Member Profile – Dave Wanucha

Best I can tell, my interest in woodworking came about through photography.  My interest in photography helped me take the time to appreciate my surroundings including those who are important to me.  But the act of pushing a button and developing film became onerous and unfulfilling.  I wanted a fuller body experience so to speak.  I grew up in the suburbs of Toledo, OH and often visited the art museum, the world-renowned zoo, drove through old neighborhoods with Victorian styled homes, and spent a lot of time outdoors, canoeing down rivers and streams and hiking along forest trails enjoying landscapes and sunsets.  These ramblings and serendipitous encounters piqued my interest in the arts and aroused my creativity.  

Something kept pushing me towards woodworking. My first project 40 years ago was a coffee table made from pine 2x4s and 3/8” lag screws.  It served us well for several years as we moved around from OH, VA and NC, but at some point, it was given to Goodwill Industries. 

Fast forward to 2016 and several more woodworking projects, when my wife requested a linen storage cabinet for our new home.  I thought some, and then settled on quarter sawn, white oak and built a Stickley inspired piece with inlay.  During research for inlay ideas, I came across marquetry tutorials on You-Tube and was smitten.  From there, I bought a few books and eventually found Marquetarians of The Carolinas.   I am self-taught and mostly use the packet method and a scroll saw practicing with pictures, landscapes and portraits. I create furniture and marquetry for family and friends.  It is a hobby that goes well with my other hobby of homebrewing beer.  After a long day in the shop, I sit back and enjoy a homebrew.

There is a lot more to know about marquetry.  I am figuring it out on my own time and in my own way.  I have found club meetings to be extremely helpful in my journey with marquetry.  Meeting and talking with other folks with a passion for marquetry, sharing their work, learning about various techniques—it is all quite enlightening and informative.   For example, I recently learned that there is a difference between #2 and #2/0 skip tooth scroll saw blades.  One is wider and thicker than the other.  I did not know that, I thought they were the same.    

A few references I purchased recently include:  The Art and Practice of Marquetry by William A. Lincoln, 1971; A Marquetry Odyssey by Silas Kopf, 2008; and, The Art of Marquetry by Craig V. Stevens, 1997.  All have been helpful.

Projects in my queue include a master bedroom headboard with matching chest; a Stickley design inspired marquetry medallion inlaid to a turned natural edged oak platter; a “Mountain Majesty” marquetry scene or two to enter the American Marquetry Society contest; and, of course, a Belgian Saison homebrew session to sip on after working on all the projects above.