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, from 1/16th to 1/8th 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.