The project will attempt to explore the craft of Marquetry and the potential uses for this within a contemporary visual Art practice. Through research, making and conversation the work will question what it means to work with wood, specifically veneer and associated techniques. The Staffordshire Marquetry group will play a role in the project, sharing guidance and expertise.
I decided to write a final post here. I think the blog has run its course. Continuing to write here might turn a bit counter productive now I've moved away from the intentions that I started with. I dont want to write something that isn't at all interesting for anyone else either. I think there are certain things that you can do with a blog but also things that you can't- so its time for a change.
The project will continue in some form on my own website where some of this work is already posted but I will be writing something to go alongside it. Currently I am chopping up twigs and drawing and although it isn't all about Marquetry- I have that there in the background and will be surfacing again soon I'm pretty certain.
Back to the start
I am thinking now about why I started this project in the first place and all the things I haven’t done or have, inadvertently. One reason I really came to thinking about Marquetry at the beginning quite simply because trees have featured in previous work. I wanted to work with wood and to make a connection to this aspect of nature in some other way than I had before. I suppose taking a more direct approach to a material I hoped to be able to actually make things for a change, develop a skill that was closer to the formal approaches that I had left behind or dismissed during Art College.
I have way too many ideas on how I could develop what I have started and I don’t think trying to slot a very specific and skilful craft into my existing practice was necessarily an easy thing to do. I now have this completely new angle on my work that I am trying to figure out where to place?
I picked up the observer book of trees, an old copy and it was written by the same man who wrote the book on rural crafts that I dipped into at the start of this. I thought it was quite fitting that these two points met without me knowing it and that my interests too haven’t digressed too much either, I think I have kept things relevant even if they didn’t seem so at the time.
Today the National Marquetry Exhibition opens in Stoke on Trent. This is the show of the membership organisation ‘The Marquetry society’ so not something I am exhibiting in. I will however be at the venue tomorrow, hosting an activity based around Marquetry but not the activity itself. By this I mean I am not using actual veneers or making ‘real’ Marquetry but facilitating something to illustrate the principles of the craft using a much quicker and child friendly process.
I have been preparing for this for a while ( it has crept up on me) although various other things have got in the way, but then they always do. So rushing around for materials and collecting together my ideas.
I don’t even know whether I will get to make this entry as the site seems to be down as I write this Saturday May 3rd, which is typical having not added to the blog for a month and now needing to and not being able. (it started working again)
I have prepared lots of Vinyl sticky back veneer effect sheet which will be the main material for the public to work with. Despite being wholly artificial the grains on these different rolls are actually pretty interesting and surprisingly effective. I’ve tried to devise enough activities for different ages, applying different stages of the process of marquetry. Really it’s about looking and working with a grain but I will be looking forward to seeing if it works for a session like this and to get some response. I hope it will be pretty relaxed but it could be a disaster?
Location- The Gladstone pottery museum, Stoke on Trent- 12-4 free entry. Tomorrow May 4th
I only posted once in March, should I feel guilty? I probably wouldn't even be writing this if someone that I know hadn't have got in touch today to say the had looked at the blog.
It was a good prompt anyway.
I am going to be running a workshop in conjunction with the National marquetry exhibition in Stoke next month. This got decided quite last minute and has given me a lot of stuff to think about and organise. This is good and has given me motivation where I was struggling.
I feel like I have made an opportunity for myself which I am pleased about and returned to my original focus of working up to this particular event or at least having something to show for the past few months.