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Intarsia 409


This polished intarsia is a piece of Indonesian Moss Agate with a simple turquoise back, complete with a double border frame and final black backing. The cabochon is constructed from 11 individual pieces. 

There is a lot of variety among the Indonesian Moss Agate material, with clear spots sprinkled throughout mostly inclusions or plumes. The top half is mostly clear agate with gentle cloud-like wisps of white banding that allow for the turquoise sky to show through. The overall atmosphere of the scene is light, fresh, and earthy as all the colors flow together. This top layer of agate has a few millimeters of mossy foliage that goes up and back into the slab, which creates physical shadow over the distant trees in addition to the illusion of the framed scene. The pale, sage green foliage gently fades back into the wispy sky. Grounding the scene at the bottom is an uneven terrain of tan and magenta earth. 

The frame is built from solid-colored stones, white agate and gray jasper. This keeps with the overall light nature of the scene, and subtle changes in tone along the edges add just a touch of interest. Backed with black basalt for a solid dark base and added strength, with an angled back bevel. 

Indonesian Moss Agate
Black Basalt

White Agate
Gray Jasper

39mm x 33mm 


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.