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Tony’s Inlay

Since inlays are featured in many of my works, it is appropriate for me to provide some background on the inlay process as well as how I use them to create my works. 

The biggest misconception is that the various colors I use in my work are created with stains, dyes, or paints.  That is not so.  I have spent a considerable amount of time searching out highly colored exotic woods from around the world and found that very few colors do not exist in nature.  I utilize the natural color, and just as importantly, the grain of the wood to create images that will endure a lifetime. 

There are several methods used by woodworkers to infuse art work onto the surface of their work.  One process is Marquetry, where thin veneers of exotic woods are arranged to create the desired image.  The thin sheet comprising the final artwork is then glued onto a substrate or other desired surface.  Another method, Intarsia, is the process of creating an image using thicker pieces of woods left at different thickness to create depth and dimension.  Due to the resulting surface texture, this method is often left as standalone art and used to decorate vertical surfaces. 

In my works, I borrow from both styles.  The woods I use for my inlays range from one-half to one-eighth of an inch in thickness, depending on availability.  Instead of simply gluing the images to a less expensive substrate, I actually cut a recess into solid surfaces and then embed the artwork into that recess.  Of course this is riskier, you only get one shot at getting it right and it’s important to get a tight fit.  Since I often embed my inlays in exotic and high-end domestic woods, one slip while cutting the recess and you’ve probably wasted an expensive piece of wood. 

My high is finding the middle ground between the perfect fit, and actually having an occasional gap here and there so that when people take a closer look they ask, "Is this totally done by hand".  That’s my favorite part. 

Continue onto the next page where I demonstrate the inlay process.  Then visit my gallery where you can see some of the images I’ve created, using only the natural beauty of exotic woods. 

A.T. Williams Creations P.O. Box 76 Harleysville, PA 19438 215-896-1916

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