Wooden Intarsia Wall Art

Woodworking can take many forms as the following wooden intarsia wall art. Some will tell you they have spent a lifetime doing woodwork and still learning every day. With so many rabbit holes to trip you up and slow you down as this article on other media. The following three wooden crafts have had my admiration and attention for some time.

It closely relates intarsia to wooden inlay and marquetry, in setting shaped stones and precious materials (mother-of-pearl) into patterns. It has its origins in 7th century Egypt. They continued the technique and developed through to 14th century Italy. After about 1620, marquetry was overtaking intarsia. Sometimes the lines between the three can become a little blurred as to what is what.

Wooden Inlay

Wooden inlay is the art of in inserting wood into another piece of wood such as the banding on furniture or boxes. The banding on these wooden pen boxes are homemade by me to match the style of box and the woods. The wooden pen boxes are still a work in progress, though I am afraid (problems with the hinges 🙂  )

Homemade Inlaid Bandings On Wooden Pen Boxes

The inlay in this wooden wall art uses the grain of the wood to be the veins on the leave, along with the natural colours of the wood.

Inlaid Maple Leaves By Whitlock Wooden Designs

This is my version of the original by dfcabinetmakers.com which was a more detailed marquetry piece.

Butterflies or bowtie shaped pieces of wood are sometimes inlaid into furniture to repair or stop cracks in furniture developing further as at this link from Popular Woodworking


Marquetry is the art of using thinly sawn expensive veneers up to 3mm thick in days of old. These days veneer is only 0.7mm and can be fragile. The veneer can be used in patterns or used to make pictures such as the work by Paul Schurch or lots of other work at marquetry.org. We can see lots more examples of all three disciplines on this Pinterest marquetry board.

Wooden Intarsia

Wooden Intarsia started in 70s America and is the art of using cut and shaped pieces of wood to make pictures such as these two pieces of wooden wall art.
Wooden Intarsia Wall Art - Home Decor By Whitlock Wooden Designs

Kathy Wise from America does fantastic work I can only aspire to.

This wooden intarsia African elephant wall art has wooden joinery techniques with a spline to the picture frame corners. Marquetry to the picture background and intarsia for the main elephant.
Wooden Intarsia African Elephant Wall Art-Home Decor

The frame is made with splines in the mitred corners for strength, then the marquetry for the background is done.
Simple Marquetry Work In Progress For The African Elephant

Using veneers, I can use expensive and exotic woods that would be out of my price range.
Working On The Legs Of The Elephant

Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of the head being worked on. At last, all the hard work done and just the finish to apply.
Applying The Oil Finish To The Wood, One Coat To Go

With five kinds of wood on the elephant and eleven with the frame and veneers, the woods also give a contrast and definition to the elephant.

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