Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Pyro Pen

Hi all,
Another week has passed and I'm still building my collection of turned pens. The scope of pen turning is enormous and my head is full of different designs. Here is a picture of the collection so far.
I have made a couple of others since the photo above was taken that I have put aside for gifts; they will not make it into the collection box so here are some photos of them.

This one is turned from a wood called wild mango and, although it turns well, it isn't anything special to look at. The grain is plain and it has green blotches.
The next pen is turned from  a wood called mopane, which is a member of the pea family. It is a very hard wood and takes a lot of effort to saw and drill it. However, it turns and finishes very well.
The wood reminds me of the semi precious stone called tigers eye. This is my favourite pen so far.

The next pen was turned from a piece of maple, which is not the best looking wood when it comes to turning. The leaves on a maple tree may have fantastic hues in the autumn, but the colour of the wood is down right boring. However, being a light wood does make it attractive for some pyrography, so after I'd turned it I set about it with my pyrography iron. I had in mind a sort of barley twist design making its way around the barrel, and in my mind it looked quite splendid. In reality the design looked terrible, I got about halfway up the pen and decided it was awful. Luckily, I was able to put the pen back onto the lathe and turn away the offending burn marks that I had made and start again.

The reality is that surface of a pen only provides a very small canvas for any type of artworks, so I decided that simplicity would be the best option. With that simplicity in mind, I burnt a number of random circles into pen and I think it worked. Here is the finished pen and your comments are most appreciated.
The only downside to the pattern I burnt onto the pen was the effect it had on my carpal tunnel syndrome. Being a repetitive pattern was a real problem which meant I had to do the burning over several sessions to allow my wrist to have a chance to rest. Regardless of the resting, the night after I did it I still woke up in the middle of the night with terrible pins and needles in my hand and a feeling as if my fingers had been amputated and replaced with a lobster's claw.

One of these days I'm going to have to go to the doctors and get sorted for the operation but I can't face it at the moment.

One last thing, if you were one of the many that downloaded a free copy of my book last week, I hope you are enjoying it.

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