Sunset Stone Inlay (with process pics)

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Project by drawninstone posted 06-13-2018 02:59 PM 1047 views 6 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finally managed to take pics of the actual creating of one of my pieces so here’s a look “behind the scenes” (or at least as good of one as I can do in only 6 pictures).
This piece took a little over 31 hours of actual working time start to finish (that doesn’t include the time it takes for the glue to dry). I usually do inlays where the stone forms the foreground image and the wood is the background. This was my first attempt at a piece where the wood is the foreground and the stone is the background. Definitely a bit of a learning curve – but I like it and I’ll try it again.
Pic 1 is the finished piece.
Pic 2 is the piece after I finished all of the “rough in” with the router and am ready to start cutting in the details with the Foredom Micromotor.
Pic 3 is part way through the first glue up. I have the first two layers of stone down and am using tweezers to place pieces of rock to build up the third layer. I usually use multiple layers of stone to get the colors exactly the way I want them.
Pic 4 is the first glue up complete. This is the first time in the process where I get to start to see the color as it may actually look at the end. However because rocks are not a consistent color throughout, as I sand different colors may come out. So it’s a lot of looking at a piece of rock and guessing what the color in the middle of it is going to look like.
Pic 5 is partway through the first sand. The first sand is always the most delicate because at this stage the wrong angle on the sander can either gouge the stone (if it’s soft) or tear it out of the piece (if it’s hard).
Pic 6 is what the piece looks like after the first sand. There are still lots of little voids that need to be filled. I’ll repeat the “place the right color of stone with tweezers, glue and sand” steps till there aren’t any more voids. Depending on the size of the piece and the type of wood and stone this can take anywhere from 5 -10 more glue-ups.
Hopefully this makes my process a little clearer!

-- Darci,

12 comments so far

View PaulDoug's profile


1601 posts in 1850 days

#1 posted 06-13-2018 03:10 PM

Very beautiful! I always enjoy seeing pictures of your work.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View woodenwarrior's profile


238 posts in 2341 days

#2 posted 06-13-2018 05:40 PM

That a really interesting technique! I love what you’ve done!

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

View splintergroup's profile


2305 posts in 1369 days

#3 posted 06-13-2018 06:23 PM

The effect is really unique. Thanks for sharing.

View Dreggy's profile


92 posts in 1751 days

#4 posted 06-13-2018 08:15 PM

Beautiful piece, nicely done!

-- No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress, you're still way ahead of everyone who isn't trying.

View Ron Stewart's profile

Ron Stewart

137 posts in 2651 days

#5 posted 06-13-2018 10:50 PM

That’s really beautiful and unique.

Have you ever considered constructing a piece like that on glass or thick acrylic and mounting it so you can backlight it? Maybe that won’t work because the stone is opaque, but if if transmits any light, the results could be stunning.

-- Ron Stewart

View michelletwo's profile


2756 posts in 3162 days

#6 posted 06-14-2018 12:15 AM

thanks for sharing this “new to me” process, and your art. Very intriguing. Quite fascinating. I looked at your projects and I like the stone inlays..the duck, dog, etc. very nice.

View Rick S.'s profile

Rick S.

10571 posts in 3179 days

#7 posted 06-14-2018 01:04 AM

Very Nice Work and also Well Done Darci!

-- (Rick S.)... "Don't Worry About What People Think! They Don't Do It Very Often Anyway!"

View swirt's profile


3170 posts in 3119 days

#8 posted 06-14-2018 01:59 AM

So incredibly beautiful. I can not believe you can accomplish this in 31 hours. Even 31 days sees like a stretch… there are so many details. Wonderful work.

-- Galootish log blog,

View helluvawreck's profile


32083 posts in 3013 days

#9 posted 06-14-2018 01:23 PM

This piece is absolutely beautiful. It’s a real eye catcher.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View majuvla's profile


13050 posts in 3014 days

#10 posted 06-14-2018 03:20 PM

Amaizing and unrealistic! I don’t know what else to say.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Texcaster's profile


1287 posts in 1821 days

#11 posted 06-16-2018 06:22 AM

So incredibly beautiful. I can not believe you can accomplish this in 31 hours. Even 31 days sees like a stretch… there are so many details. Wonderful work.

- swirt

What this guy said!!

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View Calmudgeon's profile


164 posts in 1574 days

#12 posted 06-16-2018 01:37 PM

That’s a beautiful piece. Painstaking craftsmanship aside, I appreciate your ability to create the illusion of light emanating from the piece.

I’m amazed it only takes you 30+ hours.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

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