Phil Magistro

   Born in 1928, Phil grew up in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where he worked with his father as a mason, carpenter, and woodworker. He became fascinated with parquetry, and tried the technique of inlaying fine wood into patterns.

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   He settled in Pennsylvania with his wife Rhoda and their four children. After three heart attacks before the age of fifty, Phil and Rhoda made the decision to move to Florida. A chance encounter at a flea market introduced Phil to the world of gemstones. He soon took lessons in the lapidary arts and bought himself a Cab-Mate, then a faceting machine, and set up his own shop at home. He then started putting stones together in patterns like he used to in wood. In 1988 he saw a "Lapidary Journal" article featuring Nicolai Medvedev, which called the work he was making intarsia, a 500-year-old art from Italy. That newfound knowledge gave him inspiration to perfect this difficult technique.  

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   For the next ten years Phil not only created magnificent award winning intarsias, but taught the art form as well. He has also produced two prize-winning videos, Introduction to Intarsia and Intricate Intarsia to help continue this fine art tradition.

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