I wanted to try my hand at intarsia and maybe marquetry later on. I have been seeing some of Kory’s wonderful intarsia projects for awhile and also Shipwrights beautiful marquetry, both of which I find very inspiring. (project Photos at the bottom)
I decided to go the intarsia route first as this type of work is easier done on a scroll saw whereas fine marquetry when done on a scroll saw requires advanced sawing skills which can only be learned through practice, and I haven’t been using my scroll saw very much, so I thought I’d better start with intarsia to hone my skills.
The appeal of intarsia work
That said, I don’t regard intarsia work as a lesser form of craft art. I love that it is 3 dimensional and that sculpting is also required. To me, the result you get with intarsia is closely related to relief carving, even though the work itself is entirely different as are the skills involved.
This intarsia work is my 2nd try after doing a little practice bird. It is based on a pencil drawing by my son Mark. It is his take on the comic book version of Thor. I liked that the drawing was somewhat dynamic, and that turning it into an intarsia piece would present a worthwhile challenge and also incorporate other elements such as a little carving.
It has been a great learning piece so far. I took my son’s drawing and traced the main features on my light table, then I completed the details afterward. My revised drawing then became the cutting plan. Making the plan took about an hour. I’m not very artistic and I don’t know the first thing about anatomy so the muscles didn’t come out as good as hoped for. I did thoroughly enjoy every step of the work done on this project. I hope it will at least give you a laugh.
Steps towards creating this project
I will be posting this as a project when it’s finished. I am leaving for holiday soon, so it may be awhile. The first photo below is my son’s original drawing and then my intarsia version. The 3rd photo is after flat cutting and the 4th is after adjusting the heights of various pieces and sculpting with my Dremel sanding drum and then carving the clothing.
I was originally going to paint this work, but I felt that it was ok in the natural pine so I just left it that way. It is made up of about 150 pieces.
I’m very open to any suggestions you might have for improvements. Thanks for having a look!
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.