Masters of the Craft

Masters of the Craft

Ulrike Scriba's Marquetry: Risk and Reward

comments (0) December 8th, 2011 in blogs

JonBinzen Jon Binzen, senior editor
thumbs up 36 users recommend

Scribas decorative boxes, measuring about 10-in. square, feature ornate marquetry over a solid-wood body. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Scriba's decorative boxes, measuring about 10-in. square, feature ornate marquetry over a solid-wood body.

Photo: Paul Clemens

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.

More Masters of the Craft Slideshows

• Adrian McCurdy: Furniture Riven from the Log
Geoffrey Warner: Assembling a Life
Peter Shepard Turns the Page
Curve It Like König
Partners in Craft: Harold Wood and John O'Brien
Tool Chest with an Arts & Crafts Legacy
Adrian Potter: Thinking Furniture
Hank Gilpin: Exploring the American Forest
Doug Mooberry: Kinloch Woodworking
Michael Hurwitz: Planks into Poetry
Brad Smith: Story of a Stool
Hank Holzer and Judith Ames: Labor of Love
Michael Fortune: The Clever Chair
John Cameron: A Musician in the Woodshop
Allan Breed: The Past Recaptured
Kintaro Yazawa: Joint Wizardry
Grant Vaughan: Subtropical Virtuoso
William R. Robertson: Micro Maestro

posted in: blogs, inlay, marquetry, scriba

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to post comments. Log in.

Save up to 51% on Fine Woodworking


Become a Better Woodworker


Follow Fine Woodworking senior editor Jon Binzen as he travels North America in search of the best woodworkers on the continent.