Marquetry – a decorated mirror frame with Toby Winteringham

Ref: SLW32369

Book now

Places available

About this course

This intricate craft is demystified as you make a mirror frame using hand-cut marquetry techniques. The tutor will discuss each step of the process: selecting a design and veneers, making templates, cutting, laying and finishing. Trompe l'oeil shadow effects will also be explored.

Course Description

The aim of this course is to introduce the tools and techniques for creating marquetry designs using veneer: the possibilities and limitations. While learning these skills, you will make a stylish and decorative mirror surround with a two-colour marquetry design on the frame.

To decorate your frame, you cut repeated simple shapes to make patterns – choosing motifs from a selection offered from the tutor’s pattern book. Initially, everyone will make a small sample piece to get the feel of the tools and the materials. Through this process, you will explore some of the requirements for the successful design of repeat patterns, using and interpreting reference material and cutting patterns from laminate, card or MDF. Consideration is given to the veneer selection, the tools and their correct use, plus cutting out the design and assembly. Some discussion on how to select suitable design motifs is also included.

There will be the opportunity to experiment with shading the veneers with hot sand to create shadow for trompe l’oeil effects. The final stages will be: bonding the prepared veneers onto a ready-made mirror blank using a bag press or clamps; applying the edge veneer; scraping, sanding, finishing, (with a water based lacquer), and finally fitting the glass and back.

The tutor will lead you through the process step-by-step, with demonstrations and discussion along the way. The initial piece is a small sample of the techniques, before beginning the mirror surround project.

Please note that you need to be able to hold a scalpel, and use it steadily and with control, to cut the veneers.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • The course fee includes all necessary veneers and mirror fittings to make your mirror, supplied by the tutor. Scalpels/blades and other necessary materials to complete the project will also be supplied.

What students need to bring

  • Glasses for close working (if needed)
  • Sturdy covered footwear is essential in the workshop (no open toes) and apron
  • Pencils: 2H, HB, B, eraser, pencil sharpener
  • Scissors
  • Please bring any of the following items if you have them, marked with your name (these will also be supplied for use in the workshop so no need to purchase especially):
  • Dusting brush (or 2”– 3” paintbrush)
  • Drawing instruments (compasses)
  • Tape measure/metal ruler for cutting against, if you have one
  • Scalpel handle no3 with a pack or two of 10A blades
  • Craft knife with snap off blades
  • Sandpaper: grades: 180, 240 grit
  • Cork sanding block
  • Cabinet 'card' Scraper
  • Masking tape/Sellotape
  • 1 inch paintbrush
  • Pin hammer
  • Screwdrivers

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Scalpel handles and Swann Morton No.3 and 10A blades
  • Pencils and general drawing materials
  • Sandpaper: grades: 180, 240, 320 grit

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes). Tutor supervision required at all times.


Toby Winteringham

Toby creates individual furniture pieces and collections based on his observations of everyday life: be they natural, industrial or cultural. Inspired by simplicity, structure, pattern and function his pieces display a pared down beauty that both challenge and please in equal measure.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Interested in a career in woodworking?

Our Foundation Degree specialising in Furniture is designed to give you well-rounded woodworking theory and craft skills to become a self-employed maker or craftsperson, to continue your studies in higher education or to find employment in the creative industry sector. Find out more