“The earliest evidence that I am aware of for marquetry/inlay is a remarkable casket from the city of Ur, in Mesopotamia dated circa 2600 BC. Much of the work is cut from ivory and set in bitumen and is a pictorial representation of a mixture of royal and daily life. Not until the European renaissance do we again encounter pictorial decoration using contrasting veneers in the form of intarsia. This inlay technique was originally centred in the Italian city of Siena in the 11th century and much used to decorate church furniture and panels. Homer was the first, in 700 BC, to describe the ornamentation of furniture with prized materials. In book 23 of the Odyssey, Ulysses tells Penelope about the bridal bed that he made:

Beginning from the bedpost, I wrought at the bed head until I had finished it, and made it fair with inlaid work of gold, silver and ivory.

The early use of wood veneers for decorative purposes dates to ancient Egypt. The Pharaohs were familiar with chairs and chests that incorporated thinly sliced sections of contrasting woods and semi precious materials assembled in geometric patterns. The definition between marquetry and inlay often engender confusion. All marquetry can be described as inlay because each individual component can be said to be 'inlayed' into each other. Conversely, true inlay can never be defined as marquetry as it is composed of segments in which a space is first chiselled into the solid ground to be then filled with a piece cut to fit. Intarsia panels come into this category.”

— Stuart King
     History of Marquetry

The above piece of marquetry was inspired by graffiti on a wall in Clarion Alley, located in San Francisco's Mission District. Timola fabricated the panel itself in Greg Zall's shop in Petaluma, California, where she was apprenticing for a few weeks. The woods used for this piece are purple heart and walnut for the chequered wall, mahogany, bloodwood, and eucalyptus for the fawn and purple heart and yellow heart for the windmill. The background is cypress bordered with white holly. All the wood is in its natural color, only some shading is applied by toasting the wood.