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View Allison's profile

Is it or isn't it

by Allison
posted 01-26-2011 02:32 AM

26 replies so far

View Don's profile


517 posts in 3071 days

#1 posted 01-26-2011 02:44 AM

Bobs project is exactly what I thought segmentation refered to. I haven’t ever seen a project like yours refered to that way.

-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.

View lew's profile


12060 posts in 3754 days

#2 posted 01-26-2011 02:44 AM

Well, according to the dictionary, a segment is: one of the parts into which something naturally separates or is divided; a division, portion, or section. Therefore I guess both your definitions are correct.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4325 days

#3 posted 01-26-2011 02:48 AM

in my definition of the term, Bob’s project is most definately segmentation. Not that Wikipedia is the end-all-be-all of definitions… but here's how segmentation is described there.

View DaveTPilot's profile


276 posts in 3297 days

#4 posted 01-26-2011 03:07 AM

Hi Allison,

First, I looked at your projects and I want to say that you do some beautiful work!

On the segmentation topic, I don’t consider myself an expert on woodworking terminology but I do know a thing or two about words. Some dictionaries define segmentation as ”the act of dividing or partitioning; separation by the creation of a boundary that divides or keeps apart”.

I can see your point about separating a single piece of wood into many parts but the definition also uses the word “or” followed by “partitioning”. Partition can be defined as “a separation, as of two or more things.”

The first definition also says, ”separation by the creation of a boundary that divides or keeps apart”

Speaking in literal terms, I would say that Bob’s project is a form of segmentation. The parts of his lidded box are clearly separated by both the joints and the contrasted woods.

-- How valuable is time to a person who spends his disparaging the beliefs of others? --David Berthelette

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4217 days

#5 posted 01-26-2011 03:10 AM

Allison, the confusion here is clear, but easy to clear up. There are two very different definitions of “segmented”. Your project is an example of one definition, and Bob’s is an example of the other.

I can not argue with the fact that your ‘gator is segmented. But in woodturning, a segmented piece is basically one in which small pieces of wood are glued together in a pattern of some sort, then turned to a final form.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3194 days

#6 posted 01-26-2011 03:10 AM

Allison, your project, the Grinning Gator, is considered intarsia IMO, not segmented. At least thats how I learned it, although intarsia is indeed segmented pieces so I’m sure you could call it. However,I think the term segmentation in woodworking refers to building up patterns from proportionally(or not proportionally) segmented pieces. I would consider Bob’s lid segmented.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View StumpyNubs's profile


7592 posts in 2799 days

#7 posted 01-26-2011 03:13 AM

Didn’t George Wallace call for “segmentation now, segmentation forever”? Maybe I’m getting my history confused…

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2841 days

#8 posted 01-26-2011 03:26 AM

I went and looked at the box. Then from there I went and looked at your gator. I don’t claim to be an expert by no stretch of the imagination on either technique. From what I have read and seen videos of though, if someone had just asked my opinion on what to call each technique, without giving me suggestions, this is what I would have said:
The box is segmentation.
The gator is intarsia.
Again, I don’t know too much about either. I’m only going with what I’ve seen and terms I’ve seen used for similar techniques elsewhere.


View DaveTPilot's profile


276 posts in 3297 days

#9 posted 01-26-2011 03:38 AM

Intarsia is defined as “a decorative or pictorial mosaic of inlaid wood”. From what I can tell, Allison’s work, although mosaic, is not inlaid.

-- How valuable is time to a person who spends his disparaging the beliefs of others? --David Berthelette

View jeepturner's profile


939 posts in 2791 days

#10 posted 01-26-2011 03:52 AM

IMO Allison’s is a segmented alligator and Bob has a segmented turning. Both pieces are made from segments and are therefore segmented. One segmented piece of art work joined and another turned are not mutually exclusive. Both are fine examples of segmented art. I have done a small bit of segmented turnings and in the circles I run in when I call something a segmented turning, we all know what it is.

Hope this helps.

I also agree with the T pilot, in that the alligator is not Intarsia. I know that I am not an expert on any of it, but this is a good place to find one.

-- Mel,

View Allison's profile


819 posts in 3797 days

#11 posted 01-26-2011 09:26 AM

I tell ya I am not sure I am glad I asked this or not. LOL!!! Mainly because I have very definitely been using the words intarsia AND segmentation to refer to my wood work on here for years and
A. No one ever mentioned that I was saying it wrong and
B. I have this lingo used on my website!
What’s up with that? LOL! I kind of feel like the “Dumb blonde (in a box)” :)

Seriously tho I decided to google it differently than my previous attempts. I searched “definition of intarsia in woodworking” I got this as a result.


As you can see if you go to the link above, they do not even mention segmentation. (which I would have thought they would because of what I perceived the similarities to be between intarsia and segmentation)

Sooo then I searched “definition of segmentation in woodworking” and this is what I got!

I just have to let you click this link right above. I could not believe it. Soooo I guess I am back to square one and you will see what I mean if you just click the link above.

Honestly, I thought I was going to die laughing!

-- Allison, Northeastern Ca. Remember, Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic!

View Sam Shakouri's profile

Sam Shakouri

1200 posts in 3086 days

#12 posted 01-26-2011 10:39 AM

This is English language, some words have more than one meaning. Segmentation, in woodturning world, means gluing few pieces together and turn all as one piece to a new shape. SO, Ellison, your gator was not segmentation because you did not turn it, inspite it was made of many segments.
Your gator is in category of intrasia and without gluing the segments together, it is a jigsaw puzzle.
Whatever in the name dose not real matter, the matter is your gator is amazing and will smile for ever.

-- Sam Shakouri / CREATING WONDERS WITH WOOD.....Sydney,Australia....

View TJ65's profile


1378 posts in 3048 days

#13 posted 01-26-2011 12:27 PM

Well in my view Segmentation is cutting out the whole picture in one piece of timber to make it look like intarsia. But Intarsia is actually made up using several different timbers cut into small parts/pieces to form a whole picture. (thats what one eyed intarsia people say anyway)
In Bobs case it is segmented woodwork- because as it has been said, it is cut up and glued together.

-- Theresa,

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3159 days

#14 posted 01-26-2011 01:39 PM

Alison, in my ‘opinion’, segmentation is with multiple pieces of wood glued to represent a ring or platter or a line, regardless of the method of obtaining the result, whether glued individually or cut/glued/cut/glued…

Intarsia (again, just my opinion) is like a jigsaw puzzle(with locking pieces or not) but with rounded faces & edges to obtain depth. :)

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Allison's profile


819 posts in 3797 days

#15 posted 01-26-2011 08:19 PM

I sure have learned a lot in this thread. I also really don’t know what to say (and those that know me, know it’s a rarity.) I have thought about this ever since Bob posted his project. I am not quite ready to admit defeat yet however.
And let me explain why,
In the world of intarsia (which is my preferred method of working with wood) it can take a long time to find the right color of wood for that blue heron, or red tailed hawk. Then one has to cut these pieces out of all these different kinds, colors of patterns themselves in the wood and make them fit like a glove as if that was the way it was suppose to be. In the case of what I have learned as being segmentation one takes just one piece of wood, cuts it up and of course its going to fit (as in my grinning gator) and as someone above stated like a jig saw puzzle.
Sooo in the intarsia world, segmentation (as I know it) is like an insult to intarsia. Because trust me when I say it’s two totally different things. Two totally different art forms. Sooo when I said to Bob in the original thread that I thought his work was finer than segmentation and he was insulting his own work I meant it. BECAUSE in my woodworking world when you are taking two different pieces of wood of different stock and you are making them fit like a glove THAT is a true art form in it’s own right.

-- Allison, Northeastern Ca. Remember, Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic!

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3721 days

#16 posted 01-26-2011 09:18 PM

Allison this is a wonderful idea: a debate on LumberJocks about woodworking terms and not a debate about LumberJock terms!!! I love it :)

In my mind both are examples of segmented woodworking: one is turning and the other is intarsia. It just depends on what your preference is.

Either way, both are very artful and very pleasing to look at. Unfortunately all I will ever be able to do is look at the your type of art. While I play around on the lathe, I know I will never have the patience to do the work that you do.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6855 posts in 3978 days

#17 posted 01-26-2011 09:51 PM

Hi Allison;

Do a search on:

Definition of segmented bowls in woodworking.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View odie's profile


1691 posts in 3838 days

#18 posted 01-27-2011 12:09 AM

Glue two pieces of wood together and you have two segments. That’s it in a nutshell whether it be a bowl or an intarsia Picture. I’ve always considered what Bob and I do as “Tiled Bowls” , but segmented bowls is also proper. I’ve always considered segmented bowls as more intricate.

I’ve seen “Segmentation” used in both worlds now, Intarsia and Bowl Turning. I myself, until recently, never heard it used in anything but “Segmented Bowls”. The definition, as the dictionary goes, fits both.

-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". (my funny blog)

View shipwright's profile


7980 posts in 2796 days

#19 posted 01-27-2011 12:57 AM

This is ”common vernacular”. In the real world you can find many many words whose commonly understood meaning is not as advertised in the dictionary. I offer the word “organic” as an example. Some of the world’s most deadly poisons are organic, not inorganic compounds, but you won’t find them in the health food store. Common usage of “organic” has come to mean something more like “naturally produced”.
Dictionaries are fine for deciding intellectual arguments but if you are understood by the man on the street, you’ll get by every time.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View mpounders's profile


875 posts in 2894 days

#20 posted 01-27-2011 01:07 AM

I wouldn’t consider segmentation and intarsia as interchangable descriptions or disciplines. You can find good and bad examples of both in both execution and design. When I think of segmentation, I think of geometric, repeating patterns. Intarsia makes me think of relief carvings made with separate pieces of wood. I’m not sure that I would consider a Maloof rocker segmented work or intarsia…. but it IS made wood that has been cut into little pieces and then put back together! This is starting to sound like the old “you say tomato…and I say potatoe?”

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View DaveTPilot's profile


276 posts in 3297 days

#21 posted 01-27-2011 04:32 AM

I can say that I have learned a lot since you started this thread. I found this site with some beautiful examples of intarsia.

-- How valuable is time to a person who spends his disparaging the beliefs of others? --David Berthelette

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3181 days

#22 posted 01-27-2011 04:53 AM

I think it definitely is segmented. Intarsia is also made from segmented pieces but not turned hence the difference in the name. Just my humble opinion.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18271 posts in 3674 days

#23 posted 01-27-2011 05:53 AM

Allison, Since gators eat about anything they want to and the other is a defenseless bowl, gator wins ;-))

I think Charlie is right, depends on when venue you are operating in. Each has its own definitions for the same or similar terms.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2513 posts in 3682 days

#24 posted 01-27-2011 01:23 PM

So many things can be segmented but with wood work I read somewhere that the traditional way of segmenting was to take ONE piece of wood, cut it into pieces and glue it back into an object. Today I took a pieces of wood 36” x 5” x 1” and cut it into pieces on the table saw, when I glued it together it looked like a bowl, it has NOT been turned on a lathe and stays as is. What is it, a segmented bowl or insartria. Now Allison did the same and ended up with a crocodile. What is the difference.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 4168 days

#25 posted 01-27-2011 02:41 PM

Segmented or not, the gator is a keeper!

-- Bruce from Central New, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View Jack_T's profile


623 posts in 3030 days

#26 posted 01-27-2011 05:14 PM

Allison, your gators look great. The term segmented has different meanings in separate areas of woodworking. In woodturning, Bob Collins bowl is definitely segmented. That doesn’t mean that your alligators aren’t segmented. Your alligators were not turned on a lathe. For a definition of segmented in woodturning check this link

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

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