Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Conclusion (for now) of Photos of Russell M. Blood's Marquetry Posted by Dwight Blood

Well, I finished the project, at least for now.  There are a few pictures with color casts or backgrounds that I don't like, but they'll have to wait for further fixing.  I'm glad, however, that I had this opportunity to take all of the pictures that have passed down to me off the walls where they have hung and study each one carefully and reproduce them in photography.  Without preparing this family archive of Dad's woodwork, much, if not most, of his incredible work would be lost to others and never seen or appreciated.  This task has brought home indelibly to me the incredible talent that Dad had and his lifelong devotion to wood and wood craftsmanship that began during the heart of the Great Depression in the 1930s and continued until his death in 1993.  As a youngster, woodcraft projects in various stages were always under way.  Even though Dad made our family living as a farmer and dairyman, his true love was art and marquetry.  Some how he found the time though working a grueling lifetime of hard farm work to generate a continual flow of work. 

When Dad died, we six siblings cast lots and drew numbers to see who got which pictures.  We all coveted the castle masterpiece that Ann was lucky enough to get, but the method was more fair than in olden days when I managed to fix the best easter egg transfers and valentines so that when my turn came around I was more lucky than others.

The greatest legacy we children received, besides the love and nurturing we received through difficult and some times heart wrenching years of our growing up , is our share of the inlaid pictures.  When they hang on the wall forever, they sort of become a part of the scenery and we take them for granted.  Then, when we take them down and oil them and study each one carefully for pattern and wood grain and fit and incredible artistic talent and craftsmanship, we are blessed once more with an acute awareness of how much Dad's talent meant to each of us.  He had hoped to make a living with his woodwork.  He would be incredulous if he realized how much some of these pictures are now worth.  Of course, none of them will ever be sold outside the family because their personal worth to us and to our descendants far outweighs any monetary reward we could ever receive from them.

And so my Dad sitting on the white stool in front of the scroll saw that somehow he managed to acquire even during the Great Depression and cutting out intricate pieces of inlaid picture after inlaid picture is an indelible part of my growing up.  And the legacy of the pictures I now possess is one of the most important gifts I have received in my life.


  1. You've done well - now the rest of us have to get busy this winter! (But I do note that in the second paragraph you finally confess to the manipulation you did to get the best valentines, etc.) Thank you for this record - it isn't easy to get this done as you're preparing to go south.

  2. I didn't know I did it until I was accused of it. First I ever knew about it.

  3. Alright, I am back to it. Thank you for getting all of these photos taken before you close things up in your summer home.

  4. I had a good time looking at the pictures and appreciate everyone who has worked at getting the photos taken. You have inspired me.