Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Morning Glory

Hi all, Just a quick post to let you know about a couple of free books that I have on offer and also tell you about what I'm getting up to with my pyrography iron. Last week I showed you a sketch of a Morning Glory that I'd completed for a new project. Well, I'm happy to tell you that it is now finished and can be seen below.
When I purchased the piece of wood for the above pyrography project, I was going to use it for a plaque to hang on a wall. However, once I'd finished it, I imagined it sitting in the middle of a table. So I covered the back with a piece of felt and it is now a Table Centre Piece and is for sale on my pyrography website at shirewriting. I'm probably biased, but I think it would make a unique gift for anybody who likes to lay a fine table. Click here.
Butterflies and Brambles
Those of you who are familiar with my website will know that the first item to be seen is a shallow bowl depicting some butterflies and brambles. A few people may have also been dissappointed to find out that the item wasn't for sale. The reason for this was because, as soon as I'd finished it, my wife baggsied it. Well to be honest, she thrust a £20 note into my hand and said "I'm having that." Well what can you do, I've been divorced once and I'm not going through that bloody mill again. Anyway, last week I decided to do another one using the same design and that is now also for sale on my pyrography website.
If anybody is interest I'm offering it at a sum substancially lower than the one my wife paid.
Free Book Offer
I mentioned at the top of this post that I an offering two books for free. If you are interested, please pop along to my writing website. Click here This offer only last until the end of May, so you will need to be quick. If you are reading this post in June, and you are still curious, you will find that all of my books are bargains, even at full price. In my next pyrography post I will show you the trinket box I'm currently doing a design for.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Electric Rubbers

A couple of posts ago I said I'd tell you about the best purchase I ever made, so here it is. The item that I purchased from amazon for the staggeringly low price of £3.40 was an electric pencil eraser. I can't explain how good this item is, but if you are an artist or you do pyrography, please get one now. It is ironic that I should be so pleased with something so simple because prior to my purchase I had completely the wrong idea about electric erasers.
Let me explain
Many years ago, I managed a production unit in a large factory; the people I supervised were great and very hard working. From time to time in the course of a day's work I had to vist the design office to liase with the draughtsmen on various issues. When I entered their office domain I was always struck by the change of atmosphere. These people went about their jobs in a relaxed way that was totally opposite to the grindwheel spinning existence of the manufacturing unit. The difference in physical effort was astounding. The physical effort that came from the manufacturing people could power several lighthouses whilst if you measured the effort from some of the people who worked in the office environment they would barely be able to illuminate the inside of a small fridge. Having said that, I bet some of the office workers' minds were always in creative overdrive.
it was when I was talking to one of these draughtsmen back in the early seventies that I noticed he had an electric eraser. I didn't say anything at the time, but I thought it was the height of idleness that these people had to have an electric eraser to rub out their mistakes. It was a wonder they didn't have an electic spoon to feed them their breakfast cornflakes.
What's all this to do with pyrography?
Well, I've started doing more designs and found that when I wanted to make a change to a drawing, using a manual eraser wasn't very acurate. No matter how precise I was, I always ended up erasing some lines that I was happy with. I had to keep redrawing the lines and this is what produced the flashback to the draughtsman and his electric eraser. I had a light bulb moment and thought that perhaps they had electric erasers because they were more acurate and not because they didn't want to break sweat. Below is a sketch of the pyrography project That I'm currently working on.
It is a table centre piece depicting my drawing of a morning glory. The electric eraser came in very handy on this sketch because I had to reposition the winding stalk several times to make sure it had a pleasant but natural look. That's it for this post, but if you would like to see some more of my pyrography please click here. If you would like to find out more about me or my books click here.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Olly Is Back

Hi all, A few posts ago I revealed one of my failures. It wasn't on the same scale as the sinking of the Titanic but I wasn't happy about what I'd produced. Some of you will remember my image of Olly the owl and I guess some of you may still be laughing about it. For those with short memories or those new to this blog, let me explain. I had a solid piece of wood, a bit like something cut from the end of a plank and I wanted to do some pyrography on it. I decided that an owl peering out of a hole might be good and set about burning in the bark with my pyrography iron. In fact, I was very pleased with the stylised bark pattern, but then I did the drawing of the owl, using coloured pencils. From there it went down hill faster than a bob sleigh full of hippos. Using good old hindsight I would have been better doing a pyrography image of the owl but I wanted to introduce a shot of colour. Anyway, you can see the end result below.
To be honest, like most artists when I'd finish it I wasn't quite sure if it was good or bad so I showed it to my wife. I patiently waited while she studied the image and waited for her to say
that's great
like she usually does. Not this time however, because she just burst into laughter as did my mother-in-law when she saw it. At this point my wife could see I wasn't happy and asked if she could recue it by painting a proper owl on it. If it hadn't been for the fact that I'd worked so hard on the bark I would have probably whacked it straight in the wheelie, but I decided to let her see what she could do with it. So what became of Olly? I hear you ask. Well the answer is below. When my wife showed it to me for the first time I was quite stunned. She is a great painter which I think is evident by the result shown below, just compare the two to see what I mean
By the way,I'd love to know what you think about it. Changing the subject altogether, I'm giving away a free ebook containing 12 of my favourite short stories. It will be available for the next two days 15th and 16th of May. The book is entitled, No Fishing In Here: Just short Stories. It is available on smashwords. just click on this link then when you get to check out put in the following coupon code Coupon Code JY87S and you will be able to download a free book. If you've arrived at this blog after the 16th of May please pop along to my website because I often have details of other free books on there. If you want to see more of my pyrography please click here and or pop along to my shop at Folksy.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Free Ebook

Hi all, This is just a quick post to let you know that I am giving away free copies of one of ebooks today. The book is the second in The Fishing Detectives series and is entitled Bun In The Oven. It's detective story based in Stoke-on Trent Staffordshire and features Fred Tench. He is a down to earth copper who has a great sense of humour and a passion for angling. By the way, you don't have to know anything about, or even like fishing to enjoy this book, however, anglers will just love it. Getting a free copy couldn't be easier, just follow the instruction below.
To get your free copy please follow this Link if you live in the USA. If you live in the UK please click here for your free copy. The book is kindle based, but even if you haven't got a kindle you can still enjoy it. If you go to amazon you can get a free ap that allows you to read kindle content on you PC. The free promotion is for today only, so please get you copy today, 11th May 2012. On Saturday the book price will go back to normal. Thanks for reading this blog and I hope you enjoy the book.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Coast To Coast

Hi all, In last week's post I talked about how I had been asked by a friend to use my pyrography skills to do him a plaque. The plaque was to commemorate his completion of the Coast to Coast walk which he did a few years ago. Anyway, he said he wanted the plaque to include a pair of boots, a rucksack and some dry stone walling. Last week I posted the sketch that I had done for him and after his approval I started the pyrography burning process. Below is a photo of the finished item. I think it looks rather good and my friend was pleased with it too.
They say it's a woman's perogative to change her mind, well I've changed mine when it comes down to pyrography commissions. In my last post I told you about how I'd shied away from doing commissions, well having done the plaque for my friend I have a different view. Doing the lettering required total concentration but I quite enjoyed the challenge. So if you know anybody who's done the Coast to Coast, walked the Pennine Way or bagged a couple of hundred Munroes, I will do them a plaque. Just let me have the details and we'll take it from there. I will provide a no obligation and friendly service. In my next post I will tell you about my latest project and about what I purchased for the gigantic sum of £3.40. In terms of my pyrography, it was the best money I've ever spent; I didn't realise such pleasure could be acquired so cheaply. If you would like to find out more about me or my books please click here. To see more of my pyrography please click here.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Pyrography Commission

Hi All, Since I started doing a bit of pyrography, about a year ago, I have been asked on several occassions if I would do a commission. One person wanted me to personnalise the handles of a set of hunting knives for them. Anyway, I didn't fancy it so I politely declined their request. I guess the main reason I haven't been doing commissions is that since leaving a factory environment I'd become used to doing what I want, when I want, and taking a commission would be like working for somebody else. I now make most of my living from writing, (pittance is the word that springs to mind) so I have total control over how I spend my time - well not quite, but I won't go into that now. If you would like to check out my books, here is the link. Right, let's get back to the plot. Recently, I was asked by a friend if I'd do him a plaque to commmemorate his achievement of doing the Coast to Coast Walk, from St Bees Head in Cumbria, to Robin Hood's bay in Yorkshire. The walk covers a distance of about 190 miles according to Wainwright and 192 according to other sources. He'd done the walk some years ago and always wanted a plaque but he never got around to it. Actually, he was probably too busy walking up and down mountains in Scotland. This chap is also a Munroe bagger, a name that is used to describe the thousands of enthusiasts who want to walk up and down every Scottish mountain that is over 3000ft high. There are about 284 of them and I think he is about halfway through the list. By the way, when he isn't rambling across the Highlands or the Northern Pennines, he is a gardener who specialises in drystone walling. He hasn't been doing the drystone walling for long but he is very good and one of the top men in the area. If you would like see what a good bit of walling looks like, take a look here. Anyway, I agreed to do him the plaque if he gave me some details. So he sent me an email giving me the date of his walk and asked me to include a rucksack, some boots and a bit of drystone walling. Below is what I sent back for his approval before I started the pyrography burning process.
I am glad to say that he's given me the go ahead and I will do the pyrography on it soon and post a picture of the finished article on here. If you would like to see some more of pyrography work, please click here.