I often get asked what I use for the backing of my intarsia projects. In my case the answer is plywood. In Ian Christie's case the answer is nothing.
On the left is the front of his intarsia. On the right is the smooth back.
I asked Ian about the different coloured noses on the front and back views of this Swaggy. He'd chosen a piece of wood that had heartwood on one end and light coloured sapwood at the other end. From the point of view of contrast I much prefer the back view. Along with the lighter cheeks the whole face stands out much better than the front view where the colours are not so defined.
Ian makes it work because of his accurate cutting out. The individual pieces fit together so well that by using a good quality glue it all stays together.
Which begs the question, what is the best way to present such a piece? If you hang it on the wall you can't see both sides. Maybe some sort of stand that supports it freely on a desk top. Or it could be hung from the ceiling.
I've observed potential customers looking at my work when it was hanging on the walls of a local gallery. Many people touch the pieces and quite a few want to turn it over and have a look at the back. Which is why I always try to have a well presented back side. (Maybe I should rewrite that phrase, stop giggling, you know what I mean.)
If you've got any thoughts about Ian's work why don't you let him know by adding a comment below.