As the company name implies, all our work begins with two natural materials: wood and shell.
The art of inlay is the arrangement and setting of these two elements. Both wood and shell have an intrinsic beauty that is brought out through the skillful design and technique of the craftsperson.
The first step in the inlay process is creating the design. This is where the creative process starts. The design to be inlayed is first sketched in pencil. Once the general shape of the design is drawn, the appropriate wood and shell must be selected to fill out the design. Because each piece of wood and shell is different, this process cannot be rushed. The grain and color of the wood, the brilliance and pattern of the shell, all must be taken into account for the finished piece to meet its potential as a beautiful work of art.
Next comes the actual cutting of the wood and shell pieces. Each piece (some very tiny) is cut by hand with a hair thin jewelers blade. The pieces have to match up exactly to avoid gaps in the finished picture. This requires a steady hand and lots of patience.
After all the small pieces to be inlayed are cut, a cavity is routed into the wooden background to hold the inlay. Then all the inlay pieces are glued together like a jigsaw puzzle and placed in the routed wood.
When all the pieces are inlayed in the wood, They are sanded flush. Then any engraving that is needed is done with a hand graving tool. The engraved lines are then filled with ink. The work is completed with a finishing coat of laquer or oil to bring the piece to life.