Because the economic situation finally hit my business and my biggest client from the last several years is no longer using freelance, I've had some time to try out some different creative expression. In addition to getting my wholesale catalog finished and out in the mail, I've also spent some time playing with different tools, techniques and media. Back in my freshman year of college at Colorado State, I had a three dimensional design professor who had us in the wood shop all semester. There we got to play with all kinds of power tools and lovely hard woods. I spent my days using table saws, scroll saws, sanding and carving rather than putting paint, pencil and ink on paper. It was a wonderful experience and I still am brought back to that when I walk into a lumber department at Home Depot and smell the wood and saw dust.
During my web wanderings I've noticed a trend in using pyrography, wood burning, in some new and modern styles, and have been thinking about trying something like that for quite some time. With my schedule open a bit, and Boyd's encouragement to buy some new tools for experimentation, I went to Michaels and got an inexpensive wood burning tool. Although I did make the pendants a few weeks ago, that one didn't give me the control I was looking for and made for clumsy attempts. So after a lot of researching, I found Razertip tools and ordered one along with a variable temperature burner. Well, that made quite a difference, and I've had some fun creating the first few pieces of art and jewelry. And, it's wonderful to smell the wood—like old times. After burning the sketches on the wood, I've tried watercolor, pencils and acrylics adding a lot of color in some cases and just accents in others. I've been pleased with the results and continue to learn along the way.
I've got a beautiful cradled birch panel sitting on my drawing table waiting to be burned, but I'm not sure what image will emerge. When it's done I'll be back to share it. And, although two of these are gifts, I hope to continue creating more and will be listing them for sale in my Etsy shop soon.