When asked, “What is Marquetry,” my usual response is, “Painting with wood.” Marquetry uses the natural colors and grain of many different species of wood to create pictures.
Although Beth has been involved in making and demonstrating many crafts, such as sculptured paper lamp shades, cold water lye soap, and kaleidoscopes, her first love is marquetry, which she was introduced to more than 40 years ago.
She was fascinated with the way the intricate patterns in the pictures were made using the myriad of colors and grains of the natural woods. For many years, marquetry was just a dream, but about 20 years ago she had the opportunity to begin learning, which she took and has never looked back. Over the years, she has had the opportunity to work with and learn from many masters of marquetry, some of whom are known internationally. She continues to learn and develop her techniques.
Beth has been a member of the Village of Yesteryear at the NC State Fair since 1969 and participates in several other shows each year. The Village is a group of craftsmen who are required to demonstrate and show their craft/art during each year’s Fair. She has been demonstrating marquetry for several years at the NC State Fair.
In her studio-workshop in Hillsborough, NC, Beth makes each marquetry picture individually, so there will never be two that are alike. She uses a manual fret saw to cut each piece of the picture out of veneer which is 1/26th to 1/42nd of an inch thick. She prefers using only the natural colors of the veneers, using dyed woods very sparingly. As they are cut, the pieces are assembled similar to a jigsaw puzzle. Once the picture is completed, veneer is used to self-frame the picture and it is applied to a stable core, which is also covered by veneer. It is then sanded and a protective finish is applied.
Beth welcomes questions about her work and also visitors to her shop by appointment. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.