I’ve never done any original such inlay (only a couple of repairs)
but maybe 25 years ago I had the pleasure of observing the Tims
brothers demonstrate their craft at a Midwest Federation show in St.
In addition to being blown away at the stones they used to
realistically represent “fur” and “feathers”, etc, there was one
remark they made that really stuck with me. After the inlay stones
were cut and glued (epoxy?) in place, the final surface grinding and
polishing “smeared” the fine silver cloisson (cell) walls over the
edges of the stones so that the result was that the stone/metal edges
all appeared to be perfectly fitted. Of course the fit has to be
very close to begin with for this to work properly.
One of our club members (who was relatively new to lapidary and
metalsmithing) took classes with them after that show and became a
very skilled artisan, winning several awards for his own inlaid work.