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The Artist

Relocation

commission for The Coalbrookdale Inn, Ironbridge, Shropshire Eventually, I had a big change in my life and moved to an Essex village, I soon realised that commuting from here would be too much and quite honestly it filled me with despair! I enjoyed this new found space and fresh air, so I took up my pen once again and started to draw. I have always had a love for pen and ink and have had illustrations published in magazines. One of my new drawings of the Coalbrookdale Inn, Ironbridge was purchased and used to promote the business in the form of adverts and chocolate bar!. To cut a long story short... how did I find pyrography? Well, on a quiet Sunday afternoon in the village with nothing better to do I took a stroll up to the Parish Rooms to have a browse around a craft show. There was a wonderful display of objects from painted eggs to rocking horses. I eventually came across the pyrography stall, to my amazement there was a woman 'drawing on wood'! It was similar in effect to pen and ink, and I have often thought how lovely it would be to put a drawing onto an object, to give as a treasure or even sell. The lady whose name I now know as Jo (another!) was helpful, she must have been pleased to see somebody so excited about her craft! She shared with me her collection of books and showed me the basics.

Discovery

shopIn the Christmas of 2001, after many hints I recieved my Peter Child machine. I visited Roy Child's workshop and must have looked like a child in a sweet shop! - Wood! Books! On arriving home with my new gadget and Stephen Poole's book, 'The Complete Pyrography', I set to it! Firstly,I followed the book's guidlines, practicing the lessons on wooden spoons. These were inexpensive so mistakes didn't really matter! I'm sure my family eventually lost their expectation on receiving their birthday and Xmas presents, as all they received was pyrography! pyro machine During my first attempts I noticed that a few pieces had faded, this was partially due to the fact that they were placed in the window and also I used to burn very lightly, just touching the wood. This hopefully has now been rectified, but I still wouldn't advise placing pyrographs in a bright situation. After browsing the web, I found a group called UK Pyros, and quickly joined! They have given me wonderful advice about all aspects of pyrography along with funny and interesting chat!
My next step was to attend my first fair. My friend who is a reiki healer invited me along to a healing fair. So off I went with about twenty items and a rickety paste table. I must admit I was very nervous! It was a really hot summer's day and I had no shade! - phewee! I managed to sell about 20 worth. I'm not sure it was the right fair as it was rather 'hippy' orientated to say the least! However, a good day was had by all even though I came home with a rather burnt face!

Pyrography Today

One of my craft fairs at Layer Marney Towers - Essex I now regularly attend fairs, and always find that they are very different both in income and attendance. Don't be put off if your first fair is not too successful. You will learrn what people like. I began selling larger items and found that you need to have 'bread and butter' goods, like keyrings, badges and spoons. I have always found it hard to part with my work, as it becomes personal to me. Although I have now started to overcome this, it's such a pleasure to see customers smiling at my work, and reading the funny sayings on my keyrings. I dont know how many times I've heard the words, "Oh look, - todays menu, two choices. Take it or leave it!" It always makes me giggle!stall As I always demonstrate at shows, I love to see people looking on in admiration, and also to hear their comments. Some of the most popular are: "how long does it take to dry?" and "don't buy any thing I've got a soldering iron in the garage"!! Children's school fetes are always a joy to attend, but you have to make sure that you're ready for the onslaught! I have often sat burning solidly for two hours adding names to door plaques. Once one's got one they all want one!
Ebay has also been a valuable tool for me. Along with being able to sell my work, I now reach a wider audience, from America to Canada, Europe to Australia. Receiving private commissions is always wonderful, I love to work along with customers to fulfil their ideas. I would like to share as much as I can about pyrography so I will be developing my 'whats pyrography' section with lessons. So we can work together!

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