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Bemrose on Traditional Woodworking: Carving, Fretwork, Buhl Work and Marquetry

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Code: AQ-1207
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Carving, Fretwork, Bhul Work, and Marquetry
by William Bemrose

William Bemrose (1831-1908) was an English printer and businessman with a strong interest in woodworking, ceramics and decorative arts. Like many of his contemporaries, he appreciated craft on both aesthetic grounds and for its perceived benefits of moral uplift.

Bemrose wrote three instructional books that form the basis of this book: “A Manual of Wood Carving,” “Fret Cutting and Perforated Carving” and “Manual of Buhl-Work and Marquetry.” All three texts included subtitles making mention of “Practical Instruction,” which Bemrose deeply valued. Bemrose was not a professional woodworker, but rather an enthusiastic amateur with a fervent belief in making the benefits of craft accessible.

To this end, Bemrose offers clear guidance on different aspects of buhl work (creating cabinetry using metal inlays), marquetry (pieces adorned with colored wood, shells, and ivory), and fretwork (low-relief or cut-out decorative designs), from choosing the right wood through staining and polishing and engraving.

There’s a lot in the book for modern woodworkers to enjoy. It’s always interesting to see artisanal methods and feel connected to the history of craft. Perhaps more importantly, the book is good for inspiring excellence today. Our own sense is that while Bemrose only gives an overview of techniques, it will be enough to guide all but the rank beginner to the next step. In addition the myriad of Victorian designs are a great springboard for your own creativity.

Softcover. 8 ½” x 11”. Printed in the USA.


Pages: 198
Binding: TP
Publisher: Dover

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