Shell inlays are a time-honored way of adding flair, beauty, and value to musical instruments. The two primary types of shell used in making guitar inlays are Mother of Pearl and Abalone. Each of these come in several color varieties. There are many options available for using inlays to dress up a guitar. Fretboard and peghead decoration is commonly seen on high end guitars, and inlay work can be added to the bridge, heel cap, pickguard, and back. As shown in the binding gallery, shell is also a beautiful material for purfling. All Dogwood Monarchs have the Dogwood logo inlaid into the peghead with hand cut Mother of Pearl. Cutting and inlaying shell is one of the most challenging aspects of lutherie work and is a learned art. In the gallery below you can see a little bit of what goes into cutting and inlaying a logo and also a customer’s name.