Peinture à bois or "painting in wood" was one of the favorite methods of producing marquetry during the second half of the 17th century. It involves composing a complex packet of veneers, sawing a design with a chevalet, jigsaw, fretsaw, or frame saw (not the frame saw Americans are used to seeing, this is a big wooden "machine"), shading the pieces with hot sand, and then assembling the pieces face down with hot hide glue on a stretched piece of kraft paper.
These photos are from a day I spent at the shop of my friend Paul Miller. He has created this beautiful box as a tribute to his mentors W. Patrick Edwards & Patrice Lejeune of The American School of French Marquetry. The method used to execute the top is peinture à bois. The finished project can be seen here. I took the following photos while the box was still in progress.
Here Paul is applying a solution to the walnut in order to ebonize it. This process turns the walnut black remarkably fast.
Félicitations on a wonderful, beautifully executed work of art Paul.