I have long admired the woodturning artists who add pyrography (fancy word for wood burning) to their pieces and I’ve wanted to try something with pyrography on some of my pieces for a while now. The inspiration for this piece came from a challenge from the President of our local woodturning club, Peter Walen. Peter had issued a two-part challenge to us. The first part was that we needed to bring in an unfinished piece to our May meeting and then we were to have a lottery to decide which piece you got to take home and finish. And you could do anything to the piece that you wanted. So in the lottery Peter ended up with a piece that Brian Libby had started which looked like the start of a calabash bowl. Peter brought the piece back the next month finished. On it he had wood burned a pattern on the outside of the calabash bowl (he kept the original shape) and he had also turned the bowl with a round bottom, meaning that there wasn’t a flat bottom like we are used too. I really liked what the two of them had come up with and stored that away in my mostly faulty memory bank.
So fast forward to now. I turned a wooden Cherry calabash style bowl with a round bottom. After having finished the turning I really like the round bottom and its overall effect on the bowl. I started wood burning little round dots on the outside of the bowl but realized that I had made a major mistake when I finished the bowl. I sign all of my bowls and this one wasn’t an exception but I should have waited until after I did the wood burning to sign it and not before. I didn’t close enough attention to where I signed and it threw off the entire wood burning design. Anyways Becca enters the picture at this time because being that she is 14 and that it’s summer time she was bored. She knew that I had started wood burning the bowl so I offered for her to work on some of the wood burning. Becca was in the shop just a few minutes later and putting many, many little round dots on the bowl. She worked on and off for a few hours and I never heard her say anything about being bored again. So last night I finished up the wood burning and put the finish on our little collaboration.
So thank you to Pete and Brian for the inspiration for this project and a big thank you to Becca for working on this with me and for being you.