photo Metalinlay


In this technique, lines are carved into the surface of metal and different metals are inlaid in the carved-out lines, with the differences in the color and texture of metals creating the design. There are a variety of techniques such as hirazogan (flat inlay), in which flat sheets are inlaid to be the same height with the ground surface; takaniku zogan (high mounted inlay), where material is set on a high-relief metal ground; and nunome zogan (texture inlay), in which thin metal leaf is hammered into a carved pattern.



How to do metal inlay

  1. (1) Carve grooves into the surface of metal and widen them out
  2. (2) Inlay metal so that it fits into the grooves
  3. (3) Hammer the inlaid metal into the grooves, smoothing out the edges
  4. (4) Burnish the surface with a file or whetstone, and it's finished!
  • "What Are Traditional Crafts? -A Guidebook to Seeing, Learning, and Enjoying-" Edited by the Japan Kogei Association Eastern Branch. Published by Unsodo / List of works English translation: Kazuko Todate (Art critic / Art historian)


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