Books and Instructional DVDs

This beautifully illustrated book is both a celebration of the art of inlay and a hands-on guide to its materials, tools, techniques, and endless creative potential.

Inlay in America today often adorns guitars, banjos, mandolins and other musical instruments, as well as furniture, fine woodwork, jewelry, wall hangings, and various objects d'art. Designs range from simple monograms, vignettes or patterns, to elaborate scenes of nature, history, or fantasy. This book is a spectacular showcase of some of the finest examples of this art, and an inside look at how to create it.

Over a hundred color photographs of exquisitely inlaid pieces illustrate the artistic and technical insights of one of today's foremost inlay artists. You'll discover the versatile palette of natural materials used in inlay: shells, woods, metals, stones, gems, bones, ivories, and even vegetable ivories, or "tagua nuts." In a personable, easy-to-read style, the author tells you about the tools and techniques used to transform these elements into inlay. He describes in detail every step of the process and every aspect of the art--from drawing the initial design to touching up the finished object. And you'll get plenty of tips and tricks along the way, like how to use the innate magic of shell's light-reflecting properties to make a guitar fingerboard "flash on" all the way up the neck.

With concise instructions, descriptive photos and drawings, and inspirational examples of recent inlay by top artists throughout North America, this book is an unsurpassed technical advisor for the beginning or experienced inlay artist and a unique artistic treasure for any art and crafts enthusiast.

The Art of inlay can be ordered from any book store, online book seller or Luthier's Mercantile (  It is not sold through this website.

The beginner and intermediate videos are each two and a half hours long, and the advanced video is over two hours.  All are packed with information for anyone interested in making inlays for themselves.  The basic inlaying tape covers tools, materials, design, cutting, routing, gluing and leveling.  A simple butterfly is the project for this tape.

The intermediate tape shows the process of designing and inlaying a more complex vine in a guitar fingerboard, and covers engraving the finished product as well.

The advanced tape is intended for inlayers with some experience under their belts, and deals with inlaying signatures and block lettering, designing lettering both by hand and on a computer, pinstriping the back of a guitar neck, inlaying over the compound curves of an archtop guitar, and finally, three-dimensional inlaying.

There is a little overlap on these tapes, due to the probability that many people will order only the one which reflects their skill level, but they are well worth the list prices of $59.95 for the basic and intermediate tapes, and $49.95 for the advanced tape.

  They can be ordered directly from Larry Robinson on this website.  The Basic or Intermediate DVDs are $55 US each, and the Advanced ones are $45 US each.  The entire set is $145.  Prices include shipping.  Mail checks or money orders (International Money Orders only from outside North America) to:
Larry Robinson
PO Box 308
Valley Ford, Ca. 94972

The DVDs are supposed to be playable anywhere but airline in-flight entertainment (!) and China.

Here are some other sources for the DVDs.

Duke of Pearl LLC
13325 Rousby Hall Rd. Bldg. F
Lusby, Md. 20657-2707

Elderly Instruments
PO Box 14210
Lansing, MI 48901 USA

Grizzly Industrial, Inc.
PO Box 2069
Bellingham, WA  98227-2069

Luthier's Mercantile
P.O.Box 774
Healdsburg, Ca. 95448

Rescue Pearl Company
  1551 Duck Hollow Ct.
  Rescue, Ca. 95672