Chest covered with intarsia *
Teacher: Meelis Kihulane
Meelis Kihulane has been a furniture restorer for more than 20 years and a teacher of traditional carpentry in Olustvere School of Service and Rural Economics for 5 years. He has spent past 7 years by promoting and teaching Estonian traditional carpentry. Meelis has been a curator of several woodworking exhibitions.
He practices and teaches traditional carpentry methods in which hand tools are mostly used, such as knives, chisels, saws, axes, etc. Most of the raw materials come from nature and are not pre-processed.
Technically, intarsia is like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. The difference is that the pieces needed for the shape or pattern must be cut out and then glued to the surface. It's woodwork, but it does not require any prior woodwork experience. Nor is it physically difficult.
In Estonian traditional art, intarsia has been used for example on beer jugs. On the sides of those jugs, various small pieces of different trees were fixed (such as alder, black oak, etc). The lock casing of some bigger chests and cupboards has been made of some other type of tree. In the beginning of the 20th century, intarsia was very common for decorating various furniture and interior items.
In the workshop we are going to make intarsia consisting of different wood types, which we will then use to decorate a box of 20 x 15cm, suitable for jewellery or handicraft tools. The details of the box are pre-made by the tutor. The participant can choose a suitable pattern, or design one by themselves.