re-using, recycling, and redeeming old wood

Posts tagged “intarsia

#52 Other forms of wood working: Intarsia- Elvis, roses, nativity and more.

Someone asked me what “Intarsia” was after I used it in a past post.   It is a style of wood working.  Wikipedia says, “Intarsia is a form of wood inlaying that is similar to marquetry.”

Intarsia, Wikipedia, Wolf

Intarsia nativity 2

intarsia rose

Of course you might ask what marquetry is.  Wikipedia says here, “Marquetry (also spelled as marqueterie) is the art and craft of covering a structural carcass with pieces of veneer  forming decorative patterns, designs or pictures”

Marquetry picture

Marquetry furniture

Elivs in intarsia

“Intarsia is a woodworking technique that uses varied shapes, sizes, and species of wood fitted together to create a mosaic-like picture with an illusion of depth. Intarsia is created through the selection of different types of wood, using their natural grain pattern and color (but can involve the use of stains and dyes) to create variations in the pattern. After selecting the specific woods to be used within the pattern, each piece is then individually cut, shaped, and finished. Sometimes areas of the pattern are raised to create more depth. Once the individual pieces are complete, they are fitted together like a jig-saw puzzle and glued to wood backing which is sometimes cut to the outline shape of the image.” Wikipedia

Intarsia, amish children

Intarsia nativity 1

Intarsia, orca pattern

The pattern above is the beginning of an intarsia piece. The artist lays out colors and wood choices.  The pattern is copied onto paper which is pasted on to the selected wood and cut out.  Each piece is then fitted into the primary pattern just like a jigsaw puzzle as you can see in the next picture.

Intarsia, process 1

I like how intarsia highlights the beauty of wood’s color and grain.  The craftsmanship in shaping, choosing and assembling the pieces is truly great.  I love the look and texture of a well done intarsia piece.

Intarsia, lute – an amazing piece

However, I have not tried it myself.  Perhaps after I master wood carving, wood turning, wood finishing, playing the harmonica, learning Chinese and a few other hobbies I have laying around.  But, perhaps intarsia is your hobby!  Let me know if you do pick it up.  I would like to see your work too.

“How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!”  Proverbs 16:16


#37 Wood carving: The Wood Working Show, Schaumburg, IL

Amazing fret work, 10′ x 5′

Had a great day today at the Wood Working Show(post #26).  My brother Rick and his son-in-law Aaron came down from Michigan to enjoy the show with me.

End tables with intarsia work beneath.

Managed to clear Dunkin Donuts by 8:10 and made the parking lot by 10 o’clock.

Close up of the intrasia work.

The first  thing I learned at the beginning of the day was to check on-line for coupons.  Aaron had coupons good for reduction in entry fees and for give-away items in the show.  The Schaumburg Center was a nice venue, easy access and plenty of  well lit space.

A box of boxes made out of many exotic woods.

The first treat of the day was the “Show Off” section on the way into the show.  Most of the pictures included in this post come from this section.  As you can see, the work was absolutely spectacular.  The fret work, the rocking chair, the intarsia tables, and the wood sample wooden boxes were truly eye pleasing and well done.  The work displayed made me want to turn right around and head for my work room.

The box of boxes, cool cover.

The show itself was filled with great tools, ideas, demonstrations, and conversation.  We spent a lot of time at the “Wood Miser” portable saw mill.  Too bad computers can’t emit smells while you read.  The smell of fresh cut oak is energizing. I learned that one should cut lumber 1 and 1/8th inches thick to allow for shrinkage and planing.

We also spent a lot of time at the wood shop set up by Cook Mills.  I will show you some of the cool woods they had for sale in a later post.  I am surprised that at least one of us didn’t come home with wood in hand.  I think my wife was too.  I learned about a wood called “Snakewood.”  It comes from Suriname.

Walnut rocker with beautiful accent wood.

We had a great time talking to Al Carter(well known turner) and other wood turners.  The wisdom and the skill packed into some folks takes your breath away.  There are always new ideas and techniques one can glean from conversations with those who practice the art of wood working.  I learned there are gouges with replaceable tips.

Chest for drawers, ebony and maple.

It was great fun to listen in on all the different demonstrations.  The new tools and new products were fascinating.  One tip came from a band saw demonstration.  There is a unit to place on your band saw which allows for less binding of the blade because the roller wheel has been place face on to the blade instead of sideways.  Hoping to make this work for me.

A successful outing.  Now to put some of the ideas and toys into use.  A great day and great company.

“He (God) does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the

Gorgeous intarsia work on oak end table.

peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?”  Daniel 4:35b