The Duke of Pearl

The Duke of PearlModern Guitars Magazine is currently featuring a two page interview with Chuck Erikson, nicknamed The Duke of Pearl.

Erikson got his start as a banjo builder, but soon developed an interest in inlay. Discovering that small shop instrument builders did not have a reliable source for quality inlay material, Erikson began a quest to find, and provide, such materials. He soon became the go-to guy for custom luthiers seeking inlay materials of all kinds.

He still does inlay work himself, and is quite an accomplished inlay artist.

According to the article, Erikson has done personal inlay work for artists like the Kentucky Colonels, Pat Cloud, Herb Pederson, Doug Dillard, John Hartford, Don Parmley, The Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds, Bernie Leadon, David Lindley, Larry McNeely, Alan Munde, Geoff Stelling, Mark Platin, John McEuen, John Hickman, Bill Knopf, and more.

His primary business, however, seems to be providing inlay materials to other builders and inlay artists.

His website is a wealth of information on all topics related to instrument inlays. He has informational pages about various inlay materials, mostly shell, and for every product he sells there is an accompanying informational page about the material, the art, etc.

The article includes a lot of great information about acoustic instrument inlay that would be worth reading for anyone interested in doing inlay work, or having a custom instrument built with inlay on it.