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Veneers, their descriptions and uses in marquetry by Roy Murton

Here are another twelve veneers I've added to this compendium of descriptions and pictorial representations for you to peruse. Most of the descriptions I use in these pages are based on the viewpoint of the marquetarian rather than scientific descriptive approach. The descriptions are in the main "lightweight" and do not go into the more academic areas of the forestry and timber fraternities. However, if enough visitors to these description pages would like to have access to some deeper and more learned information on the veneers I have been describing, then I shall arrange with our web master and our site editorial team to include some links for you on our "useful links" page. Anyway, back to my descriptions. We have now arrived at veneers numbers 73 to 84 in these listings, which takes us through L into M, so off we go with:

73/. LIME: Tilia Vulgaris. A veneer originating from Europe. A soft and easy cutting veneer that is often used for sky effects, as it is a shade warmer than Sycamore veneer. Excellent for representing limestone walls, flowers, etc. (in my notes it states that it was also known as LINDEN in earlier times)

74/. MAGNOLIA: Magnolia Grandiflora. U. S. A. and Canada. Sometimes called tulipwood although it shouldn’t be confused with tulipwood, it is also known as American whitewood. The latter is the tree from which the veneer known as magnolia is cut but whereas whitewood is a yellow deal the green parts of the tree are given the traditional name “magnolia”. It is greenish brown in colour with lighter green veins. It is a smooth, straight-grained veneer, soft and easy to cut. It is scarce and rather expensive, and is one of the indispensable veneers. Used for grass, foregrounds, foliage and floral subjects where the veins can give realistic effects to the leaves on roses for example.

75/. MAHOGANY AFRICAN: Khaya Ivorensis. West Africa. Red veneer with a lustrous look, it is soft but brittle with a fairly straight grain and a fiddle back effect. Whenever a dash of reddish brown is required in a picture, say for example, a dog by a fireplace, or a woman’s hair, or a hen pecking at seed, or even a house roof then this versatile veneer can be made use of.

76/. MAHOGANY BRAZILIAN: Swietenia Macrophylla. As it's name suggests, this veneer originates in Brazil. This is an orange/brown coloured veneer tending towards tan. It has a mixture of long and short flecks showing in the grain pattern of our example. It would depict a wet sandy beach very well.

77/. MAHOGANY CHERRY: Mimusops Heckelii. Nigeria. This is a fairly close grained chocolate coloured veneer. It cuts nicely without crumbling. It possesses a reasonably uniform colouring.

78/. MAHOGANY CUBAN: Swietinia Mahogoni. As with the Brazilian Mahogany, this Mahogany also originates from the country that bears it's name, that being Cuba. This is another orange/tan coloured veneer with some very useful figuring which could especially be used for things like twilight sky effects.

79/. MAHOGANY HONDURAS: Swietinia Macrophylla. Honduras. Unlike the reddish brown African Mahogany, Honduras has the orange red tone, for which there are a hundred uses in marquetry. Plain Honduras has a long grain effect that is useful in foregrounds, woodland scenes and for the sails of boats. Figures Honduras Mahogany is useful for costume and drapery, floral effects and in conjunction with African Mahogany will achieve light and shade in perspective.

80/. MAHOGANY LIGHT POMMELLE: Entandrophragma Cylindricum. A West African veneer. A light orange, almost gold, easy cutting veneer. It exhibits an almost "pulsating" look that's somewhat reminiscent of starring in the flames of a good old log fire. It could be used to good effect in depicting sky.

81/. MAHOGANY POMMELLE: Entandrophragma Cylindricum. A West African veneer. This is a bronze brown veneer with a distinctive shimmering effect. It possesses a wavy pattern reminiscent of busy water.

82/. MAHOGANY SAPELE: Entandrophragma Cylindricum. A West African veneer. This quarter cut veneer with an interlocked “pencil” stripe grain is probably one of the most popular veneers in marquetry for borders, often cross-banded. Because of its warm red tones, it harmonises equally well with light toned pictures and darker subjects. The light reflections in the striped figuring of this veneer make it ideal for use in cross banding. Apart from this very obvious use of this veneer as already described, sapele can be used to depict rooftops, doors or window frames, furniture, or anywhere where a wooden object has to be featured, or where a touch of red will brighten a picture in the foreground.

83/. MAHOGANY CURL: No Latin name I'm afraid. I'm afraid that I can't find any references to this veneer in my journals, so I'll give you my own thoughts on this veneer. It has stripes of orange and chocolate brown. It cuts nicely. If you are able to find the right piece you could make very good use of it's figuring in your picture.

84/. MAKORE: Mimusops Heckelli. Nigeria. West Africa. Figured Makore, as seen in our example, has a mottled figure best seen in a large veneer leaf. In most small marquetry pictures the effects of this mottle can often be used for depicting Rose petals for example. It is primarily used for its deep red colour, as in sails on yachts, or lips on a portrait, for flowers in a window box, or wherever a touch of red is needed in a picture, as in a red painted door. It is used in a similar manner to Padauk, but it is closer textured and is a much easier veneer to cut.

Well, that's another twelve veneers for you to study. Most of the veneers on this page are of the Mahogany family. It's surprising to see how many variations there are in this species, there are nine on this page alone. The Mahogany's are generally reasonably easy veneers to work with, but as with all other veneers, don't forget to dip the tip of your blade in a piece of wax to lubricate it. The next twelve will take us through to the end of the "M's" which will be including the Maple family of veneers, so, until the next update of these pages, all the best wishes with your marquetry.

Thanks for your interest in these pages, Roy.

Veneer Gallery 1 | Gallery 2 | Gallery 3 | Gallery 4 | Gallery 5 | Gallery 6 | Gallery 7 | Gallery 8

 Veneer Descriptions 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17