Blog of scratchboard wildlife artist Heather Ward.
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Friday, January 13, 2012
These are two of my three new pieces of wood. The third is similar but much smaller and with a cut edge on one side (that will probably be my practice piece). These two are both 19"x24.5"x1.75" and pretty heavy. The wood is maple, which usually has a nice, light color well suited to pyrography.
Where these cuts are unusual is that they are burl. Burl has no grain. It is kind of like a tumor on the side of a tree, usually at the base of the trunk, where the wood grows erratically in a large lump. It may sound odd, but the pattern is beautiful. Coupled with the complete natural edge, these specimens are unique and rare. They both still need some prep work to make them suitable for my plans, particularly sanding to make the pyrography easier. I got these pieces rough-cut from Oregon. Once the slabs are sanded, I will start the layouts for the drawing. I have a plan for the top piece, but am still working on ideas for the other. One at a time, right? Once I have the layouts, I will do a complete pencil drawing on paper. With pyrography, there are no do-overs. It has to be right the first time. I am very excited about this project, and if it works out there will be plenty more to follow. (And yes, I am keeping some of the details a secret for now!)