I used a dremmel to cut away the right depth of material for the metal inlay to lie in. The dremmel was good for the larger areas, and helped me gauge how deep I should have it, but for the more delicate parts I used a scalpel. Some issues arose in the way it was cut: since the metal is slightly curved, it won’t fit exactly into the cavity without being clamped down, which made it harder to tell whether I was cutting out the right places or not. Initially the plan was to glue it into place, fill any gaps with glue and sawdust, then sand the entire thing down until it became level, however, I didn’t take into account the thickness of the adhesive I used (silver car body filler) which left it sticking out much more than I had anticipated. It would be unsafe to sand a surface so uneven, so I had to leave it be. If I were to do this a second time, I would use a different type of glue, or make the carving a lot deeper.
Getting the excess car body filler off the wood was also a challenge: I had to hand sand most of it away, or scrape it off with a scalpel, since the holes were so small I couldn’t get the sandpaper into them. I ended up having to glue it down a second time, since not all of the metal was stuck down the first, so in order to counter this problem, Martin suggested that I spread a thin layer of vaseline down on the wood and the car body filler came away much easier.
The finished stool seat, after cleaning and oiling.