Ulrike Scriba’s Marquetry: Risk and Reward
Ulrike Scriba started working wood at 14 in her father’s metalsmithing shop in the south of Germany. She studied sculpture in art school and later spent five years practicing the art of traditional ornamental plasterwork before opening an antique repair shop in 1976. Scriba was surrounded by craft growing up–both within her family, where there were cabinetmakers and designers, and in the towns nearby, which were steeped in craft tradition.
Yet when Scriba discovered marquetry in the early 1980s and launched her career in a new direction, she had no teacher. She simply learned by trial and error–a cycle of frustration and discovery that she credits with continually spurring her to new innovations. Although she has long since mastered the techniques of the craft, she continues to experiment with her pieces. She has developed a process for producing her designs–cutting contrasting veneers in abstract patterns and then reassembling them and recutting them–that is both demanding and unpredictable: she never knows exactly how the final pattern will turn out until she sees it complete.
This slideshow presents a range of Scriba’s superb marquetry and explains some details of her technique.
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