Canadian Woodworking

Veneer masterpiece

Author: Rob Brown
Published: October November 2011
Veneer Masterpiece
Veneer Masterpiece

Tim Zhao, from Toronto, spent about 30 hours perfecting his latest masterpiece of marquetry.


If it looks familiar, it’s because he drew heavily from Johannes Vermeer’s masterpiece “Girl With a Pearl Earring” (painted in 1665). According to Zhao, the biggest challenge was with the eyes. “You can find the eyes of the original painting gazing at you, no matter what angle you are looking at her from. It took me great effort to transfer this detail to the marquetry work.” He used variable species of wood, including maple, walnut, cherry, pine, and some dyed veneers, then finished it with an oil and varnish mixture and wax. The only things Zhao would change for next time is the finish; he would opt for French polish instead.

Made by Tim Zhao

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