My Creative Dad - Intarsia

I've mentioned several times that my dad is a very talented woodworker.  He's done a huge variety of wood-related projects over the years (furniture, cabinetry, picture frames, shelving, etc.), in addition to large-scale projects like home additions.  But his favorite hobby is intarsia.

Intarsia is a woodcraft in which the artist uses different sizes, shapes, and species of wood and fits them together to make a picture.  There is no staining or painting - all color comes from the choice of wood.  It is a very time-consuming and exacting art.  The results are stunning.

My dad has made hundreds over the past 15 years or so.  We have around a dozen or so on display in our house, plus another handful that are seasonal and come out for Christmas.  My parents have a couple dozen of his pieces on display in their house as well.  The last time I visited, I snapped pictures of a few of my favorites.  Remember, all the color is the natural color of the wood.

This USA piece is about 5 feet across.

I'm blown away by the colors and patterns in this fruit bowl.

Isn't the cornucopia amazing?

His designs come from a variety of sources.  He buys some patterns from Judy Gale Roberts and creates his own patterns from coloring books and photographs.  One of the coolest was the Trouble intarsia he made for Trevor for Christmas 2011.

I've made exactly one intarsia project in my life.  It was a very simple Winnie-the-Pooh that I made for a friend's baby shower gift back in 1993.  I know I have a picture of it somewhere, but I haven't found it yet.  After working on such a very easy project with so few pieces, my appreciation for my dad's amazing artwork rocketed.  He makes it look so easy, always a sign of talent and many years of practice.

Happy 65th birthday Dad!  I love you.


  1. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwww! His work is amazing! I have seen other artists do these creations ... and wow ... are they ever beautiful!!!

  2. oh these are so amazing- your father is so talented!

  3. These are beautiful!! I love the US map and how awesome is that bunny!! :)

  4. Those are incredible. What beautiful handiwork. He is so talented. Great pics. Happy bday to you Dad.

  5. Happy birthday to your dad! I remember him working on that fruit bowl, which is one of my all time favorites.

  6. Your Dad is amazingly talented!!! These are wonderful! I love the Trouble intarsia.


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