Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Also Intarsia

As I perused the world-wide-web last week to get some idea of the feelings already out there about intarsia (knitting), I learned that intarsia is also known (possibly more commonly known) as a woodworking technique where different colors of wood are inlaid together.  I think that it would be correct to say that intarsia in woodworking predated intarsia in knitting.

This photo shows an example from the early 15th century.  It is at the Collegio della Mercanzia in Perugia, Italy.

Here is a more contemporary example.

I also found intarsia done in stone.

This is an intarsia portrait made in stone.  It is entitled "Mr. Lizzadro" and it is a portrait of the collector behind the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art.  At the musem website I learned that they are in Elmhurst, Illinois and that "Lapidary is the art of cutting and polishing stone."

I liked learning all of this.

In the Wikipedia article titled "Intarsia" (which covers woodworking intarsia and mentions intarsia done in stone) I learned, "It is thought that the word 'intarsia' is derived from the Latin word 'interserere' which means 'to insert'."

The Wikipedia article titled "Intarsia (knitting)" begins with this two sentence paragraph:  "Intarsia is a knitting technique used to create patterns with multiple colours. As with the woodworking technique of the same name, fields of different colours and materials appear to be inlaid in one another, but are in fact all separate pieces, fit together like a jigsaw puzzle."

Intarsia is an art and a craft that may be worked in various media...

Photo credits:
Collegio della Mercanzia:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/debbcollins/3939907401/
Wolf Intarsia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wolf-Intarsia-md.jpg
Mr. Lizzadro:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/suttonhoo22/4419221718/


  1. How interesting! I had no idea the term was used regarding wood and stone.

  2. Wow, that is very interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Very interesting! Thank you for sharing this:)

    Nidhi from Rav

  4. What type of stone did you use for mr lizzardo

  5. Dear Carolyn, I love intarsia knit even I am not experienced... Intarsia is a very old technique for stone, wood, metal and of course yarns...I hope you enjoy in doing beautiful designs!