Originally developed in the fourteenth century this process uses separate inlays of wood, ivory, bone, tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl, brass, silver, etc. cut to shape, laid on the ground/ substrate, the outlines traced with a fine point and the appropriate recesses cut in with wood-carving tools, slightly bevelling the shoulders of the cuts to give a tight fit. Wood thicknesses are usually from 1/8 in (3 mm) to 1/4 in (6 mm) thickness and can be levelled off flush after laying, but the more precious materials in thin sheets are laid on a bed of plaster of Paris and hide glue suitably coloured. Metal insets can be laid with hide glue if the surface is first rubbed with a slice of garlic to destroy the grease, or preferably with epoxy glue. The original intarsia-work employed arabesques and elaborate perspectives.
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