Book Review — The Art of Inlay by Larry Robinson

Art of Inlay by Larry Robinson (How to make custom guitar inlays)

The Art of Inlay by Larry Robin­son is a well illus­trated instruc­tion guide in how to make beau­ti­ful gui­tar inlays. Robin­son knows of what he writes as he has done gui­tar inlays for such artists as Led Zep­pelin and U2 and many oth­ers. The book is beau­ti­fully set up with over 100 full color pho­tographs that will inspire any­one think­ing of cre­at­ing gui­tar inlays. The pho­tographs show the reader some fan­tas­tic inlay work in a vari­ety mate­ri­als includ­ing wooden boxes and other musi­cal instru­ments. This lat­est edi­tion of the book is revised and expanded and includes a 16 page gallery of inlay exam­ples. The instruc­tions and direc­tions on how to accom­plish such work are laid out in black and white and easy to under­stand instruc­tions and guides. These draw­ings are accu­rate and sim­ple to follow.

The book is also a great resource to learn about the dif­fer­ent tools and mate­ri­als that you may need to com­plete your gui­tar inlays. It lists some unusual mate­ri­als that can be incor­po­rated and includes some lively dis­cus­sions of design approaches. Robin­son is author­i­ta­tive and con­ver­sa­tional at the same time. This book serves as both an inspi­ra­tional tome to cre­ativ­ity and a hands on guide in how to get started your­self. The thrust of the book explains that gui­tar inlays are more than just accents or prac­ti­cal flour­ishes and that they stand alone as works of art. Robin­son includes many tes­ti­monies by artists and musi­cians that attest to the qual­ity of his inlay work and the spe­cial feel­ing the designs bring to the instru­ments. Work by Robin­son has been fea­tured in fine wood­work­ing mag­a­zines as well as Gui­tar Player and the book enti­tled Acoustic Gui­tars and Other Fret­ted Instru­ments. His gui­tar inlays and other works have also been the sub­ject of many fine art gallery shows and are prized pieces in many collections.

This book is a great primer and starter book for some­one just get­ting into the work but will also serve the sea­soned inlayer as well. The gui­tar inlays that are fea­tured in the pic­ture are worth check­ing out for the sim­ple aes­thetic plea­sure that can be acquired from view­ing them. It does a good job of cov­er­ing the basic ground of mak­ing inlays. It explains cut­ting, trac­ing and the tools and processes nec­es­sary to com­plete a project. The exam­ples are cer­tainly works to strive for and the design tips given by Robin­son are invalu­able to any­one inter­ested in cre­at­ing gui­tar inlays.

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