Routing in wood is much like sketching with a pencil. Each form let’s me render many wonderful and detailed designs, geometries, and shapes. But the artwork will always remain a bit dull and colorless. With my Rainbow Wood art series I tried to address this limitation. But how to best add color to the inside of a wooden block? The process ends up being a bit more complicated than putting paint to paper.
I start with thin layers of basswood, either 1/16th or 1/32nd inches thick. These are dyed with a solution of isopropyl alcohol and dissolved water based dye for at least a full week to allow for proper penetration. The thin dyed layers are glued together with a clear wood glue and clamped to let set for two days. And finally, we have a colorful laminate! Routing designs out of this material provides a new level of intricacy. Different depths reveal different colors, but maintain the natural wood grain and texture. Go ahead and click through the pictures above to see some of this process at work.