Intarsia, a form of wood inlaying that dates before the seventh century, was perfected in Islamic North Africa, and was finally introduced into Christian Europe through Sicily and Andalusia. The art was further developed in Siena, Italy at the cathedral of Orvieto, where intarsia depicting people made their first appearance beginning in 1330. The art of intarsia became popular in northern Italy in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and spread to Germany, Holland, and England.
Member of Grace Bob Leonowicz began making an intarsia version of Da Vinci’s Last Supper before he suffered a fall in 2014. It was designed by Bruce Worthington and consists of 800 pieces cut from at least 13 different kinds of wood: Canarywood from Brazil, Aniegre from Africa, Sapele from Africa, Primavera from Central America, Purpleheart from South America, Zebrawood from Africa, Leopardwood from South America, Bloodwood from Brazil, Wenge from Africa, Ebony, and Maple, Red Oak and Butternut – all from the US. The amazing variety of the natural color of each piece of wood provides all the color of the work.
Bob’s family, knowing he wanted to give the intarisa to Grace, worked hard to find a local wood craftsman up to the challenge of the finishing the work and found him this year in local craftsman Jim Bergsbaken. Its location near the new door to the sanctuary reminds us of Bob’s leadership during our recent sanctuary renovation and stands as a wonderful welcome to the Lord’s Table within. Thanks be to God for this gift from Bob and his family!