Intarsia Basics #1: Introduction and Invitation to All.

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Blog entry by KoryK posted 03-18-2012 10:53 PM 14540 reads 40 times favorited 42 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Intarsia Basics series Part 2: Preparing Your Wood and Pattern for Cutting »

Hello to all and all are Welcome,


Hi, my name is Kory Kiker and a couple of weeks ago Ms. Debbie contacted me about conducting an online class for those interested in learning the art of intarsia. I was very excited about the chance to share a few things I have learned in the last three years of doing intarsia art. Before intarsia I did a lot of wood carving so I hope this helps give each project more depth and definition. I will tell you now that most of the things I’ve learned is through trial and error, not by reading books or research. That being said, most of everything I will relate to you is through personal experience so it will be very easy for everyone to follow and learn because it will not get too technical (simple-stupid is me in a nutshell). This is a beginner’s project for those who want to learn the basics.

About Intarsia:

Intarsia art started in Italy in the 1600 and combines the use of different woods and wood colors made in different depths to create a 3D picture. You generally start with a pattern and use that to cut out your pieces. I like to use wood that is at least an inch thick so you can add a good amount of depth to your project but that is a personal preference. You can also add spacers behind some pieces to add to your depth. In my opinion, the key to make your projects pop is the shaping of your pieces and your use of depth. We have all seen intarsia pieces that look flat and I try to avoid that as much as possible. I use a variety of sanders, rotary tools and carving tools to add definition to each piece. I think of it like you’re creating a carving with many pieces of wood. That being said, it does take more time and patience to create a project you will be proud of.

Our Project:

Link for Plans:

(If you have problems printing this please send me a note and I will send you the pdf)

This is a beginner project that has thirty pieces and should be a fun project for everyone. I will go fairly slowly so everyone can keep up. I will try to post each class about a week apart. To make this affordable to everyone I went back to the basics and used the tools I started with. The only tools I used to make these projects were a scroll saw, dremel tool, and a drill. I made two of these frogs, one is made all out of poplar and stained and the other is out of exotic wood. People just starting this might not have access to exotic woods and don’t want to invest that much money until you see if you like this art form. To accommodate everyone, I will go through the process of making both and give you tips on each and you can make both or either projects. I do have some videos of the process, but I have tried to limit them due to some people having slower download speeds.

Things you will need:

Scroll saw

Dremel tool (flex shaft helps but not necessary)

Drill or drill press



Spray adhesive

Sand paper
Your Choice
Polyurethane spray (gloss and clear satin)

CA glue

Wood glue

Sanding tools for dremel

Your choice of wood

Backer board

This should be a fun project for everyone and I look forward to having a great time doing this. Please follow all safety protocols (proper ventilation, safety glasses, and all saw guards). If you have any questions or comments please leave me a message or send me a private message. Again if you have any problems with the download of the pattern please send me a private message with your email address and I will send you the pdf version.

I will start the class after April 10 to give everyone time to get their supplies and wood.

Thanks for your interest.

-- If you not making sawdust, your probably wasting your time. Kory

42 comments so far

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3858 days

#1 posted 03-18-2012 11:20 PM

I am going to follow along for sure Kory. Thnx for taking the time to do this. I may not be able to physically build along with your class, but, I’m here to learn about this fine art

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View majeagle1's profile


1429 posts in 4550 days

#2 posted 03-18-2012 11:52 PM

The same here Kory…... tied up on another project right now but will be watching this very closely and will try to catch up as I can. Thanks for doing this class in advance as I have really been wanting to try this.

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View Hogger270's profile


11 posts in 3314 days

#3 posted 03-19-2012 12:10 AM

Are any blades available that cut in all directions , so the Material does not have to be turned on the table constantly? I would like to cut windows in the sides of plates , bowls and deep vessles where the opening will clear the upper arm of the scroll saw?

View KoryK's profile


229 posts in 3743 days

#4 posted 03-19-2012 12:16 AM

Thanks Roger and Gene glad your along for the ride. Hogger there is a spiral blade available (Lowes and Woodcraft) that does cut in all directions without having to back out. I have tried them and they do take some getting used to.

-- If you not making sawdust, your probably wasting your time. Kory

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 3519 days

#5 posted 03-19-2012 12:52 AM

I tried the link, but it says I dont have permission. I clicked the button to ask for permission, so you may get a request come through. Perhaps easier to post the PDF?

I really look forward to this, I have always wondered how it was done. Thanks for taking the time to educate us!

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View KoryK's profile


229 posts in 3743 days

#6 posted 03-19-2012 01:04 AM

I tried to post the pdf and it is not allowed hence the link that is not working lol. So if you will send me a private message with your email address I can send it to you directly.

-- If you not making sawdust, your probably wasting your time. Kory

View MShort's profile


1798 posts in 4472 days

#7 posted 03-19-2012 01:13 AM

Thanks for doing the class. I follow your fantastic works and bought a book about a month ago to try it out someday. I can now follow your class. Thanks so much.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 4072 days

#8 posted 03-19-2012 03:21 AM

Thank you Kory, for doing this, I just sent you a personal message and now I’m confirming publicly that I’ll be participating/following along as you go.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View bhack's profile


349 posts in 4774 days

#9 posted 03-19-2012 03:24 AM

Looking forward to following Thank you for your time and effort

-- Bill - If I knew GRANDKIDS were so much fun I would have had them first.

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 4155 days

#10 posted 03-19-2012 05:36 AM

Kory, I just went through your project pages. WOW. You look like you have it down. Obviously there is a lot of thought to wood selection and grain pattern that you will be able to direct us towards after the trial and error period. The use of popular sounds like a good idea for a beginner like myself. The link above worked just fine for me. Thanks…..............

-- mike...............

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3858 days

#11 posted 03-19-2012 06:08 AM

just wanted you to know the link worked fine for me as well

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 4791 days

#12 posted 03-19-2012 02:09 PM

Thanks much Lory for taking the time to do an on-line class. Looking forward to it.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View takingturns's profile


37 posts in 3399 days

#13 posted 03-20-2012 11:35 AM

I have been waiting for such a class! So excited and the timing is perfect for me. Thanks so much Kory for giving of your time to us-


-- Taking Turns

View Skylark53's profile


2862 posts in 4114 days

#14 posted 03-20-2012 01:03 PM

Kory-thanks for your willingness to teach this class. I’ll be following along.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View misslolly's profile


52 posts in 3854 days

#15 posted 03-20-2012 02:29 PM

I would appreciate a pdf thankyou. Can’t wait. It looks like you will have a lot of eager disciples for this project.

-- wishIstillhadaclydesdaleinmyfrontyard

showing 1 through 15 of 42 comments

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