Wood Burning and Laurels
These are my new obsessions. I actually hear how pretentious that sounds, but sometimes the truth just doesn’t make sense.
In my pursuit of finding my “craft” or “hobby”, I decided to test my hand at wood burning. Upon this decision, I took to the web and purchased a wood burning tool from Brit & Co. The purchase was also accompanied by several attachments, including an entire alphabet, a practice piece of wood and a cheese board.
Monday night posed the perfect back drop for such a craft. Although the boyfriend and I were planning on an athletic night of tennis and running, the weather decided to change our plans. As soon as he rolled up to my apartment, so too did a dark, menacing cloud. I heard the rumblings of a fall shower and new our plans would shift. However, the rain, chilly weather and early evening hues made me want to put on my pajamas and craft. So that’s exactly what we did. Tonight’s crafting took the form of wood burning. This was my first endeavor, even though I’d purchased the tool well over a month ago. As per usual, I read the instructions while eating pizza.
With a mind prepared for proper usage rules and pregnant with ideas, I plugged in the wood burning tool. The tool looks like a large marker with exchangeable tips that become molten hot after about five minutes. I began the journey with a traditional tip.
As soon as the blistering metal touched the wood, smoke curled around my finger. The relationship emitted a scent that brought campfire to my couch. I was in love. With a steady hand, I continued to etch designs into the wood, inhaling deeply with every burn. I first etched my name into the wood. It proved more difficult than expected. A slow, steady hand was needed as too was patience. I traced over my original sketch, solidifying a deeper, darker burn.
I loved working at this pace, but curiosity took over, and I decided to try a different tip. As instructed, I turned off the tool, placed it on its stand and waited five minutes. I used this waiting time to kiss my boyfriend, get a drink and pet my cat. I like the slow pace of this craft because it forces you to wait and appreciate.
Once the traditional tip was cool enough, I replaced it with a smaller, rounder tip. To my amazement, it was even easier to draw with this one. My hand had to remain steady, but the speed of writing letters increased. It felt like magic. I felt like an artist. After writing my name again, I decided to peruse the internet for other small sketching ideas.
This is when I discovered laurels, those beautiful leafy plants. I see them more and more adorning the white space of hand lettering posters. I decided to adopt these to the wood. When I started sketching them, I realized I had prepared for this very moment many years ago. When I was a little girl, I would relentlessly draw weeping willow tree after weeping willow tree, paying specific attention to every branch. I spent hours pouring over the details of every leaf. Now, I could do just that with my wood burning tool. Now I can’t get enough. And since I’m not one to ever rest on my laurels (Have I mentioned how I love a good pun?), I’m branching (wink-wink) off to more ornate laurels than those pictured.
This craft is useful. It brings me joy, and I’m glad I invested in something new. Everything I now see, I think about ways I can burn designs into it. Get ready family and friends for presents with burnt designs from yours truly. I’m excited about this new craft and a chance to use my hands in a way besides typing on a computer.
I often let fear of failure prevent me from trying something new, but this time curiosity won. Don’t let fear stop you from trying. You just might find something you love.