Jack Smidmore Inlays
The stunning wooden inlays we stock here at Jera's are the work of Jack Smidmore. Each one is completely unique and impossible to replicate. Using a wide variety of beautiful woods, each individual piece is cut out by hand. With a love for the natural colour and beauty of the exotic woods used in his work, Jack will often design inlays with a particular selection in mind, using the natural colour and grain pattern to add further detail to each individual section of the inlay. These complex and intricate works of art need to be seen to be believed.
Q&A with Jack Smidmore;
How long have you been doing inlay work?
I've been doing the inlay work for Brook Guitars for over ten years now but everything displayed on my website has been done over the past five years.
What do you use to cut your inlays and how long does each one take from start to finish?
All of my inlay work is cut out by hand, using a fret saw (with incredibly fine-toothed 0.6mm blades) The time it takes to finish each inlays does vary but on average most of my 16:9 pieces take around sixteen hours to complete. My newer square designs have stepped up to another level in complexity, with the number of individual pieces often reaching up to around one hundred per inlay, and can take thirty hours to complete.
What materials do you most like to use?
My preference is definitely to use wood for my inlays, I love to use the natural colour and beauty of various different exotic woods in my work. I will often design inlays with a particular piece or selection of woods in mind and get a lot of satisfaction from working out how exactly to best use a particular natural wood colour or grain pattern to add further detail to each individual section of the inlay.
Abalone and Pearl also has a nice 'shiny ' natural beauty that is well suited to guitar inlay work, I've often used a combination of both, along with wood, for my Brook Guitars inlay work, Abalone and Pearl is usually sold in very small 1" square sheets which, for me, really limits its use to smaller designs .
What (or who) inspires you?
The inspiration for doing my inlay work is selfish really, I get a huge amount of satisfaction from it. I imagine anyone who creates any kind of art would understand, it's very involving, each one is a challenge and the whole time that you are working you are hoping for that sense of achievement with the finished piece. If other people like my work then that's great (I would like at least one other person to like each of my pieces enough to actually buy them!) but that is not why I do them.