Although any type of wood can be used as the base to burn designs into, some are much better than others. Firstly because of the texture of the wood: for example, oak burns unevenly, creating unsightly 'blobs,' and also the colouring of the wood. Lighter woods create more strongly-defined designs.
Because of these limitations, much of the pyrographed artwork available is presented on very pale wood, and many designs are produced on the same 'blanks' as the artist is quite often not a woodworker as well. Although there are some stunning artists out there in the pyrography world, I also see a lot of 'sameness' leading out of these initial factors.
I am much fonder of darker woods, particularly oak, which, as I've said, does not mix well with a love of pyrography.
Since then my brain has worked ferverishly on the subject, but very much in the back ground, as I have been working on so many other projects. Eventually an idea to effectively 'frame,' rather than inlay, the paler wood came to me (quite obvious now I think of it!) I decided that I would like to create a solid 'frame' from a single piece of wood, and have the central design circular.
Thus ensued a whole week of work perfecting this frame. A circle may seem an easy shape, but I learnt that I needed accuracy to a fraction of a millimetre when it came to creating the templates for the various circles that I needed for the multiple routing operations that I needed to perform. The eye can also easily discern a mistake in a circle, especially one within a square!
The process involved many calculations, a lot of failed prototypes, and an increasingly addled brain!
Pretty soon the workshop began to resemble what I imagine Edison's looked like during his quest for the perfect lightbulb (obviously substitute failed wooden circles for failed lightbulbs!)
|Horns of Odin|
It took me nearly a week to finally get a frame that I was happy with! Then the bit I was really looking forward to....creating and then burning the designs.
|Tree of Life|
Finally, I created three new designs: Specklebeast, Runestone and Triskele.
Overall I really enjoyed it, and I love the new designs. However, I now have lots of slightly different sized circles, begging for some use....
I plan to create some more designs in this series at some point in the future, but, for now, I'm moving onto something else for a change, I don't think I can look at any more circles for a while......
Browse/buy bod's designs in this range (currently nine.)
You might also be interested in these articles about other work by bod:
'Ancestors - Mysterious and Enigmatic Landscapes'
A magical wolf, a riddle of faces, a Celtic horse, and the 'Battle Crow' - bod's Ancient British Coins