This is a stunning inlay material invented by Chuck Erikson (The Duke of Pearl) and Larry Sifel (The Guru of PearlWorks). It is made by laminating extremely thin pieces of abalone shell together in such a way that the entire surface is covered with gorgeous, highly figured shell patterns with no “dead spots.” Natural shell slabs can vary in appearance and depth over the surface. Also, because most of the abalone used for inlays comes from smaller shells, you often don’t get as much useable area as you may need. Abalam is perfectly flat, and thus easier to saw into intricate patterns because of the homogenous nature of the laminations. This is ideal, particularly when you require unusually large pieces of the material.