Hawaii marquetry class

The two, 2-day Hawaiian Marquetry Classes in Oahu and on the Big Island had an interesting blend of traditional and contemporary woodworkers, ukulele makers, with a few attending from different countries.  All are in love with Hawai’i, and cherish using the beautiful indigenous woods that grow on the islands. It is an expensive place to live, and most items that we mainlanders find easily and take for granted, are hard to obtain, or cost a fortune to ship. (even veneer!!)

The objective of this 2-day class was to cut local wood into shop-sawn veneer, and create marquetry using the packet cutting technique normally reserved for thinner 1/42” veneer. This together with other tools and supplies found at local hardware stores, marquetry was made, and quite nicely I might add !

I am certain we shall see some great marquetry at the annual Hawaii Woodshow 2014 !



Hawaii Woodshow 2013

The 2013 Hawaii Woodshow opening night was well attended, had over 80 pieces of excellent work, a lot of sales that night, and ohhhh… the beautiful woods they use!

check this link out…  http://woodshow.hawaiiforest.org/


AWFS 2013 in Las Vegas !



After the tour of old haunts and the older shops in Europe and finishing the trip with a presentation to the UK Marquetarian society, we returned from record heat in sweltering London, to more hot weather in Las Vegas. The AWFS show was good, attendance up slightly from the year before, more sales with optimism that was apparent. The first 4 hour session on Marquetry (of course) and a four-hour presentation on vacuum forming and laminating. This subject of vacuum is becoming more relevent in my shop for cutting edge new work, such making dresses for this bustier top, or the pod cabinet that was done my infusing epoxy into a form to create the staves. More to come !!

This 6’ diameter piece is an dynamic display cabinet, featuring ten articulated nestling doors made of epoxy infused fiberglass, compound curved doors, brushed black oak shelves and gold plated steel hardware. One finger operation.

MASW class Oct.1-7 2012 for ‘Cabinets as Fine Furniture’

The Class at Marc Adams School of Woodworking on Oct 1. -7, 2012 was an action packed event, with 18 students cranking out an original cabinet/jewelry box with a curved front panel with veneer or marquetry, anywhere between 30” and 60” high. Quite an accomplishment for all 18 students, some of which had never done marquetry, or even cabinetry before. The work was fast paced, with 3 full size vacuums presses running curved work for three days straight, joining machines and hand tools everywhere. The pressure was on by Thursday and the school looked pretty trashed by Friday, and allmost everyone completed what they set out to do, with an astonishing range of marquetry designs, which you can see here…

             I enjoyed the 7 days of teaching, seeing all the different ways something can be done, along with the challenges of solving some of the most vexing problems and high stake dilemmas presented during the week, It was quite invigorating, inspiring and exhausting. However, great fun was had, wood chips, dust was made, and everyone cranked out some impressive stuff. I look forward to teaching here again in 2014 after my sabaticle ! 

Mike Harrinton finished his cabinet first and sent me his pic…… Karillian Birch, Mahogany with a Cherry framework. Very nice!!



An Amazing Class in Arizona!

I taught a 5-day workshop in Phoenix this past March for the Arizona Association of Fine Woodworkers, and it was a hit. It got a great write-up on Paul-Marcel’s Half-Inch Shy blog that was excerpted in the AZ Association’s “Woodchips Newsletter” in April, along with a bunch of really excellent testimonials and some class photos.

The first project was a marquetry panel based on one of several patterns he brought to class. These are simple as far as marquetry projects go since the petals can have some cut drift or over-shading and still look pretty good.
While simple, the project takes you on a fast tour of everything needed for marquetry: 4-way bookmatch background, mitered filetti (the border), packet cutting all the part veneers at once, sand shading to express a light source, and all that is involved in assembly, gluing, repairing, sanding, and finishing. By the way, ‘fast’ is appropriate: Paul keeps a very good pace; nobody gets left behind, but you won’t find yourself yawning much either. Very much appreciated.

You can view and download the 6-page PDF here:

I found Paul’s class everything that I expected and much more. He shared a wealth of information over the 5 days of the class and when I finished , I had created two panels that I would never have thought I could produce.” Jack L.

This was the best hands on workshop I’ve ever attended. Period. Paul was extremely knowledgeable and, importantly, very willing to deal with each of us at our own skill level. This individual one-on-one attention was important to each of us to get the most from the workshop.” Steve R.


In other news:

  • Fine Woodworking #227 just published a great article about Compass Planes which I did, which is a review of what is available and how to tune an old one one up for that perfect curve. I use mine on almost every project I do! (PDF download requires FW membership)
  • Other than one scheduled class at Marc Adams, I will be doing limited teaching in my shop in 2013. I will be concentrating on creating more internal content, on projects I am doing here, build out YouTube, document what I am doing. Kind of a creative retreat, work stint,  to return to teaching in 2014 with new energy and new experiences to share.


Arizona Marquetry 5-day Seminar

The class filled up the shop at the local Woodcraft Store in Phoenix, and was great!

These guys are an interesting group of woodworkers, and it was my first time working with them. They did so well, and produced a diverse set of panels, all of them excellent and everyone finished, some just in the nick of time! Raul hosted me and cooked great meals, and a past student, Marco , assisted in the classroom, made jokes, running errands and making this tight space workable for all. The people at Woodcraft and I had the tough job of judging the final panels that everyone designed and made, which was interesting given the level of artwork everyone did. The classifications were for the ‘overkill’ (most pieces used), most Challenging, most Humorous, most Unusual (design wise that is) and the best piece overall, which went to the frog on a limb.

Excellent class!


Annual Marquetry Class at my Shop in Santa Barbara CA

The annual class at my shop here in Santa Barbara was quite successful, fun, fast-paced, and productive. Everyone made a couple of pieces, we did a group project, and Randy tackled an intricate ebony table. I have limited this class to 6 people, where we can spread out, and do many different things during the five days.The comments were ‘fast paced’, ‘very informative’, ‘intense’. One of the students, Michael, blogged about the class on the Sawmillcreek.org woodworking forum. Free to sign up, big following with a lot of content….  here is the link to the blog, with a more in depth day-to-day commentary with pics, if you sign up:

Here are a few photos of the week….