Aug 16, 2017:
My wood-burning pen arrived today. Here’s my first attempt at pyrography:
Everyone says you should start by practicing on some crummy wood, but I have no patience for that. Plus, I think doing a test piece might make me nervous about doing any subsequent “real” pieces.
So I plunged in, despite the fact that I’d spent so long making the wooden bead I wanted to pyrograph that most people would tell me to not risk ruining it. I’d cut down wild rose that was taking over my property last year—the wild rose here is quite invasive—seasoned some of its branches for a year, then carefully cut a small portion off a branch—the photo shows how small. I did not have the right saw for such a tiny job, so sawing was quite a project unto itself. Then I sanded and drilled a hole in that wee piece to make a bead. Just … one … bead.
But, to me, test runs usually seem like a way to avoid living. And the bead was one of the few options I had at hand for burning.
Plus, I think I tend to learn more when trying to actually make something than by doing test runs. And 99 times out of 100, I have beginner’s luck: the piece in question turns out fine.
Honestly, I loved the bead before the wood-burning, and now I’m not sure what I think about it. But I’m glad I plunged in; now I’m hungry for more.
When I cut the wild rose down, the Faerie Queen was definitely present, blessing the wood as I garnered it. I look forward to the guidance She gives me about how to use my
first bit of pyrography, however flawed it may be. … LOL, if She wants me to bury it as an offering, and I’ve decided I don’t like it anyway, it’s a win-win.
… When a plant in my garden shows its first bloom, I usually leave it on the plant as an offering to my Fey Gods, instead of, for example, plucking the first rose to add to my tea. They’ve made it very clear to me They want that. Hm.
Here’s the other side of the bead:
Like I said, I’m hungry for more. I’m going to find another piece of wood right now and burn it. … Ooh, I have a wooden spatula that I can’t use for cooking because it’s right handed, and I’m left-handed. That’s what I’ll burn!
Later: I decided what to do with my wood-burnt bead. I remembered that giving my old friend Kathleen Marshall my first bit of art when I’m working in a new form has become a tradition for me. So I’ve offered her the bead. It was a little hard to make the offer because it was so much work to make … one … bead …, even before I added pyrography. But my first is hers, in thanks for the support and guidance she has given me as a sister-artist.
I also see this as a way I am offering the bead to the Faerie Queen; I believe Her love of artists is expressed in anyone when they support an artist.
I love the bead now. Sometimes, when starting a new artform, I lack confidence, but all I need is a little boost. Here’s the boost I received:
Kathleen said she loves the bead. Since she’s quick to tell me when she doesn’t like something I’ve made, I trust her when she says she loves something. She also wants to make the bead into a necklace; that’s a big deal because she has impeccable taste.
It’s amazing how much just a bit of honest positive feedback can help. Her remarks gave me so much confidence in my wood-burning. Previously, I could not really see the bead’s virtue once it was wood burned, but once Kathleen said she loved it, I was able to see—actually see when I looked at it—the woodburned bead as a beautiful piece.
She made me so happy. And now I’ve mailed my bead off to the Faerie Queen aka Kathleen.