Intarsia — puzzles in wood

Intarsia woodwork is a little bit like doing a puzzle, except you design the puzzle, cut out the pieces, shape them and paint them before you put the whole thing together.

The other difference is that intarisia lets you create depth — more of a 3D puzzle than a traditional 2D one.

I do most of my intarsia work using cedar. It’s a nice soft wood that’s easy to work and it takes stain easily. Some people also use different types of wood, resulting in amazing multi-coloured, multi-grained works of art. Adding shaped stone, plastic, metal or anything else can add to the look (and the time!)

Here are a few of the ones I’ve created.

“The Tooth”
This was a gift I made for my wife. It’s cedar, stained and woodburned, and is one of my favourites.

“The Bunny”
Cedar and stained. This was one of the harder ones I’ve done, simply because of the fur.

“The Girl”
Most of the intarsia pieces I make are stained. This was a test one that was painted.  Althought I liked it, I still prefer stained ones that show the wood grain.

“The Balloon”
This one certainly had the most pieces! This was made as a wedding gift for friends that were both into hot air ballooning.


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