Chas Baker's Marquetry Bookmarks
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Bookmark Tutorial
by Chas Baker
   
For some years now I have been making bookmarks between other things of course, but because they give a great deal of pleasure to the recipient, and satisfaction to me to give them, Alan (one of our web sites' editorial team) has asked me to put a few words together describing the techniques required for making them.

I usually start each bookmark project with three pieces of horse-chestnut, or other light veneer, each one being about 19cms long by 4cms wide (that's roughly 7½ x 1¾" inches in imperial measurements).

You will want two pieces with the grain running vertically and one piece, the grain running horizontally. These sizes allow for trimming.

Leaving a space of about 2. 5cms (that's about 1¼" inches) from the top of one piece with vertical grain I put a decorative initial and beneath this I usually put flowers.

My first bookmark was a "P" for Poppy with a spray of Poppies below.

The second piece of veneer (with the grain running horizontally) is glued to the back of the first and then sanded.

The third piece, at the base of which I put my initials in Old English style in black, is glued to the back of the bookmark to make it three veneers thick.

The front and back of the bookmark can then be sanded down until the finished item is quite thin. I then round the top off and make a slot about 5mm by 2mm (approx ¼ x ⅛" of an inch) and loop a narrow ribbon through.

I usually make the finished article 17cms long x 3. 5cms wide (that's approx 6¾ x 1½" inches) and finish with a couple of coats of sealer rubbed down to seal the grain.

Chas Bakers bookmark

Chas Bakers note boxChas's "Jotter Box" which is a
note paper dispenser

The bookmark is something personal which is quite unique and always well received.

I have made them for special birthdays, eg, with '60' added.

Another version was using horse-chestnut for the centre veneer with "I love you" cut in black so that it showed when held to the light, this being for a Valentine gift.

I made the first one of these bookmarks in 1996 and just for fun entered it in our group competition in the 'applied class' and was surprised to be awarded third place and then again repeat the surprise in an inter group competition.

 Chas Baker. 


Thanks for the article Chas, as you said, that's a unique piece of marquetry work!

I have seen these bookmarks of Chas's for real and they are very clever marquetry curios.

I especially like the ones where you can hold them up to the light and read a message through the bookmark - very inventive Chas, well done!
 

 
Musical Jewellery Box
by Chas Baker
 
Not only does Chas make those wonderful bookmarks as presents for friends and family, he also makes some wonderful musical jewellery boxes as well.

Those boxes have always been genuinely respected by the other members of the Redbridge Group and have gained themselves the highest eulogizes whenever they have been shown.

To demonstrate the high quality of Chas's work, we craftily photographed one of them while Chas was chattering away with one of the other Redbridge members in another corner of the room, just so that you could enjoy the work as well as us!.
We will try to get Chas to write an article on making these boxes in the new year, for the time being, please enjoy these pictures:

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A top view of Chas's Musical Jewellery Box
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A view of the box displaying the sides and clasp

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The box with the lid open displaying the jewellery compartments
and the plush lining, with the musical movement section
cunningly concealed in the top right hand corner.

 
Money Boxes & Other Things
by Chas Baker
 
As you've seen on the previous pages of our Chas Baker's marquetry work, Chas is quite a little artist in his own way; with many variables on the marquetry theme.

Money boxes are a favourite theme with Chas, he has made several variations of them for his grandchildren. Silhouettes are another speciality, and Chas is a real champion with these, as you will see from the awards in Chas's Trophy Room.

So, here we are, do enjoy these examples of Chas Baker's work:

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Above: A curved lid musical jewellery box

Right: Inside the curved lid box

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cads_cream_silhouette 
Girl on a Park Bench
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Hanson Cab
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 James' Money Box view 1
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James' Money Box view 2
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Blackboard Money Box view 1
 
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Blackboard Money Box view 2
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Little Miss Money Box view 1
 
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Little Miss Money Box view 2
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Edwardian Lady Silhouette 1
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Edwardian Lady Silhouette 2
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Pretty Lady Silhouette "Angelique"
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Horse Riders Silhouette

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Sail Yacht
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Chas's Trophy Room - with just a few of Chas's many awards
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