Wednesday, March 04, 2009

What is “Intarsia” ? Inlay?? Segmentation??

According to wiki, intarsia is a form of wood inlaying that is similar to marquetry. Which doesn’t mean much if you don’t know what inlay or marquetry is!

So, I’ll try and explain what I think these all are –
Wood Inlaying to me, is to insert 2 or more different species of woods together to create a pattern or picture. Inlay pieces are flat, with no raised portions of wood.
Here’s a wolf inlay I made into a trivet:

Marquetry is inlay done with veneer (very thin pieces of wood) where inlay can be done with thicker wood.

Intarsia takes the inlay theory into another dimension – 3-D if you wish! Each section of the pattern is cut from wood – choosing different species and using the natural grain and color to enhance the design. The sections are shaped, then sanded, then glued together to create the design. Some sections are raised or lowered to create a 3rd dimension to the article. Here’s a horse head that I made in intarsia:

Segmentation is done cutting the sections of the design from a single piece of wood, then shaping and sanding the pieces and adding height if needed. Rather than using the natural color and grain of the wood as in intarsia, in segmentation you add color using stains, dyes, and/or paints. A different horse head done with segmentation:

Coming up ~~ I’ll take one design and show some Work in Progress photos using both the intarsia and segmentation styles.


Brenda said...

I learned some new things today! Thanks so much for the lessons!

Wood N Goods said...

Thanks for stopping by Brenda! Who said you can't teach an old dog a new trick?? LOL :)

dee begg said...

Wow T, you've gotten my're not just another pretty wood cutter! LOL!

Wood N Goods said...


Mary Ann said...

Those are amazing. I'm off to check out your shop.