There are so many awesome and creative techniques used in Jewelry Making and the Art of Inlay is particularly fascinating to me.

​Not only does Inlay require the obvious talent of precision stone cutting but without the use of extraordinary design and color presentation, the most talented jewelry maker can end up with a finished piece lacking that 'wow' factor all artists seek.

We often see some confusion of which technique of Inlay has been used in certain creations so here is a brief explanation along with some examples.
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Delightful Zuni Multi Color Inlay Mother of Pearl Fire Opal Earrings Jewelry by Donovan Eriacho
Channel Inlay Thunderbird Sterling Silver Pin Pendant Combination Native American Zuni Jewelry by Pablito Quam
Channel Inlay is the Art of setting Cut Stone separated by thin borders of metal (Sterling Silver in our pieces)

In the complex piece above you can witness various cut stones (and shell) creating an image of the Thunderbird. Not only did the Artist use many small cuts of stone but also textured each to bring depth for the feathers. Although most all of this piece utilizes the Channel Inlay technique, you can see in the face and along the top of the wing (turquoise, coral, yellow mother of pearl) where Intarsia has also been incorporated.

In the Native American Zuni ring to the left, it is very easy to see the 'Channels' of silver separating the stones.
Multi Stone Native American Zuni Indian Sterling Silver Channel Inlay Ring Size 7 1/2 by Fabian Shekya
In this exquisite Contemporary ring to the left, the Artist has incorporated both the technique of Intarsia and Channel Inlay which can be seen around where the Fire Opal is set!

We offer an incredible variety of both Intarsia and Channel Inlay Jewelry in Contemporary and Traditional Designs.

Intarsia Inlay is the Jewelry Making technique of cutting stones to fit precisely against each other. This form of Inlay can be rather tricky and less forgiving than Channel Inlay as the pieces must fit snug against each other.

These bright and cheery earrings to the right are a wonderful example of Intarsia Inlay where the colors chosen and cuts of stone are so smooth they appear to simply flow into each other. There are no separation and no inclusion of silver between each cut!
Onyx White Fire Opal Intarsia and Channel Inlay Sterling Ring by Native American Navajo Robert Vandever

Intarsia or Channel? The Technique of Inlay in Jewelry Making

Channel Inlay in Native American Jewelry

Intarsia Inlay in Native American Jewelry


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