Marquetry Videos for the Art Institute of Chicago

In June 2012 Patrick Edwards and myself were asked to demonstrate marquetry technique related to Boulle and Roentgen. The videos can be seen at the Art Institute of Chicago and on Youtube

Patrick Edwards demonstrating Boulle with Gigi He cut the marquetry using a tool called foot saw, fret saw, or vertical chevalet. Details at the end of the post

Completed panels

In the meantime, I worked on demonstrating the technique used in the Roentgen workshop.

We decided to present a gift to the museum’s benefactors who made this videos on trades possible.

So, on the technical question we have been asked regarding the boulle choices. Here is an independent confirmation the foot pedal saw was certainly used in Boulle period from Pierre Ramond latest book on Boulle. Here are couple page of that book on the subject with rough translations

“[…] This scroll saw enables the cutting of big surfaces as it is not limited by a small throat. This system is very old and was used a lot by German marquetry makers and is still in use in the East of France. It was probable that a apparatus of that style was used in Boulle’s workshop.”

“In André-Charles Boulle’s workshop the horizontal chevalet (scroll saw) is the most used. The marquetry packs built with wood, turtleshell, horn, and metals, each layer 1 to 2 mm (1/24 to 1/12 of an inch) thick, are heavy and of large dimensions. They are therefore hard to maintain on a vertical clamp (donkey)”

“The horizontal chevalet, with sliding frame is the scrollsaw ancester. This tool was most probably used under Louis the XIVth to cut Boulle marquetry and painting in wood.”

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