Wood Veneers, Marquetry & Inlay
The markings of the grain of woods used for furniture is in itself an ornamentation, and many times it is quite sufficient. But to increase its decorative effects veneers cut in various ways are used. A veneer is a thin slice of wood, and in the choice woods of the furniture maker many pieces with rich figures in the grain can be had as veneers that otherwise could not be obtained in shape to use. Then, also, by cutting a log in different ways the beauty of the grain is exposed so that its value is increased.
The veneers are not always used entire like so many boards. They are sometimes cut in geometrical patterns varying in size, and the pieces placed side by side in such a manner that the grain of adjoining pieces runs in different directions, thus covering the surface with an almost inconspicuous diaper pattern.
In this method of using veneers but one kind of wood is required, though at times two or more may be used. When a color effect is wanted marquetry is used introducing the various colored woods, metal, shell, or ivory in the form of ornament on a ground of the wood of which the furniture is constructed.
There are no special difficulties to be avoided in designing patterns for inlay. Almost any ornament that appears well in flat colors will make good inlay, so that the problem is one of designing a conventional ornament suited to decorate the space when rendered in flat colors.
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