A Marquetarian

Salutes All Woodworkers, Especially Marquetarians

Welcome to A Marquetarian . . . Walt Hammers' story of his discovery of the woodworking art of Marquetry and other woodworking interests.

Following retirement from the Labor Relations Department of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK) in 1984, wife Olive and I decided to make Barefoot Bay, Florida, our retirement home. Our relocation occurred during the spring of 1985. Having for many years used a Craftsman 8-inch table saw, decision was made to part with the saw and purchase a Shopsmith to maximize the limited space in my new workshop.

Anxiously awaiting the arrival of our second grandchild in 1986, and now having a small but well-equipped workshop, I decided to construct a cradle for son Jim and wife Shirley's soon-to-be born daughter Shana. A trip to Constantine's Wood Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to purchase maple stock for the project, led to inquiring of Constantine's Manager John Docherty about the procedure for inserting an "H" in the headboard. John replied that the process was known as marquetry. He suggested that I drop in on a group of marquetarians who happened to be meeting at that moment in an adjoining room. That visit opened my eyes to the ancient art of marquetry, and its use to produce pictures in wood, as well as its potential for enhancing other wood projects. The marquetarians assembled that morning at Constantine's were members of the former Marquetry Group of South Florida (MGSF), formally dissolved in 2003. Many of MGSF's members also belonged to American Marquetarian, Inc., founded in 1997, and now known as the American Marquetry Society.

Pictured below are the "H," two other close-ups, the cradle (unassembled), and the finished article.

Times change, however, and on November 23, 2004 (our 58th Anniversary), we reserved an apartment at The Lakes at Pointe West (now named The Brennity) in Vero Beach, Florida. More can be seen and read about life at The Brennity here. The Brennity is the best of its kind, but after a year there we decided that we were not quite ready for the more structured lifestyle. We moved a short distance away to a condominium at Vista Plantation, where we currently reside.

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Last revised: April 20, 2014