This year (2022) I started a new hobby. I am now a marquetry enthusiast (in addition to all of my other craft addictions).
I moved house in 2021 (from the south to the north of England) during the covid lockdowns, so for a very long time I wasn’t able to start any new hobbies that involved seeing real people. But in February 2022 I was wishing for a new group or club to join in Yorkshire, and discovered that Leeds Marquetry Group were restarting their beginners’ sessions that very same week. So I signed up. And it turns out that marquetry is a brilliant pastime for me, because it seems to combine a lot of the skills that I’ve already been building up via my other crafts, over the years.
Through my papercutting experiments I’ve already learned how to use a scalpel to do some very intricate cutting…
…and through my lasercutting artworks I’ve learned some of the characteristics and limitations of working with different types of wood veneers:
So marquetry basically involves a mash-up of my existing craft skills.
The very first project I completed was a Yorkshire Rose coaster:
As with my papercutting projects there are quite a few errors that really jump out at me when I look at this piece, but overall I’m really pleased with it. I designed it myself (starting out with petals that were based on heart shapes) then cut it by hand, and there were some really challenging sections in it.
The best thing about Leeds Marquetry Group is that everyone is so friendly and helpful. In just a few months I’ve learned more about cutting, gluing, sanding and varnishing wood than I could have ever learned from books or the internet. I’m looking forward to learning even more, over the next year.