Thursday, 6 September 2012

Treasure Chest

Hi, I have just started a new pyrography project and thought I'd take you through the process I use.
Those of you who have been following this blog will know that I have done a few small round trinket boxes but this is my first rectangular jobbie.

I was going to use my pyrography iron to burn a tree, some mushrooms and a fairy into it, but decided it was too small for such an intricate image. After soul searching through the image banks in my mind I came up with a daisy pattern. This would suit me because it would be simple to draw and the pyrography work would be therapeutic in its simplicity. Here is a photo of the box after I had drawn the daisies on it with a pencil.
Drawing a daisy might at first glance look very skillful, but I'll let you into a secret, its easy peasy. I once read a book about drawing that said the best way to draw anything is to break it down into basic shapes, so that is what I do with daisies.
Draw a circle first for the centre of the daisy, then draw an upside down tie. Follow my diagram and you'll soon be drawing daisies everywhere. It didn't take me long using the method described above to cover every side of the box with pleasing compositions. I always find that flowers look better if there are a few overlapping petals here and there to give the image a bit of perspective. I  don't worry  about being too precise or trying to make my daisies too symetrical because nature doesn't work like that.
Anyway, I soon put my pyrography iron to work and burnt in the daisies at one end of the box. I did an end first to allow me to get into my stride with the pattern. I find it best to do the centre circle first and then do the petals. At this stage I don't follow my pencil marks exactly, I use them for guidance only and once I start burning I get a feel for the pattern.
Once I have completed a side I get out my eraser and remove all traces of pencil before I forget. It looks horrible if you can see a bit of pencil work once the varnish has been applied.
There are 22 daisies on this box and there are those who may think that burning that many flowers on a small box with a pyrography iron is very tedious. Well I don't, in fact, I find it very therapeutic and often find my mind mulling over the plot for my next book. There are those who may think that it is not cost effective to spend so much time burning and later painting so many daisies. Well its true that if I was doing it for the money I'd be earning less than a slave, but there again I could have wasted my time doing a jig saw puzzle and, at the end of the day, have to break my creation up and put it back in the box so my Mrs can lay the table for our evening meal.
And here is another thing, how many hours a week do people spend doing crosswords and Soduko, just for fun? The answer is millions. Okay, it may take me ten hours to create a box that I'll probably sell for less than a tenner, but I've had great value from the sheer joy of doing it. Anyway,  that's enough of that, here's a photo of the box after all the pyrography iron line work was finished.
It is now at the half-way stage and I think it looks kind of cute. In my next post I hope to be able to show you how it turned out

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