LINLEY takes the traditional skill of marquetry to the next level in the recently launched Safari Collection. Inspired by newly available machinery with Computer Numerical Control (CNC) laser technology, innovative techniques have been used to create beautiful patterns from wood, imitating the tactile surfaces in the natural world around us. Comprising of a selection of engravable jewellery boxes and varied sizes of photo frames, the collection comes in mock alligator and life-like etched snake print.
The LINLEY Safari Collection: ProcessAs with all collections created by LINLEY, the journey of the Safari Collection began as a series of rough, hand-drawn sketches. Aiming to captivate the essence of the collection, these sketches form the foundation that the final product is built on. Computer Aided Design (CAD) software is used to translate the design into a technical language with detailed instructions understood by a computer controlled laser. This can be a time-consuming process as each image must be broken down into component parts (such as timber/material type or grain direction) and any mistakes at this stage will be replicated by the laser onto the surface of the product. Despite the growing use of CNC, the craftsman is still an essential part of the process. When selecting the timbers and veneers, the craftsman must pay great attention to detail. The thickness and type of woods will affect the cut of the laser and the speed and power of the cut will affect the burning and finish of the marquetry components. The laser allows the cutting out and engraving of components for what are in effect some of the most complex jigsaw puzzles imaginable. Marquetry work requires a smart operator and assemblers with steady hands and a good eye for detail. As LINLEY does not compromise on quality, only the best craftsmen are chosen.
Creating the Snakeskin EffectFor the snakeskin, in effect, the engraving is taking place on the veneers with the laser; instead of the normal technique of cutting all the way through. The power is reduced, so just a few tenths of a millimetre is being removed off the top of the veneer. This type of cut is referred to as etching: however, light on timber is used instead of the better known etching process of acid on metal. As the laser beam is normally focused to such a tiny point (about 0.025mm wide), it is only comprehendible how many passes are made. As a result, this type of cut can have a high run time on the machine. As timber is made of both soft and hard bands due to its growth cycle, the laser will remove more material in the soft areas than the hard, leaving a very textured, tactile surface. A very thin lacquered finish is then applied leaving the texture and grain open for the snakeskin effect.
Creating the Alligator EffectThe alligator effect exhibits traditional marquetry, with a little LINLEY quirkiness in the form of a bright pop of colour for the Red Alligator collection. The sections are cut out by colour, timber type and grain direction, then assembled piece by piece into a single lay-on that is held together with an adhesive film so it can be handled and pressed. As bright and contrasting colours are used, any edges need to be sanded with care to remove any burning. To complete the piece, a full gloss burnished finish is applied. The final product is a beautiful range of snakeskin and alligator effect boxes and frames that exude the LINLEY elegance and status for creating collectables that showcase only the finest design, innovation and craftsmanship. Shop the Safari collection