My First Intarsia
I was looking through a woodworking magazine one day and stumbled across an article on Intarsia. The article said that Intarsia was a forgotten art that was gaining again in popularity. I was just intrigued by the pictures and decided to give it a try and create my first intarsia piece. I picked out and ordered my first pattern of a lake scene with a swan. I began on the piece right away. I had a wonderful time creating the design and putting it all together. When I was finished, I was less than satisfied with the result though. It just didn’t seem right to me. It felt like something was missing. The design called for very little variation in the colors of the wood and there was a lack of detail. Never the less, my wife seemed overjoyed with the finished product and hung it on the wall in our home. I knew that I could do better.
Almost immediately, I began doing some research on ways to enhance the technique. My wife is a bit of an artist herself and together we drew my next piece instead of purchasing a pattern. This piece was much larger than the first design with much more detail. We got ideas from photographs and from a magazine. The décor of our living room at the time was the inspiration for the piece. I decided to paint this piece along with the use of stain to get the desired look. This design turned out much better than my first piece and I was very satisfied with the final product. We left the first one up on the wall for a long time as a reminder of the progress I had made in my art. A few years back, it was taken down and placed in storage.
The second Intarsia piece is still hanging on my living room wall to this day. The key to becoming a good woodworker is learning and growing from you past projects. Since the very first Intarsia project, on each one that I complete, I always take a step back and ask myself “How could I make this better?” This desire to continue to grow is what had gotten me to where I am today. I challenge myself on each item and strive to do something new. I was not able to get a photograph of my very first Intarsia piece however; I was able to get one of the second.
-- Chris Mobley - http://www.cmobleydesigns.com