Ancient Art Form
inlaying of colored woods, both natural and dyed is rooted in antiquity, with examples in
the Orient, Egyptian, and European cultures. Very little pre-Christian Intarsia
survives today, exceptions include 8th century Intarsia work performed in Japan and China.
Some 15th and 16th century pieces survived under the sanctuary of the Italian
Italian Intarsia in the pre-Renaissance period was the work of wood-carving Monks cloistered within the monasteries. At the beginning of the Renaissance period, Intarsia gained popularity with the Italian artists, and examples by Raphael and other famous artists have survived. However, the 17th century wars and civil unrest brought a general decline in Art and Intarsia. Later, interest was rekindled in France and Germany, but while the use of Marquetry as adornment of furniture resulted in world-wide popularity and use, the creation of Relief Intarsia declined until it almost became a lost art.
Donald Robinson's Intarsia artwork is an example of Relief Intarsia; woods different in thickness and of varied species are combined by shaping and carving to create the finished designs.
The woods used in these designs include: Pine, Cedar, Cypress, and Spruce. The grey mineral shading in some of the Spruce is caused by the presence of various minerals in the land on which the tree was grown and is a natural occurance.
No paints or dies are used by Donald Robinson to develop his expressions of Relief Intarsia.