It’s All About Donating! #2: Rustic Intarsia

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Blog entry by justoneofme posted 06-01-2019 11:44 PM 775 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Rustic Intarsia! Part 2 of It’s All About Donating! series Part 3: Rustic Intarsia »

I’m back with some progress made. It’s hard to stay indoors for any length of time when all the wonderful pleasures of Spring beckon me out! This stage of design cutting took approximately 8 hours … spread out over the span of a week or so to complete.

Cutting is the easy part! “Intricate” happens when elevation and shaping of all the cut pieces begins. But wanting to clearly see the design, it was time to set everything up on top of my table saw, drawing it close to where I would be using the belt sander.

This is a much better visual now! The intent wasn’t to do a really good job of sanding off the paint, as that will happen when shaping begins. But right now, the design is clearly laid out … and (as the underneath is painted as well) I won’t mistake top from bottom. Believe it or not that’s quite easy to do with disassembled pieces being worked upon at this stage of the game! I’ve been known to mark the underside of cut pieces with a pencil for that very reason!!

You’ll notice (top portion of photo) that the stem seams wherever one panel meets the other, are glued together. This keeps the stem “as one” so there’s no discrepancy later, when shaping takes place.
Normally I would not be working with pre-painted wood for an Intarsia project … but in this case, the paint adds protection from glue penetrating into the cedar. Thinking ahead, I just may want this design left natural, depending on how it looks … or maybe use very light stains. In which case we all know the effects of glue residue on wood, and how it sticks out like a sore thumb when the top coat is applied! So with this particular project … glue the joints first. Sand later.
All of my Intarsia art pieces use just one solid stock wood … cedar. Its fine grain and soft characteristics provide easy shaping and carving. I also like to add another artistic dimension to my Intarsia, using acrylic paints or Samon stains. I know … sacrilege to many in the woodworking world! But that’s my style, and I’m sticking to it :) However, many times I leave various parts of the design in natural cedar. And this is where greater care using glue is really important.

I have my stash of laminated woods in varied thicknesses, that are used when it comes to elevation. I use waxed paper as a template, mapping out the flowers and leaves, transferring the templates onto whichever thickness I desire, and cut them out.

Then these little pieces are snuck into place. It’s still very roughly laid out, making room for adjustments as I go along. At this point I know elevation all along each stem will be necessary … not just here and there (that’s been done to this point). The illusion of intertwining stems will need to be achieved by shaping from above.

Every art piece is approached differently when achieving that 3D effect. This one is relatively easy as the background is already established, but also time consuming as every part of the foreground has to be elevated to achieve the concept of vines, leaves and flowers clinging to a section of fencing.

There’s more fun ahead, so stay tuned. I’ll be juggling my days between these flowers and the ones outside!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

13 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


8554 posts in 3569 days

#1 posted 06-02-2019 12:31 AM

Looking great Elaine
.... but you really have to stop worrying about pva glue blocking finishes and start using hide glue. :-)
Free (for you) hide glue classes at my shop.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View justoneofme's profile


828 posts in 3251 days

#2 posted 06-02-2019 01:46 AM

Well Paul … you’re really going to laugh when I seriously start the gluing process! I may take you up on that free offer some day :)
Have fun with your next Marquetry class session!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View Celticscroller's profile


1286 posts in 2844 days

#3 posted 06-02-2019 03:15 AM

You do a great job of explaining your progress Elaine. A natural teacher! The project is looking great. Looking forward to seeing the next stage. Enjoy the flowers both inside and out!

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3561 posts in 4483 days

#4 posted 06-02-2019 03:27 AM


It’s absolutely amazing what you can do with an old painted piece of cedar. I love following along with your detailed explanations.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View justoneofme's profile


828 posts in 3251 days

#5 posted 06-02-2019 05:13 AM

Thanks Anna and L/W … glad I’m able to be so entertaining!! P.S. ... there’s a test at the end. LOL !!! Just kidding … but I am glad you’re both enjoying following the process :)

-- Elaine in Duncan

View Ivan's profile


15952 posts in 3638 days

#6 posted 06-02-2019 05:36 AM

It will be amaizing and very promising project…looking forward to see it completed.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View DocSavage45's profile


8956 posts in 3613 days

#7 posted 06-02-2019 05:48 PM


I’ve finally started on the wood sculpting path after much procrastination. Your comments regarding what goes on with you and possible //probable for me problems that arise. Time lines are also great. Like eight hours of patient work. LOL! Ideas and visions son’t have any time lines.


Call me Tom

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 3566 days

#8 posted 06-02-2019 10:18 PM

Looking good Elaine. Like the other commentators, I’m waiting for your next, well explained update.
Thanks for sharing. ;)

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View justoneofme's profile


828 posts in 3251 days

#9 posted 06-03-2019 02:57 PM

Hi Ivan … great to have you following me for a change!!

Looking forward to hearing more about your wood sculpting journey Tom :)

Hope you won’t have to wait too long for the next instalment John!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7545 posts in 1483 days

#10 posted 06-03-2019 03:08 PM

this piece is simply beautiful i am really enoying following along with you in this journey SUPER GR8 :<)))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View justoneofme's profile


828 posts in 3251 days

#11 posted 06-04-2019 01:42 AM

Sometimes it seems slow going … but I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying this project Tony!! Thanks :)

-- Elaine in Duncan

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4105 days

#12 posted 07-25-2019 06:39 PM

Looks great so far Elaine and I love the old painted background. I’m catching up, but I have to comment the progress so I don’t forget what I wanted to say at the end!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View justoneofme's profile


828 posts in 3251 days

#13 posted 07-26-2019 01:27 AM

Lol! Good to see you catching up Mike!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

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