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Intarsia 415


This polished intarsia contains multiple layers of stone, with the center containing Santa Maria Plume Agate, Dendritic Agate, both Blue Opal and Turquoise; and completed with a double border frame and black backing. The cabochon is constructed from 13 individual pieces. 

A very foggy scene is created from the agate layers overlaying the blue sky. The addition of the opal and agate layers over the turquoise creates gentle color differences in the sky, and creates foggy clouds. The black dendrites in the next background layer create trees that appear to blur into the distance from the fog around them, and in front lies the textured moss from the Santa Maria layer. The dark blues and greens in this layer are much crisper and detailed, which helps give an even greater sense of depth in the image by increasing the contrast between the foreground and background.

The frame is built from white agate and a greenish gray jasper. The white helps the piece not be too gloomy and dark, and the outer jasper frame matches well with the muted colors within the center. Backed with black basalt for a solid dark base and added strength, with an angled back bevel. 


Santa Maria Plume Agate
Dendritic Agate
Blue Opal
Black Basalte

White Agate
Gray Jasper

52mm x 38mm 


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.