. Intarsia 405 | The Gem Shop, Inc.

Intarsia 405


This polished intarsia artwork consists of a top layer of Montana Moss Agate overlaying Del Norte Plume Agate, and backed with Turquoise, completed with a double border frame and black backing. The cabochon is constructed from 12 individual pieces. 

This horizontal landscape is created by golden plumes above a dusty orange and mauve ground, created by the center Del Norte Agate layer, and a blue sky from the Turquoise backing. The top section of the Del Norte layer is translucent agate with faint colorless banding, which gives a little wind to the sky and gentle shadows of plumes in the horizon. The final layer in the center is an entirely clear piece of Montana Moss Agate, save for a single black dendrite that completes the picture with a bird soaring overhead.

The first border of the frame is made from Wildhorse Picture Jasper in a gentle yellow that matches the tones of the center scene. Finally, the outer Black Onyx calls back to the black bird as the only other moment of the black contrast. Backed with black basalt for a solid dark base and added strength, with an angled back bevel. 

Center: Montana Moss Agate, Del Norte Plume Agate, Turquoise, and Basalt

Border: Wildhorse Picture Jasper and Black Onyx

63.5mm x 31.5mm

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Intarsia: The Gem Shop’s founder, Eugene Mueller, has an MFA in painting and has won awards in the Cutting Edge Competition® for his intarsia, and has crafted and/ or designed many of the pieces available here. For thousands of years artisans have been using stone, striving to create the most beautiful scene possible. This process is commonly referred to as Intarsia. Intarsia traces its history back to the Italian Renaissance, and was called pietra dura or pietre dure. This is a term for the inlay technique of using thinly cut and polished stones to create images. The stonework is glued stone-by-stone to a substrate after having previously been sliced and cut in different shape sections; and then assembled together so precisely that the contact between each section is practically invisible. Intarsia items are generally crafted on green, white or black base stones. Traditionally Intarsia pieces have a flat polish, but more contemporary pieces are more freeform and have a dome polish, and are often referred to as “composite cabochons.” Intarsia is a high expression of lapidary art requiring a close mastery. Each piece is eccentric and highly collectible – a true work of art.

Learn more about Intarsia and its history, as well as Gene Mueller's work and artistry in the technique.