I’m Chelsea Van Voorhis. I’m a woodworker, a designer, and a veneer artist. Using veneer as a medium is efficacious in a lot of methods however principally it’s sublimely fun!

Chelsea Van Vorhis' piece, "WE ARE THE SILENT SURVIVORS ROOM SCREEN", a room divider decorated with works of art crafted from various wood veneers to make up many women's faces.
Details from Chelsea’s “We Are the Silent Survivors” room display

I began working with business veneer round 2017. I didn’t have entry to a woodshop however I needed to proceed to work with wooden. Cutting veneer with a knife doesn’t create sawdust, so I might crouch down on the ground of my lounge and create marquetry panels at evening after work. Those panels would then be glued up pressed to the nook of my kitchen desk. Craft will be very costly and fancy instruments are nice, however I’m right here to inform you that they don’t seem to be important.

Chelsea Van Vorhis working with wood veneer at her kitchen table.
Veneer is right for working in a confined area, like your condo kitchen.

This weblog collection is on inexpensive and artistic veneering for novices. Quite a bit of instances worry or monetary accessibility can block us from attempting one thing new. In this collection I’ll create a piece and talk about the information and tips alongside the way in which through a lens of affordability and fun. My aim is to encourage and encourage individuals to attempt veneer whereas acknowledging real-world obstacles. 

"Life and Death" by Chelsea Van Vorhis, 2021: a wood veneer art piece
“Life and Death” by Chelsea Van Voorhis, 2021

Let’s speak concerning the misconceptions about veneer that affect individuals to resolve in opposition to working with it. 

1. You should have a lot of cash to get into woodworking 

NOT TRUE. Working with veneer will be very inexpensive. I don’t imagine anybody ought to should spend a ton of cash on a new pastime until they need to. Also, you don’t want entry to a full woodshop to work with veneer, you are able to do a lot of it from dwelling. 

2. It’s tough to work with and can break simply

NOT TRUE. Veneer can break and it’s fragile, nonetheless you possibly can tape it again collectively. If small items break off or tear out it may possibly simply get replaced. 

"Mid Mod Wall Hanging" by Chelsea Van Vorhis, 2020: a wood marquetry art piece
“Mid Mod Wall Hanging” by Chelsea Van Voorhis, 2020

3. Too many issues can go unsuitable and you solely get one probability

NOT TRUE. There is a fallacy that you simply solely get one probability at veneer and should you sand through or have tearout then your complete piece is ruined. I’ve sanded through veneer many instances and one of the best half is that you could repair it. There are many instances all through a undertaking when you can also make corrections. As for tight seams, they take some follow to realize however there are tips that you should use to assist tighten the seams or visually conceal them. 

4. Marquetry imagery is simply too conventional for my style

NOT TRUE. There are a lot of up to date veneer artists working in new kinds. Anything you possibly can think about will be created. 

5. It’s low cost and furnishings that’s made with veneer is reasonable

NOT TRUE. When evaluating materials value, a veneered piece may value much less cash but it surely may additionally use uncommon and unique wooden species which can be solely processed as veneer.

"Candy Stripe Eye Wall Hanging" by Chelsea Van Vorhis, 2020: a wood marquetry art piece
“Candy Stripe Eye Wall Hanging” by Chelsea Van Voorhis, 2020

There are so many causes to like veneer. It’s not scary when you begin working with it and it’s a extra inexpensive and accessible woodworking follow to begin with since you don’t want a lot of instruments. The prospects of photos and patterns are infinite and it’s fun! Please make sure to take a look at my subsequent weblog that might be about instruments, supplies, how wooden behaves, and tips on how to minimize it.

Wood veneer artwork by Chelsea Van Vorhis

You can check out more of Chelsea’s work here.

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