Artist and Luthier Aron Bach applies just as much, if not more, devotion to the art of inlay and engraving than to the art of lutherie. His original experience in woodworking was learning veneer marquetry from his father. His early years saw many an illustrative creation formed from tiny fragile bits of wood. At age 13, while trying to fix an error in his first guitar, Aron was admonished to fix the blemish by “putting an inlay in it”.
Though their instruction is honored through the high level of artistry in Aron’s works, a strict avoidance of direct style replication is practiced at all times. Their influence is channeled into an artistic toolbox for a new unique style to be enjoyed by the viewer. One can always see the influences of the teacher in the student, but it is best left at that.
Aron enjoys taking these skills further in his own direction for his generation. This, with the belief that hand skills are timeless and to be cared for as much as the precious works themselves.
WHAT IS INLAY? WHAT IS ENGRAVED INLAY?
Inlay is illustration using the natural colors and physical appearances of precisely cut shell, stone, wood, metal etc. to produce an image inset into a solid substrate.
Engraved inlay is a further artistic enhancement using a specially modified classic #6 onglette hand-engraving tool to painstaking cut microscopic grooves along the depiction. These grooves then receive a special black filling compound creating the black lined illustration.
Two square centimeters of detailed engraved inlay can take as long as 7 hours to complete.
Full fingerboard ‘narratives’ and large scenes are not something that a time constraint can be applied to. Though efficiently approached, this is the intersection of craftsmanship and artistry. Each work is not about meeting a deadline, but rather fulfilling each step to its ultimate humanly possible realization.