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Intarsia 407

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This polished intarsia is made from turquoise backing two layers of agates, complete with a double border frame and black backing. The cabochon is constructed from 12 individual pieces. 

With a blue turquoise sky, the next layer of Del Norte Plume Agate creates the distant tree line in golden yellow with hints of orange and an earthy mauve. The top section of this Del Norte layer has gentle transparent banding across the clear agate. This adds a hint of a breeze in the otherwise clear, still sky. In front of this lays the ground and foliage created by a top layer of Wiggins Fork Moss Agate. The colorless agate is so clear it crisply shows the green mossy formations within. Sitting over brown ground, the moss varies from light, blue-green sage to an almost black dark green.

The frame is built from pale Imperial Jasper and a final border of Black Onyx. The neutral Imperial Jasper gives a light balance to the strong colors within, and always polishes exceptionally. Backed with black basalt for a solid dark base and added strength, with an angled back bevel. 

Center: Wiggins Fork Moss Agate, Del Norte Plume Agate, Turquoise, and Basalt

Border: Imperial Jasper and Black Onyx

52.5mm x 39mm 

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.