Both these compounds afford delicate, unobtrusive and effective grounds for inlaying with gold, silver and other metals, as well as for sculpture, whether incised or in relief.
A valuable product is a species of clam, the shell of which furnishes a specially iridescent mothero'-pearl, which the natives barter with the Japanese for inlaying lacquer.
The wood of the tree was very precious, and was brought from Ophir (probably some part of India), along with gold and precious stones, by Hiram, and was used in the formation of pillars for the temple at Jerusalem, and for the king's house; also for the inlaying of stairs, as well as for harps and psalteries.
Another use of colored glass was for cutting in the shapes of hieroglyphs for inlaying in wooden.
There in the 19th century Senor Zuloaga successfully revived the artistic inlaying of gold and silver in steel and iron.
The plate thus obtained shows accidental clouding, or massing of dark tones, and these patches are taken as the basis of a pictorial design to which final character is given by inlaying with gold and silver, and by kata-kiri sculpture.
Like the curled maple, it is used for inlaying mahogany.
The difference between this process and ordinary inlaying is that for sumi-zogan the design to be inlaid is fully chiselled out of an independent block of metal with sides sloping so as to be broader at the base than at the top. The object which is to receive the decoration is then channelled in dimensions corresponding to those of the design block, and the latter having been fixed in the channels, the surface is ground and polished until an intimate union is obtained between the inlaid design and the metal forming its field.