etc
We can justifiably say that we have been successful in this our first exhibition, and we can look forward with confidence, benefitting by our mistakes and shortcomings of this year, to ever greater success in the future.
To Douglas Walters - THE MARQUETRY SOCIETY is indebted to your wonderful organisation of this marvellous show. May I offer my sincerest gratitude. Editor.
ADMINISTRATION and its DIFFICULTIES
by Jack Cox.
With a membership of 154, we are at present experiencing growing pains In order to remedy this defect which has been caused by the expansion of our ranks over a wide areas, it is suggested that the administration centres of the Society be placed in various regions or areas, under which directions would be issued to district level, and all matters of Society principle; would be directed from the Society Head quarters here at Dukinfield.
This method is simply the decentralisation of all documentation and local business matters from Headquarters, and it is to be carried out to give me more time to devote to the expansion and progress of the Society. Whilst I am continually receiving queries from all over the country, and indeed from places overseas, I am forced to deal with these matters direct and so am tied down for most of the time to routine work.
With the establishment of these regional offices it would enable me to pass on all queries from that area to the Regional Secretary, who would in turn have all the relevant documentation to hand for forwarding to the interested person. Gradual expansion cannot come at a national level and must be guided by the conception of these regional departments. It is after all, the work done at the district and regional level which will bring the Society more to the notice of the man in the street.
This has been my aim for a long time now, and I only hope that members will offer me their assistance in this great work. 154 members in less than one year is a wonderful achievement and to my mind we shall grow and expand with ever increasing rapidity. Marquetry is the greatest craft in the world, and slowly but surely the world is beginning to realise this fact. Supplies are now ‘Number One’ with handicraft organisations and none can truthfully say just how popular the craft really is. It has most certainly surpassed the Aeroplane and fretsaw crazes of many years ago, and it is now our duty to build the Society on a strong and reliable basis, slowly but surely making the hobbyist into the craftsman.
I am setting out the lines of the plan for decentralisation and I hope as I have said above, that members who feel themselves able to cope with such an office, and I can assure them that the duties will be by no means light, will write to Headquarters offering their services.
Regional Offices are suggested in the following localities .....
ADMINISTRATION and its DIFFICULTIES (continued)
Scottish Region (All Scotland), Northern Ireland Region, North Eastern Region (Northumberland Durham and Yorkshire), North Western Region (Cumberland, Westmorland,Lancashire and Cheshire) Welsh Region, Midland Region (Shropshire, Staffs, Leicestershire, Northants, Warwick, Leicestershire and Herefordshire), Mid-Eastern Region (Derbyshire, Notts Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, and Huntingdonshire ), South Eastern Region including LONDON (Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk ), Southern Region (Wiltshire, Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Sussex, and Kent), South Western Region ( Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and Gloucestershire ).
The overseas membership will continue to be dealt with direct from Headquarters until the eventual formation of National Groups in foreign countries. The boundaries of these regions to be determined by the County boundaries. Each region to be under the administration of a Regional Secretary. Members at their choice may be administrated under the region which contains their home or work town, whichever they consider the most convenient.
The duties of the Regional Secretaries would be as follows:—
a) The administration of their regions under the direction of the General Secretary and the Executive Committee.
b) To maintain records of regional membership, subscription, renewal dates etc., also records of any special qualifications (e.g. Lecturer ) held by members or interested persons within the region.
c) Regional Secretaries to be empowered to appoint Assistant Secretaries and/or District Secretaries to run local groups within the region. Such appointment, to be notified immediately to Headquarters.
d) The collection and renewal of subscriptions within the region, the appointment of Regional Treasurer in regions where this is considered necessary. Such monies should be forwarded without delay to the Honorary General Treasurer.
e) The colIection of material for the journal and the forwarding of same in bulk, typed if possible, to the Editor. Quarterly report required for journal.
ADMINISTRATION and its DIFFICULTIES (continued)
f) The collection of motions, proposals etc from the regional membership for discussion at General Meetings or for approval by the Executive Committee, to be forwarded direct to Headquarters.
g) Request for allocations from Society funds to be referred to the Honorary General Secretary before any liability can be incurred. It is hoped that eventually petty cash grants may be made to Regional Offices to meet the expenses incurred in normal working.
h) All questions relating to the policy of the Society to be referred to the Executive Committee via the Honorary General Secretary at Headquarters, except where such queries may be answered by rule quotation.
i) To promote, stimulate and expand regional interest in the craft and Society.
j) To work in conjunction with other regional secretaries for the purpose of recruitment etc? and to assist other regions during times of illness etc.
Every effort will be made to supply Regional Secretaries with complete documentation etc., and the Society will acknowledge Regional Offices as vital parts of the Society management. It is considered that Regional Secretaries should constitute part of the Executive Committee along with the National Officers and in this manner greatly assist the normal expansion of THE MARQUETRY SOCIETY. Regional Committees under the direction of the Regional Secretary may be formed where possible.
It is considered likely that these committees would consist of District Secretaries within the region concerned, thereby giving the whole country a network of communication and contact.
MARQUETRY in HOSPITAL by Jack Cox.
I am sure that all marquetarians appreciate fully the tremendous appeal the craft of marquetry holds, but nowhere can this beneficial nature be more worth-while than in the Occupational Therapy Departments of our large hospitals.
Whilst we ourselves seek from marquetry pleasure and enjoyment, and indeed a realisation of the true artistic creation, the Occupational Therapist is slowly beginning to realise that in this craft there lies unlimited hope for the readjustment and re-shaping of lives shattered by illness or disease. It is this unique quality of intense satisfaction, coupled with a natural desire to create a thing of beauty, having a character extremely individual in aspect, which makes marquetry so much more than a hobby.
A person who is unfortunately struck by illness of a serious nature must necessarily lose some part of his natural desire to continue living, which makes the usually hard way of life a most worthy and satisfying condition. To lose interest in life, under a handicap of a severe illness must make the task of the doctor extremely difficult, for all the medical aids know at present to this modern world cannot hope to defeat the apathy of the patient himself. Therefore it is apparent that something must be offered the patient which will rekindle his urge to appreciate the condition of life which illness has torn from him.
This treatment, which is more so a mental readjustment than a physical one, can bring about the necessary response from the patient against which medicine struggles in vain.
The introduction of marquetry to hospital patients is the most wonderful thing that could have happened, for in the practise of this delightful craft, the patent is taught to appreciate once again his natural creative ability. When he begins to understand that he can, even in his state of illness, still do creative work of such a satisfying nature, he must of necessity, urgently desire to get well once more. It is obvious that the difficult part of this form of treatment is the initial stage of introduction, but I am certain that if the task is preformed in a correct manner, a good percentage of the patients will accept it. I am deeply interested in this aspect of the craft for no tribulations great enough can be paid to such work.
MARQUETRY KITS by Jack Cox
it is agreed that the sale of Marquetry kits have popularised marquetry all over the country, but whilst these sets do bring to the notice of many people the existence of such a hobby, they do very little to advance the hobbyist into the craftsman.
Commencing marquetry at the kit stage can be rather expensive and it is not until one becomes aware of the fact that they can purchase their materials very cheaply from recognised suppliers, that this point is appreciated. Of course, the greatest drawback to all marquetarians is the designing of their pictures and until one masters the art of making a good marquetry design, they tend to fall back on the purchase of kits and accept them as ‘ready to—make’ equipment. I do most heartily agree, that to one who cannot sketch or draw reasonably well, the question of preparing their own designs, is quite a problem. To overcome this failing, for after aIl, designing is an integral part of the craft, I would suggest that members try their hand at reproductions.
I am not going to lay down the methods, which are many and varied, but if you have never tried to adapt a picture from a magazine, book or post card scene, then I would suggest that you make an attempt straight away.
The practise of marquetry is absorbing but until you are prepared to do the job in its entirety, then you will not derive the complete satisfaction which is so unique in this delightful craft. The aim to
create a ‘picture-inwood cannot be achieved if the craftsman is tied to using a few woods and as to follow the lines of someone else’s design You are aiming to create a thing of beauty with your own hands and might I emphasise, WITH__YOUR_OWN_MIND it is what you are creating yourself which holds the key to the question 'What is the fascination of this craft?’ I do admit that to make up a picture from even a commercial set or to follow the lines of a commercial designs hold some of the attractions inherent in marquetry but untiI you have tried and achieved self creation you have not sounded the true depths of marquetry.
I always maintain that the true craft of marquetry is the ‘looking’ into the—woods’ part. Searching each piece of veneer to find out just what the grain, shade and figure will give to a picture, and visualising how, when and where you can use that particular piece of veneer and to ........
MARQUETRY KITS (continued)
what effect. Seeing a perfect bush formation in a piece of walnut burr or seeing a cloud formation in a piece of sycamore are but two of the wonderful opportunities which present themselves to the craftsman. There are many, many ways in which the marquetarian adapts his own views to this craft and it is only when he is thinking and searching all the time, that the true craftsman attains his acme of success.
To those of our membership who are still in the ‘kit’ stage, I would say ‘You are most unfortunates for you have not as yet tasted the true fruit of marquetry. Until you strive forward into the field of self—creation, you cannot understand the perfection of our Marquetry kits make hobbyists — self—creations make craftsmen
To be introduced to the craft through the medium of kits is one thing, but to never advance beyond the ‘kit’ stage s most unfortunate. Do try to become self—creative, forsake the easy way and begin to really enjoy your craft.
TIMBER IDENTIFICATION by Cliff Penny
MANSONIA — West Africa Varies in colour, yellowish brown to dark brown, sometimes violet, dependant how long exposed to light. Grain is very close and smooth in texture Not particularly useful for picture work as it lacks life or movement in its plainness. There is a tendency to streak on receiving polish which seems to bring out something in the wood.
MAPLE — Canada and America. A clean silky white timber, most attractive, with the figured type very useful for sky—line effects.
Cuts well, but is inclined to turn creamy with exposure to the light. The bolder figured type coming from the Pacific coast of Canada is better known as Quilted Maple and is a beautiful and delightful veneer.
MAPLE - Queensland Extremely light brown to pinkish shade, is hard and clean looking. The ‘butty’ type is far the best to use for marquetry as it is deeper in colour going to a warm chocolate and if obtainable with a mottle in it, is extremely usefuI
NEW GUINEA WALNUT — New Guinea. It is also known as Paldao. A nice veneer, light and dark shades of fawn, generally streaked with black. It is lustrous, has a close grain with a beautiful sheen, easily cut, and very useful in marquetry.
SILKY OAK - Australia. Pinky red in colour with large white flecks but is tough end hard to cut. Waxy to the touch it is most attractive when bleached. Very useful for picture work.
OBECHE - West Africa. Probably one of the best known woods to most people whether beginner or experienced but has many names dependent on the locality of growth. Gold Coast variety is called Wawa Nigerian, Arere, and French West African type Ayous. It is a pale yellow in colour, soft and particularly easy to cut. Light in weight with a usually straight and stripy grain. Mostly used for plywood core-work and interior work in furniture. Very useful in manquetry.
TIMBER IDENTIFICATION (continued)
OLON — West Africa, Belgian Congo, Portugese West Africa. Not well known but can be used extremely well in picture work. A deep yelIow colour varying to a light yellow with a wavy inter-locking grain. Is fairly hard to cut and inclined to be brittle. It is not unlike Avodire in appearance but rather bolder and not so delicate. Very useful.
PEARTREE — Europe. Perhaps one of the oldest timbers to be still used for marquetry. Was used extensiveIy hundreds of years ago for inlay and carving. Pale pink in colour and plain. Cuts well and is excellent to polish
ITEMS FOR SALE
VENEERS FOR SALE: Bundles of mixed offcuts 5/—d: 7/6d: 10/—d: 15/-d: 20/-d: plus postage.
Each leaf identified if requested. If desired settlement can be made AFTER receipt of parcel, if not satisfactory, members can return parcel “no sale”. C. Penny, ***, College Gardens, North Chingford, London,E.4.
STRAIGHT GRAINED MOUNT VENEERS FOR SALE: Ideally suitable for mounts, surrounds etc. for pictures, firescreens, tabletops, etc., ENGLISH OAK - DARK AUSTRALIAN WALNUT: 5/-d: 7/6d: 10/-d: and 20/d: Parcels Postage Extra - I/d. and 2/-d. Send cash with order to; T.L.Hawkes, ***, Pridmouth Road, Withington, Manchester. 20.
VENEERS FOR SALE: Walnut, Mahogany, Sycamore, Oak, Beech. Any size cut. All at 6d per square foot, postage and packing extra. Send cash with order to: J. Cox, ***, Oxford Road, Dukinfield, Cheshire.
ITEMS FOR SALE & MISCELLANEOUS (continued)
BASEBOARDS — J.Warkup of Yorkshire says that for his baseboards he always uses two pieces of hardboard cut to identical size and glued together with Casco Glue, smooth to rough side, He places these under pressure for a few hours and has found them very satisfactory indeed, being much cheaper than plywood.
THE CAUL. — Mr. Warkup also says that in reference to Mr. Wright’s article concerning the Caul, he has found that 4” wing—nut bolts do just as well as cramps. It is only necessary to bore a hole near the end of each bearer to receive the bolt.
LETTERS to the EDITOR
***, Tudor Close,
Unfortunately I went to the Handicraft Exhibition in London, and a salesman pressed me, against my better judgement, to buy “Mallards in Flight”. He said it was quite easy. I know now who was right.
I think your articles in the magazine make very good reading, but wish that things mentioned could be clearly explained, so as to be understood by others. Except experienced wood workers, for instance, the words “Caul” and “Cramp” I have to imagine that to mean “cover and compress”.
I should like to know also the best adhesive paper or tape to use for backing veneers.
***, Elmstown Place,
May I say as a rather new beginner to Marquetry, I should like to see published in the journal a few hints suggesting which veneers are suitable i.e. Lobrane for rivers, silky oak for grass etc., I feel that these hints would be appreciated by many new members.
LETTERS to the EDITOR (continued)
***, Katherine Gardens,
Having read and almost fully digested the first copy of the “Marquetarian” may I congratulate you on its presentation and offer one or two what I hope will be constructive criticisms.
It seems to me that the future of the Society lies in the recruitment to its ranks of as many of the ordinary chaps “who dabble a bit” as possible and a more encouraging approach to them would appear to be necessary. The commercial set s the main channel through which new enthusiasts are introduced to the craft and these invariably contain Balsa Wood Cement the use of which seems rather to be frowned upon in your pages. On the matter of expense, my experience is that a 10d tube contains sufficient to complete one large and one small picture, a rate of consumption that cannot in all conscience be called extravagant.
With regard to bubbling or blistering, mainly caused through fairly wide fluctuations in humidity, in the tests I have made, balsa cement has given a better adhesion over a period that most of the other types of hot and cold glues even on some of the more recalcitrant veneers (olive ash comes first to mind) and in conditions varied from quite steamy to relatively dry. The quite disproportionate prominence given to other glues in your pages does not seem to me fair or encouraging to the newcomer with his tube of Balsa Cement and may I, through your columns I hasten to tell them that first class pictures can be produced with this medium so much so in fact that my winning picture in the recent National Handicrafts Exhibition containing over 500 pieces of veneer, was constructed entirely with this cement. This picture now travelled up and down the country under all sorts of conditions and up to the present no sign of blister has become apparent. The proof of the pudding....? Maybe !
***, Kingsbury Road,
One thing that baffles me is the question of cutting curves member states that a good knife should be used but I have seen no mention of a fretsaw with the finest blade obtainable, yet in the books I have bought on Marquetry the use of the fretsaw is very prominent. Could any member enlighten me further please.
LETTERS to the EDITOR (continued)
*** Chester Road,
A minor point of criticism of the journal is the number of spelling mistakes. When I edited a University magazine the reason was usually haste to reach the deadline. No doubt the reason is the same in this case.
Some random thoughts on the society follow.
Divorce of the society from anything “smacking” of commerce I thoroughly condone.
An overseas membership would be an excellent method of exchanging native veneers — similar to the American Society who exchange blocks of native woods with their pen-pals
Judicious honorary membership would be useful in obtaining cheaper and hitherto, unobtainable (e.g. picture moulding), materials for members.
Swann Morton make a surgical scalpel with excellent (for Marquetry) interchangeable blades, Exacto have similar blades but these are heavier, I think, than the surgical blades
J. Eugen Edgar.
The above points regarding spelling etc are appreciated and welcome. In our defence may we say that as we are not professional printers and publishers, we are learning the hard way and trying to make the best of an amateur job.
If there is a printer in our ranks, for the sake of the future of the “Marquetarian” we would be pleased to hear from them.
***, Naylor Avenue,
I think for the sake of beginners there should be some sort of a panel of members so arranged, that learners could be able to have their work forwarded for examination and kindly criticisms exercised on their work, with brotherly advise on how to avoid pitfalls they may have fallen into.
LETTERS to the EDITOR (continued)
As yet I cannot find anyone else in the Canal Zone who plies this ancient and most absorbing and fascinating craft, though in my immediate circle I have aroused considerable interest, many people having vowed to take up the work on their return to the United Kingdom.
Veneers are, of course, unobtainable out here, but I have been fortunate enough to be able to replenish my stocks on my rare visits to England. I look forward to my return to England (alas, not for 18 months) when I may be able to take a more active part.
Rue de Flandre,
I first began marquetry by using the “Marqomaps” and found that it was a very easy way of making a picture.
It is very interesting to start with these maps but unless you have no artistic feeling at all, then I think that you are bound to lose interest as time goes on. I now use designs made from my own pen drawings, mostly of the beautiful city of Bruges and find that my interest is kept very much alive.
In closing I would like to say that any member of our society who intend visiting my country, will receive the most up-to-date information about Belgium should they care to drop me a line
***, Oakhill Road,
I. To obtain a proportionately pleasing border to a picture, the bottom border should be in the ratio of 1½ times bigger than the top border.
2. A mahogany beading dyed with black Indian ink and polished makes an effective finish.
3. Public libraries seem to ignore pictorial marquetry. Has no book of any consequence ever been written on this art?
Ronald W. Greaves.
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