Process of Marquetry Panel Production

Though we also do hand cut marquetry, the majority of our work is produced through the use of a computer-guided laser cutter.  This allows for very accurate cutting in a variety of different woods as well as other materials, while offering the added benefit of being reproducible.  All work is hand assembled and all pieces are carefully examined for accurate fit.

Choosing the design for marquetry

Designs generated on most professional graphics programs can be imported directly into the illustration software used to drive the laser cutter.  Among the file formats that are supported are DFX and DWG (Autocad files), AI (Adobe Illustrator), and EPS (Encapsulated PostScript), as well as JPG, GIF, and TIFF image files.  Some refinement is occasionally required to ready the image for cutting, and all parts must be offset and trimmed to compensate for the very small kerfs cut out by the laser.  A hand-drawn image, or an image generated from some other media, can be scanned and traced with illustration software to produce the laser-ready design.  The client reviews the translation prior to cutting, and occasionally during the translation process, to clarify the intention of the design.

Choosing the wood veneers

The client identifies the various natural and dyed veneers that will compose the finished panel and notes grain direction for each part. The type of grain (burl, straight, etc.) to be used is also determined at this time.

Cutting and assembling the veneers

At this point we cut the pattern from the various veneers and inspect the individual parts for accuracy as the piece is assembled.  The finished panel is joined together with a tape that can be easily removed after the panel is glued up.  We then provide assembled marquetry sheets to the client for inspection.  These can then be glued to a variety of substrates, such as plywood, fiberboard, and solid wood, in both flat and curved shapes.