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Intarsia anyone?

Is anyone doing any intarsia? I have been doing it on and off (now on again). I see some older posts on this subject (some of my own even), not so much recently. Maybe it has gone out of style?

I have never heard of it, so I did a Google search.
According to Wikipedia that is a technique for layering and
cutting wood plies 1mm thick in pairs into pictures and forms.
Marquetry is for inlaying metals, Ivory and more into wooden structures.
Some fantastic work out there, but it obviously take time.

Just sharing my findings.
I wish I could do some of these things.

Regards Per-Ove

The difference between intarsia and marquetry is in the technique, not the visible result.
In intarsia the pieces of wood are rather thick and are glued into mortises cut into the wooden support.
In marquetry the pieces of wood are cut from thin veneers and are glued onto the top of the support.
An excellent explanation of intarsia is found in volume 2 of the Metropolitan Museum’s publication on the Gubbil Studiolo of Federico da Montefeltro. Volume one is the historical and art historicla background. Volume 2 is on the technique of intarsia and the conservation of the studiolo. It is available as a free download on the Met’s website.


In my case I was referring to lapiday and gem materials instead of wood. I’d imaging the techniques are similar. There used to be a website call “Americalmastersofstone” which had some really amazing stuff. Quite intricate and artistic scenes made of various small pieces of gem materials. Here is an example:

The kind that take months or years to make. Unfortunately, the original Mastersof stone website is now gone and I can’t find out how to access those materials.

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I belong to a lapidary forum , and one of the guys on there does amazing intarsia.
They have a specific sub-forum devoted to that kind of stuff.
I’m sure you’d find much more info over there on this lapidary technique.


Thanks all for the information, I learned something new today so it ended up as a good day :slightly_smiling_face:
Regards Per-Ove

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It’s also called “pietre dure”; there’s a museum in Florence Italy that has some amazing examples[:Opificio delle Pietre Dure - Florence I’ve been making abstract intarsia,and setting them into tabletops. I haven’t attempted to produce representational pictures this way, but have mostly looked for harmonies between the various pieces of stone.


Beautiful work and really nice wood as well.

Very beautiful! Yes, making pictures is beyond my meager abilities, but I spend a lot of time comparing different materials next to each other to see what “kicks” and what doesn’t.

Thanks, I’ll check it out!