Q:

How do you choose between intarsia woodworking patterns?

A:

Quick Answer

Choose an intarsia pattern based on your skill level and interests. Popular patterns include pictures of animals and birds, flowers, landscapes and geometric designs. You can download free beginner intarsia patterns online, design your own pattern or order a custom-designed pattern from an artist.

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Full Answer

There is no wrong way to do intarsia, according to artist Kathy Wise. If you are a beginner, choose a simple pattern to practice using your scroll saw, knife and sanders. Simple patterns usually have between 10 and 12 pieces. Select beautiful, contrasting pieces of wood with interesting grains. You can make a simple pattern eye-catching if you use wood and stain creatively.

You can also commission an artist to create a pattern using photos of family or your favorite pet. This type of pattern gives your intarsia a more personal meaning. Some commercially-available patterns include instructions on how to choose the right wood for the project. This option is good for beginners.

Skilled artists and craftspeople who want to sell their work may look for more intricate patterns. Landscape patterns often have foreground and background layers. A delicate floral pattern gives you the opportunity to showcase advanced scroll saw skills. If you want to experiment with different kinds of wood, choose a pattern with many pieces. A detailed geometric pattern challenges artists to shape and join each piece perfectly.

Some artists are more interested in the beauty of polished wood. If you prefer simplicity, choose a pattern with few pieces and focus on the elements of wood grain and color to create the effect you desire. If the pattern you are looking for does not exist, draw your own pattern. Transfer it to paper or make a template for your project.

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