Inlay, some book said that it was started about 4-5000 years ago in China. This should be one of Inlay beginning. After that, the technique of incrustation originated in Damascus, Syria, in the Middle East. Later it spread to Europe, China, Korea and finally to Japan. The technique became prevalent in Kyoto in the Edo era.
The inlay, we call in Japanese as “Zogan” or “Raden”. They are not exactly same with Western style Inlay or Marquetry. As Zogan (incrustation), Kyoto Zogan is a most famous traditional craft that is made by inlaying pieces of shaped gold and silver into the base metal. Kyoto Zogan work was used in Samurai’s Katana decoration, their personal belongings and for interior decorative objects, such as small jewelry box and pen case.
Most famous American Inlay Artist, Mr. Larry Robinson, defined the Inlay, on his book “The Art of Inlay” :
“Basically, an inlay is a puzzle that the artist cuts all the pieces for, then routs (or grinds, chisels or gnaws) out a corresponding hole in the host material (usually wood, but possibly stone, metal, plastic, etc.), and glues in flush with the surface. After filling any residual pits and sanding smooth, the inlay might have some final details engraved on it, and the lines inked. “.
A Japanese Inlay Artist, Mr. Kazuki Kamiya, who I met about 6-7 years ago at a music store in Yokohama area. He started to work for the music store when he was just a teenager.
He felt to learn the guitar repairing at shop, then went to ESP guitar craft school.
He made a decision to start his own guitar craft and repairing business, then, opened the Guitar Craft studio as young guitar Luthier. He loves to make an inlay the making/assembling the guitar now because of it artificial designing and technique.
When I started the music related business, I remember his inlay works and would like to
Introduce his works for overseas guitar collectors and players.
He has a Japanese cultural back ground. I believe it make a great design for guitar’s inlay.
Well, In addition, he is a guitar Luthier too. Therefore, he could totally coordinate the real
High end guitar for professional players. Of course, these great guitar can be collection of your guitar with your designed beautiful inlay.
Mr. Kamiya’s name means Kami-God, Ya-Valley in English. The pronunciation of Kami is
“ZIN” in Japanese – Japanese have several pronunciations for 1 Chinese
character- He used “ZIN” as his guitar brand name (He recently told me
he is considering to change it; probably it will be changed like “God Valley?”).
Well, we would introduce his great Japanese Inlay works here.
Click photo about