This book was designed with the beginner in mind. It explains how woodburning works from the features to look for when buying your first burning system to how the size & shape of the pens determine which ones are best suited for the different techniques used to do feathers, fur and foliage. How shading is used to make your burnings look more realistic is explained in detail but using the pens just for texture with little or no color is covered too. No one can cover every possible question but I’ve included all the things that experienced artists take for granted but first time students often wonder about ( like how to get a pattern traced on the wood ~ there’s 4 pages about that ).
In addition to woodburning techniques I’ve added hints for sealing, painting, finishing and even framing your burnings…. plus information for those working with leather or gourds. A pattern is a big help so I’ve included patterns for the chipmunk, horse, tiger and the kitten on the cover as well as a chickadee, rooster, quail and owl. Since all patterns limit you to someone else’s designs there are also instructions for making your own patterns and advice on how to do portraits of your pets instead of generic cats and dogs. Bonnie Gibson did a review of the book in her newsletter ( see it at http://www.arizonagourds.com/March2017 ) and this was the part she liked best. The easiest way to learn is to copy and let another artist work out the problems but throughout the book I encourage you to personalize your work whenever possible to make it unique and one of a kind. My goal is to provide you with inspiration as much instruction.
The book is paperback, 112 pages with lots of photos and sells for $19.95 plus shipping
You can order by contacting me at email@example.com
All bird carving doesn’t have to be serious…….. here’s my carving of a “Rednecked Georgia Cracker Bird”
But here too I had to use reference material. I don’t drink beer so I had to walk down the side of the road at least a dozen yards before I found an old Coors can I could copy. Couldn’t use a real one, everything had to be carved out of wood.
He’s carved for the “Strange and Unusual Birds” contest we had at our carving show back in the mid-90s . Being politically correct wasn’t such an issue back then and anyway I was from South Carolina so it was my duty to poke fun at Georgians whenever possible.
He’s wearing an Atlanta Braves baseball cap, an NRA belt buckle, smoking an unfiltered
cigarette while eating a supersized McDonald’s french fries. The tattoo on his left wing is
a heart with “Mom” in it. and he has , of course, a beer belly.
They’re the only species that never suffers from loss of habitat. They build nests out of
roadside trash and use old beer cans for a foundation so there’s always plenty on hand.
Burning and bird carving is fun… don’t take the fun out of your work… enjoy it !
In April, Orchid will be leading a workshop for the Marion County Gourd Artists on making beautiful gourd necklaces.
Orchid has a talent for making stunning gourd necklaces. I have looked closely at her tiger gourd necklace and it is beautiful right down to the beads and leather. (As a fan and guest blogger I can write this!)
I must admit I haven’t seen anything like the necklaces that are going to be made in this workshop. When I asked if there were turquoise stones in the turtle necklace on the left (pictured above) Orchid said the real technique she’ll be teaching is how to burn and paint the gourds to look like they have gemstones. This seems like a kind of Orchid-alchemy.
The class is on April 19 , 2014. The class fee is $10 and you need to bring your burners and graphite. Orchid will provide 2 patterns, a gourd cutout ready to burn and leather cord. If you decide you don’t want to make a necklace, then bring a pin back or magnet for your refrigerator. More information can be found on the Marion County gourd artists website. Be sure to register here.
A couple of months ago I met a lady who fearlessly decided to catapult me into the 21st century and onto the Internet via the website you see before you.
After posting a couple of simple things — for example, a story about my first time woodburning a tiger — she then suggested it might be interesting to show how I arrive at a new artistic creation.
Since I’m presently designing a logo for her and trying to incorporate it into her business of making Native American Style flutes I decided to combine some of my current goals and document my efforts in her behalf as an example of the creative process. Read more …
A tiger burned then painted on an oval section of gourd 2 3/4 inches wide and 3 1/2 inches tall was easier and faster to do simply because there was a lot less of it than the original which was done on basswood plate 12 inches wide.
Also, because gourds are pretty unpredictable, I tend to make their patterns bold, simple and easy.
I taught this a few years ago in Sarasota and was absolutely delighted with the beautiful quality of the necklaces (plus the fact that everyone finished by 5 o’clock).
One of the things I try to do in every class, and will be sure to do in my new book, is to have two or more versions of a subject. The same design can be easy or exhausting, depending on how much detail you include, the size of your art and how friendly the medium you’re working with.
Wood is my personal favorite and not just because of it’s workability. I’m not perfect and one of the things I love most about wood is that after I’ve spent hours (or maybe days) on a piece if I slip up and make a little boo boo I don’t have to toss it out I CAN SAND IT OFF !
Gourds, plywood and leather are all used for pyrography with often beautiful results but if you make a mistake you’ll find these materials hold a grudge. When using them I advise trying anything new on a piece of scrap first. It’s no guarantee of success but at least you’ll have a better chance.