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These designs arise out of stringed instrument building tradition and aesthetic. They are fashioned out of thin sheets of musical grade tone woods which have been bookmatched, edge joined, and planed thin.

The mosaic inlay patterns come out of guitarmaking design: guitars have open soundholes bordered with inlaid patterns of dyed pieces of wood. These inlaid mosaic patterns are a form of fret ornamentation, an effect made by laying pieces of material of the same size next to one another and thereby producing a design. In guitars these are called rosettes.

Guitar LuteOn the other hand the lute, which preceded the guitar in popularity, was decorated with a design carved directly into the soundboard. This pattern became the soundhole opening and was also called a rosette, or rose. Lute roses were often based on six- or twelve-pointed star patterns and were characterized by the over-and-under woven quality seen in the present carvings. These are examples of interlaced ornamentation, which arises principally out of Celtic and Arabian-Moresque aesthetics and is among the most primitive styles of ornamentation. It is thought to originate from basket and wicker work and also, in Greek design, out of plaited hair work. Arabian designs show great skill in geometric interlaced ornament, arising from the belief that art must be non-representational. This belief underlies Judaic design also.

While historical rosette design originated from Arabian, Celtic and European Renaissance influences, it is expanded in Ervin Somogyi's work to also embrace Japanese, Russian, African, primitive, abstract and modern design. Mr. Somogyi is glad to accept and help design commissioned work for gifts or special occasions.

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Rosettes as Art

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