The Faces of Marquetry

Article ImagePicture by Bartee Lamar

Historically, when woodworkers speak about marquetry it brings
to thoughts the followers, shells, and different motifs—some plain, some
fancy—used to brighten interval furnishings. Take it right down to its
most simple definition and marquetry is about making footage
out of veneer. Take it to a different dimension fully, and also you
get Rob Milam’s portraits.

Rob grew up in a woodworking house. His father, Jim Milam, is a
interval furnishings maker beneath whose affect his son developed
a deep love for wooden and an understanding of what could be achieved
with it. “My father has been an distinctive furnishings maker
practically his complete life. He is aware of wooden and his instruments properly, however
his most precious work trait is that he likes to be taught, and
he’s not happy if he’s not studying.”

Through the years, Rob has frolicked as a homebuilder, remodeler,
carpenter, and furnishings maker. Nevertheless it was when he found
marquetry that he discovered his artistic area of interest.

Guild-2017-02 044Picture by Bartee Lamar

It began when he occurred to see of a portrait
in Silas Kopf’s guide, A Marquetry Odyssey.  “My
wheels began turning as quickly as I noticed it. I instantly started
work on a portrait of my son, and as I labored out the design
for that piece, I started to see that the human face can be a
worthy topic to discover depth and light-weight worth. I used to be hooked,
partly as a result of it introduced a problem, and partly as a result of it
is a departure from the standard material for marquetry

Portrait marquetry blends two crafts that Rob enjoys:
pictures and woodworking.

“I search for (or shoot) a photograph with a lightweight high quality that’s
appropriate for my functions,” Rob says. “In most of my items,
every number of veneer is used to characterize one gentle worth.
Any greater than seven gentle values provides pointless element and
may even detract from the specified impact. A few of my favourite
items are those who have solely three or 4 veneers.”

Milam Girl1

It’s painstaking work, however in the end price it. “It’s a thrill
when the shellac goes on a chunk of marquetry and the colours
pop. The feel and colour is exclusive in every bit of veneer,
and the contrasts from one piece to the subsequent are all the time
thrilling to me as they reveal themselves.”

Sometimes, his portraits are small, no greater than 20 in. in
the longest dimension. Some are private, of his kids. Some
are commissions. And generally this Georgia woodworker will
create a marquetry image just because he sees a photograph that
speaks to him. On his website is one in all Bobby
Cox, the previous supervisor of the Atlanta Braves, mouthing off
when an umpire ejected him from the sport. “I discovered that photograph
on the web,” Rob says.


At the moment Rob does his marquetry portraits in his “spare” time.
Three kids and a full-time job take an enormous chunk out of that
obtainable time. However he’s not ruling out a full-time transfer to
marquetry if the chance ever arises.

For extra of Rob Milam’s work, take a look at his website.

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