Dave Page's Wood Craft Profile

Dave is a very active member of the Rotorua club and has a number of woodworking talents. However his marquetry work is his passion.
 At the 2015 Kawerau Show he was the guest exhibitor and this gallery shows the work he had on display.

The following paragraphs form a brief history of Dave’s career.

Born in Greymouth I went to school in South Canterbury and later Christchurch. After completing a joinery apprenticeship in the early 1960’s I moved into the timber industry working in sales and administration in Christchurch before joining the Forest Service in Hokitika in 1970. In 1980 we moved to Rotorua where I worked at the Forest Research Institute, now Scion, as a specialist in wood preservation and durability.

Marquetry is an ancient craft initially used for the decoration of wooden items and furniture. I started in the early 1970’s learning mainly from woodworking magazines. This was a natural extension of furniture making which had been one of my hobbies since school. In 1974 I joined the Marquetry Society (Great Britain) (www.marquetry.org) and still find this a major source of information. In the early 1980’s I met one of the few other exponents of this “art” form in New Zealand, Jacob von Holzen of Te Aroha and he has been an inspiration and friend ever since. I have been an active member of the Geyserland Guild of Woodworkers (www.ggw.nz) in Rotorua since its beginning in the late 1980’s. My first involvement with the National Woodskills exhibition was about 1991 and from that time I have been a regular demonstrator/exhibitor at Kawerau.

Most of my veneer has been collected over many years in wood industries, much of it offcuts and faulty veneer from slicing and furniture or door making factories. Very little is sliced in New Zealand now, hence many of the native species are no longer available. Veneer can be imported but it is relatively expensive ($10-$50/square metre) I do almost all of my cutting with a fine scalpel, occasionally with a fine fretsaw. It is a relatively slow process (about 10 pieces/hour) with some pictures containing 1000 pieces or more. The veneer is usually only 0.6 mm thick and is glued onto medium density fibreboard (MDF) or plywood using presses before being scraped sanded and finished.

Most of my early work was copies of marquetry pictures from woodworking magazines or designs from the Marquetry Society magazine. This was predominantly pictorial marquetry although I occasionally included marquetry on some of my furniture. Since the 1980’s most of my work is from original drawings, designs or photographs.

I have helped a few people get started in marquetry, and am happy to help anyone with materials and knowledge.

Some of the work produced by Dave.