Big He’e

Honu II

honu I

Kalo Farmer

10″x21″,carving,filled carving and painting on solid koa

What is

This website covers Juli Morsella’s contemporary marquetry art and her contemporary marquetry design work. For Juli Morsella’s art portfolio site, go to

This landing page is mostly about new art work. There are four Portfolio categories that showcase images and brief descriptions of the artwork: figurative, Hawaiiana, natura and abstract.

The design landing page describes new designs and interiors. The design pages are for architects, interior designers and home owners interested in custom wood veneer  interior design elements for doors, cabinets, wainscots and any other two dimensional surfaces. Juli designs from scratch for each individual project, proposing designs that reflect the individual needs and personalities of the clients.

Juli Morsella is committed to using reclaimed woods, eco-friendly materials, and donating 10% of my earnings to  projects that help the Earth and its inhabitants.

Contemporary Marquetry

Marquetry, sometimes called wood inlay, is an ancient craft in which veneers of different colours  are cut and placed together to form pictures or designs. The finished veneer design is glued onto a plywood carcass for stability and strength . After studying this technique for years in Italy as the sole apprentice to a marquetry maestro in Umbria, Juli spent many more years on  trial error and experimentation developing a unique style and technique of a  contemporary art form.

All Juli’s works are original one-offs in wood veneers. Except for the pure black, all the wood colours are natural unstained woods. All the cutting is done by hand, then the veneer is glued with eco-freindly mastic to a surface with a veneer press. Follow these links for more information on technique and our green commitment.

“Choices”, last in the Red and White Caftan Series

“Choices”, Red and White Caftan series, 30″X22″. Walnut, walnut and other burls, paduk, maple, poplar, coloured pencils, found mineral pastes.

This is the last in this series. Here I used for the first time some mineral pastes/almost oil paint I have made with much experimentation from bits of minerals I find in the mountains.

Artist Breaks Away From Squares!

Mask 2, contemporary marquetry art

One of the beauties of wood is  not being confined by the almighty square/rectangle shape that define most of our artwork. Free to use whatever form is interesting, I have been experimenting for years with all kinds of shapes, mostly with large abstract pieces, multiple piece murals that can hang alone or in groups, and what I call “walkable art”. These wooden rugs,   are my way of poking a little fun at art being put on a pedestal-you walk on this art!  This  works especially well in Hawaii and other places where shoes are not worn indoors as the pieces are designed to withstand bare feet,  not stilettos. The “rugs” have tapered edges and  can also be designed as actual inserts in parquet floors, providing dramatic and unique accents.

Fuga, contemporary marquetry art


Aurora’s Dawn

More Eel I and II


48″X44″ mixed media

I See, I Hear, I Speak

Three panels 38″X23″ each Rosewood, walnut,burls, gold leaf, coloured pencils


36″X48″, walnut,paduk,maple,tanganika, koa,poplar, hau, ebony. Amboyna, ash,walnut and  rosewood burls,mixed mediums.

Metamorphosis I

This is the first piece in a new series tentatively called “The Nature of Birth”. This one, “Breaking Apart” is about metamorphoses.

I am currently working on another on about birth of new generations.

Contemporary Marquetry Portraiture: “Solitaire”


Solitaire, Red and White Caftan series, 34″X17″, walnut, poplar, paduk, maple, mineral pastes, coloured pencils.

Contemporary Marquetry Art in Portrature

As a contemporary marquetry artist, I am constantly trying new techniques. It is a challenge to respect the traditions of marquetry, which I studied in depth during a three year apprenticeship with one of Italy’s top marquetriers, while also seeking a more contemporary expression for it.

One of the ways I have done this is by using paint on the finished wood veneer panels. Another can be seen in this latest work, called Know Thyself. Here I used not only watercolour but also coloured pencils.

Second in Graphic Portrait Series

celia pau

I am enjoying this more graphic approach to portraiture immensely. This is the second (Young in Hawaii is the first).



this is a slightly different technique in that I use various thicknesses of wood with the seaweed.


Little Lion

20″ X 16″ koa, poplar, maple, mahogany, walnut burl.

Paparazzi I


first in “Paparazzi” series, with gold leaf, maple, rose and walnut burl,  colours.

Metamorphosis II

“Discordant Harmony”

Discordant Harmony, Red and White Caftan Series,23″X14″. Walnut, Paduk, Maple, Poplar, Redwood burl, mineral spirits, coloured pencils.

In this piece, Discordant Harmony, I wanted to push the envelope with the improbable juxtaposition of marquetry and subtle realistic shading, reflecting the state of mind I associate with the age represented, when childhood and adulthood clash and blend with often unexpected hybrid results.


Lomilomi, marquetry art

23″X28″, koa, mango, oak, poplar, mahogany, walnut and burl wood veneers, mineral pastes, watercolour. (detail)

“After the Beach”

After the Beach, contemporary marquetry art

This is a detail of “After the Beach”, from my new painted figurative series. The marquetry is painted with very thin veils of watercolor, many many layers, and I try to achieve a balance between design, wood and paint. The full size image can be seen in the figurative gallery.

‘Coming of Age’

This portrays that moment in which the relationship between the mother and daughter changes to something more grown up. It is done in various wood veneers and water color. 39″X33″