Answers to frequently asked questions:
How to define marquetry ?
Marquetry is an art on its own at the same level as painting or sculpting. For me, it is even more complete as it requires an important artistic level as well as a manual know-how which is gained year after year.
How did you come to marquetry ? What was your journey?
I came to marquetry after the painting, as a self taught man. It took me 25 years to arrive at the level where I am now and I still learn more day by day.
I never had any training either in drawing or in marquetry. I have drawn since the age of 10, experimented with all kind of techniques, watercolour, gouache, oils, charcoal, pastel, china ink, sepia etc...
I turned to marquetry because I was fascinated by the wood material, its light and shade, graining, its warmth, its natural side, its gnarl or curl which are already a beautiful work of nature.
Compared to the painting, marquetry is more than applying; it requires a dexterity and constant research, a challenge for each work. And once you start, you can’t stop loving doing it.
Birds seem to be your favourite subject...
Birds are a very interesting subject to treat, they express freedom. But all inspire me, each subject has its own difficulty and realising them requires a lot of observation.
You have made several portraits...
These are subjects with a graphic theme, what interests me the most are the expressions.
What is the origin of your inspiration?
It is multiple: trips, music, nature and encounters of persons, all that is related to the life!!!
Famous painters inspired me too such as RAPHAEL, Michael ANGELO, HESCHER, DELACROIX, Frederick GOODALL, Gustav KLIMT, John Frederick LEWIS, DALI, MODIGLIANI, PICASSO, RENOIR, Graham RUST, Jean-Leon GEROME, Alphonse MUCHA, Eugene FROMENTIN, Etienne DINET...and many more. I can’t quote them all.
What are your main influences?
I don’t have one in particular. I love art in all its forms whether representational or contemporary, all tendencies have their own charm.
Art is a way to express oneself, to provoke shock, astonish, exist, distract and delight. It is an emotion that one receives.
What are the main qualities of a worker in marquetry?
The main qualities are :
§ An enormous amount of love
§ Patience of an angel
§ A strong perseverance
§ And always to surpass oneself
How do you consider the future of the marquetry?
Marquetry has always evolved century after century, plastic was already used in the 19th century called cellulose (they were replacing shells of tortoise or ivory ). There was also marquetry of Plexiglas, some with other materials such as brass, copper, pewter, bone, ivory, nacre, tortoise’s shell coated with gold or silver or coloured. All those were made in the 19th century.
Now in the 20th, there is the “VRIZ” technique, created by Georges VRIZ which allows having transparency and blurring that you couldn’t have in traditional marquetry. This opened enormous prospects for the marquetry which, by this way, tends to become more and more contemporary in the way in the way of Zao WOU-KI.