Bruce Babb will showcase his collection of marquetry works in an exhibit, The Beauty of Wood, at the PWA office gallery in downtown Damariscotta now through February. The Association invites the public to a reception for Babb from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, January 16.
Marquetry is the fine art of veneering. It involves the careful and intricate placement of small pieces of veneers to form patterns. The woods are from all over the globe and yield an astonishing array of grains, textures, and colors, from rich ebony and blood reds to delicate pinks and creamy yellows. “Thirty years ago I ordered a package of veneer samples from a wood working catalog. When they arrived, I started playing with them and found myself fascinated by the variety of colors and grains that are available. I was hooked.” Babb said.
Babb began his exploration into marquetry by translating antique quilt patterns into veneer designs. This led to the creation of his own unique designs, many of which are fanciful interpretations of nature. Each piece is one-of-a-kind, and each is laboriously hand cut, assembled and finished in his Pemaquid, Maine, studio. The works are finished with at least six coats of varnish and hand-rubbed to a beautiful, deep and lustrous shine. In addition to art pieces, Babb also makes chess boards, backgammon boards, dominoes, and jewelry boxes, and he collaborates with cabinet makers to produce tables of heirloom quality.
To view the exhibit, visit the PWA office from 9:30-4:30 weekdays. For more information, call 207-563-2196. Babb will donate 35% of sales to support the PWA mission of conserving the natural resources of the Pemaquid Peninsula.