One of the most relaxing and enjoyable woodworking areas is creating pictures with wood ... better know as Intarsia. Those that do get into Intarsia find out very quickly that it is far more complicated than first thought. It is not just a matter of cutting out different shapes of wood from different species to give the effect of different colors, it also involves understanding the grains of the wood and how to best cut it. This is AFTER you have figured out how to get the piece of the pattern you are working with on the wood.
Then there is the wood. Some of the most stricking Intasia pieces I have seen have incorporated special grains, or wood anomolies in the wood pieces that lend themselves to enhancing the Intasia piece. Perhaps it some figure in the wood, the way the grain runs or maybe where a branch connected when the tree was alive. All of these are features of Intasia.
To enhance a piece of Intarsi even more, requires the use of carving tools. When wood is carved the gouges cut by the carving tools are what give the piece a three dimensional look which is highlighted by the way the light strikes the highs and lows creating shadows and highlights on the work. A simple piece of Intarsia can be brought to life by a skilled carver who has the ability to add a few cuts here and there and make the piece more than a 2 dimensional looking pictures.
Copyright - Colin Knecht