Posts Tagged ‘Marquetry’

Back in February of this year  I wrote here  about a friend telling me of a group of folks at the Corning Senior Center who meet weekly to practice the art of marquetry, the inlaying of wood to create pictures.  He told me that there were some there who regularly copied my work with their work.  I have not had a chance to visit the Center yet but mentioned the marquetry group a couple of weeks ago at my Gallery Talk at the West End Gallery, explaining how flattered I was by this.

Afterwards, a friend in attendance, Kathleen Richardson, said she was in and out of the Center on a regular basis and would check it out.  A few days later Kathleen, who writes a blog called Corning NY Step by Step which documents her discoveries as she walks about the city, posted an article documenting the work of one of the folks who practiced the marquetry of which I had spoke, a woman by the name of Nellie Telehany.

Nellie Telehany at Work

There were several photos showing Nellie at work and a piece in process, including showing how she would transfer the composition from an image printed in the newspaper by tracing it on  an overlaid clear sheet of acetate.  It was great to see how well she captured the essence of the paintings with her work and I have to admit to being very flattered, thinking how neat it is that this piece of marquetry will be around somewhere for many years to come.  If my paintings are my children, then these must be grandchildren. Cheri, my wife, was even more effusive in her praise of the work– more so than she is for my own work!

Thanks, Kathleen, for looking up Nellie at the Senior Center and showing her work on your blog.  And a big thank you to Nellie for making such lovely work from my images.  I love your work and hope you’ll continue.  I look forward to meeting you someday soon and seeing your work.


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I came into the studio this morning and there was an interesting e-mail from Dave Higgins, a friend and one of my favorite artists whose work has been featured here on the blog  a number of times.  He said he visited a Corning senior center where they hold a weekly session to learn and practice the art of wood marquetry, which is creating pictures using thin veneers of woods as the medium instead of paint or pastel.  It requires precise cutting and placement of the wood as well as a keen eye for matching the tones and textures of the scene you are trying to replicate in wood.  It has been around since the 15th century and has reached some pretty spectacular heights.

Dave said that this group of mainly older women  meet every Friday to practice this art and that they use items snipped from the local newspaper as reference material for them to translate into wood.  To Dave’s surprise, it turns out that their favorite subject to copy is my work. 

He told them he knew me and said that they looked suddenly afraid as though they might be in trouble for plagiarizng my work.  He assured them that I would not be upset but would instead get a kick out of it.  He was  right.  I do get a kick out of this and am very honored as well  It’s a sort of affirmation that my work reaches the wide spectrum of people that I hope for it. 

 I had a similar experience a number of years ago when I was contacted by an arts therapist who worked with seniors.  She would take photocopies of  artists’ works and print them in grayscale for her seniors to color and said that my work was the most popular with her seniors.  She said they really responded strongly to the shapes and lines in my work as well as to the colors in the original images.  That was very gratifying.

I hope to someday drop in and see some of these landscapes in wood.  I hope these folks continue to find them inspiring for their own work.  The image at the top is from Bill G. at Colorado Marquetry.  The image below is his translation of the USS Constitution.

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