Speaking of the delicate and intricate inlaid gemstone work in the white marble of the Taj Mahal, M and I visited a teeny homegrown shop where all sorts of inlay work is created from start to finish.We walked in and four skinny little men looked up, eyes bloodshot and fingers callused. One on the left was sorting and heat-treating semiprecious stones, the one next to him had this stick and wheel contraption which he used to grind and shape flakes of stone into floral designs. He was seriously an artist of the highest caliber – all the designs were solely in his head and he shaped gemstones as he saw them fitting together in slivers of petals and leaves.The two next to him were putting together the pre-shaped gemstone flowers and laying them into glue on the marble slabs. Incredibly difficult and time-consuming work.The finished products were honestly staggering in their finely detailed design. True artistic masterpieces. Of course, since I’m such a nut over furniture and home interior accent pieces, I loved the tabletops. The big surprise though, was Michael’s reaction. M totally went gaga over the marble work.
This is the guy who made fun of me for getting ridiculously excited over the hand-loomed 6×9 jute rug we found a few days ago and teased me for chattering on nonstop about how I was going to decorate our future living room using the rug as a centerpiece. This guy was totally jonesing for a piece of the marble. He wanted it and nothing was going to stop him.The tabletop you see above is ours. I wanted the blue color scheme to match the rug I just got and I love orange as an accent color – we already have splashes of orange in our apartment as is. Regardless of the jacked-up price, I’m glad we got this. The labor and artistry is something we’ll never be able to find or replicate elsewhere. Plus we have a great story behind this piece. This is the same inlay work that went into creating the beauty of the Taj Mahal.
Good job M. Even though you blew our budget to kingdom come (and you’re the budget-crazy stickler), this is a great purchase.