"Notes On Making Intarsias"
By Meredith Jones
Kitsap Mineral and Gem Society

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"Whitetailed Deer" and "Viking Ship" by Meredith's student Glenn Buchanan

   In choosing a subject be sure all the necessary material is available. If some small, intricate part is involved, make it first and build the picture around it.
   My friends and I have chosen various subjects such as marsh hawk, blue heron, Viking ship, covered wagons, Spanish mission, deer, mountain sheep, moose, sailing ship and Dutch windmill. Bu this summer we will have a fine local art display.

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"Sailboat" and "Sailing Ship" by Meredith's student Herfy Reed

   So, the first step is to choose a good picture that can be made with available material. I personally like a scene that captures action or tells a story. A search at the library, or maybe a calendar, will solve this problem and give you inspiration and ideas. Using a pantograph is a simple means of enlarging your subject if necessary. After the picture is drawn, draw the lines indicating each individual piece of rock. All joints, as near as possible, should be along the natural lines forming the various objects of your picture. When joints along natural lines cannot be used, avoid straight lines unless of course, you can match the pattern of your material.

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"Windmills" by Vic & Gladys Fuller, Meredith's students

   When using my assembly method, all lapping and polishing is done after the picture is completely cemented together and mounted on a sheet of three-quarter inch plywood. Some of the hazards of lapping are loss of surface colors and pattern. Also there is the possibility of exposing hidden pits and defects as the surface is ground away. When matching material, avoid combining extremely soft material with hard. The soft material will tend to undercut and leave hollow spots on the surface.

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"Church" and "Moose" by June & Robert Smith, Meredith's students

   There are techniques to offset the above hazards as will be explained. The final lapping was my biggest problem, particularly for a large picture of twenty inches or more along one side. Now I have a rather simple and very good solution, which will be explained.


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