Lebanon Church Gifted Unique Art

December 19, 2014 | Judy Blackwood

Members of the Lebanon Church in Sweet Home, Ore., were in for a real treat when they entered the narthex on Sabbath, Sept. 13. Above the doors into the sanctuary was the long-awaited picture of Jesus and the children.

Bonnie Edgerly, Lebanon church member, worked for three years and more than 3,000 hours to create the beautiful composition constructed of small pieces of wood in the method of intarsia. Intarsia is a form of wood inlay that goes back to before the seventh century. The method uses varied shapes, sizes and species of wood fitted together to create an illusion of depth. Each piece is individually cut, shaped, and finished. The pieces are then fitted together like a jigsaw puzzle and glued into place.

Edgerly used 15 different kinds of wood. Rather than using stain or paint to create the colors in the piece, the colors came from using different wood species. The picture measures 6 feet by 8 feet.

Edgerly started doing intarsia woodworking in about 1990 but stopped when she began working as a nurse around 1993. She hadn’t done any since then until the church decorating committee asked her if she would be willing to take on this project in 2011.