T. A. G. Smith

Self-taught artist Tom Smith, makes wall-hanging wooden sculptures of birds and feathers using the ancient intarsia technique. Witness the fusion of natural beauty and craftsmanship.

T. A. G. Smith

Edition Four Feature
Words by: Tom Smith 
Location: Gotham, Nottinghamshire, UK 
Photo Credits: ©Tom Smith, @t.a.g_smith 

My name is T. A. G. Smith – although most people know me as Tom – and I’m a self-taught artist from Nottinghamshire, UK. I make wall-hanging wooden sculptures of birds and feathers using an ancient technique known as intarsia. Birds have been a real passion of mine for years, and I try to mimic their incredible natural beauty using the most natural of materials. Wood lends itself very nicely to recreating birds and feathers, thanks to its huge variety of grain patterns and textures. This allows me to combine my two loves – birds and wood. 

Similar to marquetry, intarsia uses pieces of various coloured woods to create an image. But intarsia uses much thicker pieces of wood, meaning that they can be carved to appear more three-dimensional than they really are. By raising and lowering certain areas, more depth can be added to the sculpture. I use the natural colours of different timbers from the UK and the rest of the world – from sycamore and oak to wenge and padauk. In some cases, the woods are stained if there isn’t a wood of the colour that I need, but this is a last resort and generally only happens if I need blues and greys. 

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