inlaying


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Related to inlaying: inlaid, inlay gold

inlaying,

process of ornamenting a surface by setting into it material of different color or substance, usually in such a manner as to preserve a continuous plane. Inlay is employed in connection with a great variety of objects, both of major architectural character and of minor furnishing and decorative function, and makes use of a wide range of materials, such as wood, stone, ivory, glass, metal, mother-of-pearl, and tortoiseshell. The art is of ancient origin and has been continuously and widely employed. The use of the word inlay is now more generally restricted to the true process as applied to furniture and other objects of wood and as distinguished from parquetry and the veneered work of marquetrymarquetry
, branch of cabinetwork in which a decorative surface of wood or other substance is glued to an object on a single plane. Unlike inlaying, in which the secondary material is sunk into portions of a solid ground cut out to receive it, the technique of marquetry applies
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. For stone or glass inlays, see mosaicmosaic
, art of arranging colored pieces of marble, glass, tile, wood, or other material to produce a surface ornament. Ancient Mosaics

In Egypt and Mesopotamia, furniture, small architectural features, and jewelry were occasionally adorned with inset bits of
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; for metals, see nielloniello
[Ital. from Latin nigellus=blackish], black metallic alloy of sulfur, copper, silver, and usually lead, used as an inlay on engraved metal. The metal surface is brushed with a borax solution as a flux, dusted with powdered niello, then heated.
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 and damasceningdamascening
or damaskeening
, the art of decorating iron, steel, or bronze with inlaid threads of gold or silver, or producing a watered effect in forging, as in sword blades, gun barrels, and various metal objects.
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; and for special wood inlays, see intarsiaintarsia
or tarsia,
properly a form of wood inlaying. The term is sometimes applied to inlays of other materials such as ivory and metal. It is differentiated from marquetry by the basic veneering process of the latter.
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