Woodburning you ask ? No, not the kind to keep you warm. The arty farty kind. It’s my ‘new to learn craft’ started today.
This is a photo of the thingy you use, to attach the bits to, that get hot. Got it? Trust me. They get HOT. I know. I picked one up and have the blisters on two fingers to prove it.
YouTube is a wonderful thing you know. Just about anything you want to know can be found on there with ‘how to’ instructions.
I watched several of them.
After that I felt ready to have a bash.
This is my first practice on a bit of scrap wood – drawing lines, curves, stippling, shading, stamping, colouring. Yes! I learnt that anything you can use to colour in on paper you can use to colour in on wood. How cool is that!
I tried out all the different size and shape thingys that get hot to see what they feel like to work with and what kind of marks they leave.
Even the handle gets warmish after an hour or so. Maybe it’s not meant to be used that long.
It gets tricky changing the bits. Because they are so hot you have to use a pair of plyers and twirl them anti-clockwise till it pops out.
But do you know what happened? After a while the burny bit only screwed in half way. I guess the heat expanded the insertion point so the bits no longer fitted properly. What that meant was that I was left with a burning tool that had an unstable burny bit. I even bent the screwy shaft on one of them.
The other thing I learnt is that you got to be real quick to screw in a cold burny bit by hand as they heat up real quick.
Here’s nine of the eleven stamps in the kit. In order to get a good, clear image, pressure has to be even. And the longer you leave the hot stamp on the wood the darker it gets. I’m talking seconds here. Like 2 maybe 3 at the most but that’s stretching it a bit.
And of course every kind of timber is different to burn. The stamps are on meranti. That’s nice and easy. Pine is a pain although pretty with all the grains. It’s the grains that are a headache for burning. And of course red cedar is just lovely – and fragrant.
I have done many calligraphy courses over the years. The strokes and fonts are familiar to me. What is not is the writing tool itself. The tip of the burny bit is way down far away from your hand which has to control drawing and writing from a distance. That’s tricky as controlling the flow is just as important as the strokes. Otherwise you get left with black dots all over the place. So here’s my first practice bits.
I love learning new crafts!
© Raili Tanska
“Art in its highest form is art that serves and instructs society and human development.”
— Harry Belafonte