We finally decided that we wanted to expand our wood burnings, not only into art prints and products but also the colour. Pyrography is all about sepia tones, which when turned into black and white images, creates a different but equally beautiful work of art.
Camera in hand and a day of good lighting in our living room.. because anyone who does wood burning will understand the difficulty of light reflecting off the work when you try and take good photos. We picked a few of our favourite pieces that we thought would look best as art prints and snapped away getting the best detailed images possible.
We used photoshop to add a black and white filter to keep the resolution and quality of the work at its highest. As you can see in the pictures below, no alterations to the original designs other than colour :)
We are excited to be expanding our range of works, and we hope our friends and followers do too.
You can check out our full range at:
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 :)
This morning we awoke to an exciting email.
After weeks of designing, burning and sore hands, our first 3 designs have gone live on the Modify Watches website.
You can get one of our designs following the link to our storefront below. Until 3.3.16 you can get 25%discount using code: Ticktack
These designs will soon be available as prints and one of a kind burnings on our website and Etsy store.
We are rather proud of how Modify Watches helped create our pieces and the amazing work they put in to both their business and creating our storefront.
Ofcourse, we ordered a few ourselves so that we can give a full review on the product that is bearing our work.......
So stay tuned for further updates.
As we have been accepted to collaborate with Modify watches, we are burning designs exclusively for this project, and will be blogging the process of each piece. The final wood burned designs and prints will be available to buy in the near future from our website and Etsy store. For now though, they will only be available as a watch face design.
From idea to finished pyrography art
Using a printer to copy and reduce the size of our drawing, we place a piece of graphite paper on the plywood. The main lines are then traced, transferring them straight onto the wood.
The design is mostly shading as you can see in our short video at the bottom of this post.
Having visited both the catacombs in Paris and also the Bone church in Kutna Hora, i have found a new deepened interest in bones, mainly skulls. Whilst looking at them they leave me wondering what story they have left untold. Where did they come from, did they travel, what was their occupation, did they live a full life with happiness and laughter. How did they meet their maker? Was it old age or was life stolen from them too soon. The human body tells many things once time and nature have stripped it bare. This and imagination makes them simply fascinating to me.
So with my new found love of skulls i decided to use it for a design, not wanting it to be a dark art piece, the obvious choice to me was to have a beautiful rose blossoming up through the skull. A life and death, re-purposed soul and nature kind of feel.
After all, there is always life after death.....
Firstly, what is pyrography?
Pyrography is the art of decorating a surface with burn marks using a heated metal tool. It is widely known as wood burning, fire writing and pyro art.
The process of writing with fire has been practiced by many cultures since the dawn of recorded history.Peaking in the 19th-20th century and ever popular by varied artists today.
THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE
SOLID POINT BURNER
These are similar to a soldering iron.They have a fixed temperature and have brass tips that are heated by an electrical element.
WIRE TIP BURNER
These have variable heat control and use wire tips.They can be used with fixed nib pens and also pens with interchangeable tips.
We use the Razertip single and dual units (shown in image) with a range of their fixed tip pens and changeable tips for more precise detail.
*Always read and follow your Manufacturers instructions for safe use and cleaning of your tool.
Anything that is natural, organic, untreated and unfinished. The most common are:
WOOD: Basswood, pine, maple and plywood are great starting points. Always sand the surface well before beginning your project to ensure a smooth pleasant burning experience.
LEATHER: Vegetable tanned pre-made products are readily available from most craft stores and online. Belts, purses, bracelets bookmarks etc .Leather burns at a low temperature and is very easy to work on due to its smooth surface.
PAPER: Watercolour paper is the most popular for pyrography. Cold or hot pressed and the heavier the better. We use 140Ibs
blocks instead of individual sheets to help avoid the paper buckling under the heat of the pen.
GOURDS:Cut, clean and dried hard shell gourds are great for decorating. With both a hard and porous surface they burn smooth and easy.
*It is advisable to burn in a well ventilated area, with eye protection and a mask to avoid breathing in any toxic fumes from materials and eye irritations.
Transferring your design
There are many tried and tested methods depending on which canvas you have decided to burn your project on. What works best for you is about trial and error and your drawing ability.
PENCIL: Draw your design directly onto the surface, as light as possible for easy erasing when done. We use brown pencil to add to the designs lines and shading when finished.
GRAPHITE PAPER: This is great if you are not a Monet or Rembrandt master artist. Place the paper face down on your surface and trace your printed or pre-drawn design directly with ease.
We advise against the use of carbon papers, pyrography paper and other burn through methods as many are highly toxic and burn into your work
Now for the FUN PART!
Turn on your chosen tool, and burn burn burn!
*You do not need to be heavy handed to leave an impression. Light flowing strokes help create nice neat lines whilst avoiding any slipping of the tool, uneven tones and drag spots.
*For darker tones use a slow steady stroke and for lighter a swift smooth flow.Start off light and layer until you get your desired dark tones.It's always easier to darken than it is to try and lighten an over burned area.
*If using a single temperature tool, do all light tones whilst the tool is getting upto its temperature.
*Play around with tips, textures, and strokes to create depth and pattern to your chosen design. Cross hatching, dots etc all add extra depth to make your design stand out more.
Thank you for reading, we will be posting more detailed blogs for methods and tips on different mediums.So stay tuned.