I was wandering in the Alhambra complex in Granada Spain last year when I chanced on Laguna Taller de Taracea, a store and workshop offering splendid items for sale that were decorated with marquetry. Marquetry is a design applied as a veneer that’s made up of different types of wood, ivory, bone, and metal. The pieces are combined to form intricate geometric designs. It’s usually applied to furniture, frames and boxes.
I was watching a demonstration of the process when someone in the crowd remarked that it must take a great deal of patience to cut out all those tiny pieces and fit them into the design. “Not so,” replied the craftsman. He held up an object which I immediately recognized as a cane.
After the demonstration was over, I hung around to take some close up pictures of canes and some work in progress.
We polymer clayers have it drilled into our heads that we adapted the caning we use in our work from glass millefiori. But canework is also a hallmark of marquetry, and the style of marquetry found in Granada and the south of Spain follows in the tradition of Islamic geometric patterns and stays away from the figurative images you are more likely to see in European marquetry.
Here are some more pictures of the process and a video.
As for me, I am continuing with the caning challenges put out by the Southern Connecticut Polymer Clay Guild and will let you see what I make in future posts.