Sand Shading Surface Studies

I began this work in the early Spring of 2015 while attending the remarkable Haystack Open Studio Residency on Deer Isle, ME. It was an off-hand comment by a fellow resident about sand shading that inspired me to experiment with the technique. Sand shading is a technique in which veneer is darkened by being burned in hot sand. Because the sand is hottest near at the bottom of the pan and cooler near the top it creates a natural gradient effect. Rather than using it in the traditional way to create shadow effects for marquetry images, I began using it as an abstract graphic element in parquetry patterns. I had already been making patterns out "sticks" of veneer and I realized that by augmenting these tiny modules with sand shaded gradient I could create visually complex–even jarring–patterns. I implemented this process at a large scale in a later project, Six Around One.

Closed-form Study #1

Sand shaded butternut veneer, walnut
9 x 11 x 4 inches

Closed Form Study #2

Sand shaded pear veneer, sapele, ebony
6 x 9 x 5 inches

Closed Form Study #3

Sand shaded sunken cypress
9 x 12 x 4 inches

Process and Experiments

Various sand shaded veneers
Various sizes (roughly 1-3 sq. ft each)