From oval tree slice to a decorated paddle
I received a custom order, the only requests... Wooden paddle and nautical theme. I had been waiting for this freedom for a while on a piece. Finally, the chance to just be artsy with no pre drawing, no hours and hours spent drawing... send photo...wait for email back... alter drawing... send photo... wait for email back...and so on. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love creating designs for people, and the process of getting the image in their mind onto wood, but as an artist, freedom is what i crave and is perfectly wonderful.
So with my happy moment of freedom.....I decided I wanted a nice rustic shape, nothing like the work shop precision cut paddles you can buy ready made. When you think of the sea and all the beauty surrounding coast lines ,the first thing that springs to mind... drift wood. It's been bashed around the depths of the ocean, thrusted across rocks and sand, before finally taking a rest somewhere onshore.
I don't live near a beach sadly, and drift wood quite frankly does not always work so well for detailed pyrography art. And so, i rummaged through my box of Basswood slices, and picked out a nice long and slightly thick piece to hack away at, no nice level edges, no perfectly symmetrical sides....Rustic!
The entire piece was then sanded smooth with 120grit sand paper. Giving me a good smooth burning surface with minimal drag and grain to bump me a long the way. I used a good old fashioned dry painting brush to remove any dust before drawing the main lines of what i decided was going to be the custom design.
Once my tool was heated up, i went to town with the burning. No specific reason for where i started, just picked a point and off i go ships ahoooyyyyyyyyyy.
The lightning strike added a bit of drama, like the music in a movie, and it all turned out quite well.Slapped on a few coats of natural bees wax and off the order went to the U.S.A. The customer absolutely loved it, which of course, is the main thing :)