Pearl Inlay


The Book of the Month is ” Pearl Inlay” An Instruction Manual For Inlaying Abalone And Mother-of-Pearl.  by James E. Patterson

If one is looking to learn how to inlay just about any material into their projects this book is worth a read. It centres on the process for Ivory, Abalone and Mother-of-Pearl, but can be helpful to our lapidary friends who wish to inlay gemstone material as well. What I like about the book was that it wasn’t just about the inlay process, but guided you through the  obtaining material, cutting it and in the end finishing it.

There are lots of examples within the book and schematics which guide you through building highly specialized jigs and tools for cutting and shaping the inlay material. Most of the jigs I would have never thought of myself which has undoubtedly saved me many hours in both time and wasted material. Build one jig and you will pay for the book many times over.

Another bonus with this book is that he also puts forward some solid tips and tricks for engraving pearl and ivory. This had a side benefit for me as I was able to use some of these techniques in my scrimshaw work as well.

So once again I would put this on the list of must have reference books for every Luthier and wood working enthusiast that wants to take their custom work to the next level.

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