Monday, April 1, 2019

Variety of Woods are Cut and Assembled into Bird Portraits

Tom Smith also known as T.A.G. creates portraits inspired by wildlife. He specializes in intarsia, a technique of woodworking in which pieces of wood are cut and pieced together like mosaic. He uses walnut, sycamore, yew, koto and ebony to hand make the bird portraits. His work is clearly a labor of love and massive amount of patience. He generally starts by drawing the subject on paper, marking different parts with the respective wood types. He would then cut all the pieces from different woods for the portrait. He glues all the small pieces onto a scrap wood before he carves, then sands until the desired result is reached. Lastly he would add details like beak and feathers by burning into the wood, and make the eye and cere.

“My work combines my two great loves: wood and wildlife. It is all about mimicking the beauty of the natural world by using its natural resources. You don’t need paints, stains or dyes when nature has given you all those beautiful colors and grains. Wood is my palette, like an artist would have a palette of paints - the rich chocolate brown of wenge, the blood red of padauk, the pale gold of tree of heaven ..."

You can watch the video below to learn how he created the Barn Owl.