I’ve been following my bliss for a number of years now. Perhaps it should read ‘Blisses’. I have several and have found the Secret Sauce to happiness in myriad ways. One in particular is Pyrography. It is the art of burning wood, leather, MDF and I burn whatever inspires me in the moment. I was not born a pyromaniac however and I do not encourage nor do I condone anyone who lights fires intentionally just so experience the thrill of an aftermath. But burning wood is a medium I enjoy due to its ability to lend a landscape of knots and grains that can be cleverly incorporated into the picture.
I did try paper in the early days and very nearly burned down the den in which I was working. That was a complete disaster and a lesson learned very rapidly. Next I tried stretched canvas which was a joy in the initial stages but as the work was drawing to completion, my nib was too hot and subsequently burned a hole smack centre giving the appearance of a crater in the poor man’s cheek! I ditched that medium for something a little more solid.
My work is exceptionally satisfying no matter how long it takes to complete and although some pieces have been known to take months bordering on years to finish, the result has been quite compelling. Other pieces typically take a few weeks entering into a month or two but given the style I use, stippling, the detail must be given its due attention and therefore the customer is happy to wait for it.
Stippling incidentally is the intense progressive work in dots, millions upon millions of them which define a work and give the detail in a more dramatic form. Lines are used of course but I try to avoid them as much as I can if they are deemed unnecessary.
I generally use black and white photographs as through these the detail is more easily defined particularly if a client wants his pet ‘burned’. Children also are burned into wood from a black and white photograph rather than colour which can sometimes wash out character traits in their faces and subsequently become lost.
Dream boxes are a particular favourite for little girls whose worlds are centred around angels and fairies. These magical creatures are burned into the lid and around the sides while the interior is lined with satin and a crystal placed strategically therein.
My work sits in a gallery in the hinterland above the sunshine Coast and although at the moment is presented frameless, it has been suggested that frames be introduced to the work in order that they look ‘complete.’ My argument is thus; frames are a very personal choice and with the type of artwork depicted in pyrography it would behove the purchaser to choose his or her own frame in his or her taste which aligns with their decor in the home in which the piece is to be hung. This then enables me to sell my pieces at a relatively modest price given I do not have to incorporate the price of frame.
Prography for me has been the door opener to finding what I truly love to do which is what we all really need to explore and discover within ourselves. I am a great believer in the quote; When you do what you love and love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.
I do what I love and love what I do ~ how does it get any better than this?