At Borealis Yule, teaching a pattern-drafting class for millinery wasn’t the only thing I got up to – I also took a pyrography class! In the class, the instructor provided the tools to do the wood burning, and also boxes. We didn’t get a lot of advanced notice on the size of the boxes (since he had to go out and buy them) so I had to pick a design kind of short-notice. I went to the Instagram account of Fiskr Art, and was inspired by a design… so created my own with a lot of the same elements.
In mine, there’s a penannular brooch secured with a sword, with a mingled serpent/dragon in kind of a Viking / Norse feel. I shared this earlier on my Instagram account, in case it looks familiar. I thought the design would be nice to use to store my Viking Age bling.
At the time I tagged this with “I don’t need another craft!” but I really enjoyed it, and the near-result (it still needed staining)… and it kept staying on my mind. So when I had a 50% off coupon for Michaels Craft Store and saw they had the one with the adjustable thermostat – I bought it!
Once again, I was super inspired by Fiskr Art, and referenced many of his photos of his tattoo work to create a few new designs for woodburning. After drawing them out I used carbon paper to transfer them to the lids of dollar-store wooden boxes (about $4.00 each plus tax, so pretty affordable).
I also traced over the carbon paper with a pencil, mostly just to ‘dig’ the lines in a little deeper to make them easier to trace with the pyrography pen, but partially because I didn’t know how long it would be between tracing and burning – and was a little worried that the carbon paper would brush off in between. There were a lot of really warm evenings, and I didn’t want to use the woodburning kit until the evenings cooled off a bit…
Finally a cooler evening came!
The darker lines above is where I had burned, and the lighter lines are just the carbon/pencil marks. Since I had a lot of fine lines in the artwork I’d done (oops) I started with the very fine nib. I also went in later with the calligraphy nib and did a bit of shading on some of the pieces, but I didn’t really like the effect so didn’t use it on all of them.
From there – it was time to stain! I first picked out some stain in our garage marked “walnut”… I thought it would be a great darkish brown colour… (above)
It was not. It was kind of orange. I did a second coat with another colour we had – marked “Tudor”. It didn’t really take down enough of the orange, but I hoped it would dry differently.
I went ahead with the remaining pieces in “Tudor”, which has a slightly grey tone to it which reminded me a bit of weather worn barnwood – which I really liked, especially if I didn’t have any dark brown stain! (The other colour we already had was “Pecan”). All of the photos below were taken when the boxes were ‘hung’ in my garage to dry.
Once the boxes were dry… I considered them “done”. I used a product that was stain and finish in one, so it doesn’t have a glossy finish at all – which I prefer for these… since they’re intended to fit in with my Viking kit. However, since there’s no ‘protective coating’ I’ll want to avoid putting stuff like coffee cups etc on them since they might get stained. For future projects I might try a wax finish… since that seems like a more plausible alternative to polyurethane finishes for the Viking Age.
Photos from my garden
I wanted to get some pretty photos of the finished boxes, so did a few photos out in my garden, up against my lovely ferns.
I also did a few photos up against my thriving hops plant.
In this post I’ve shared photos of the two boxes I did featuring a dragon/serpent wrapped around a naalbinding needle. I did a few different designs all at the same time, so in my next post I’ll show some of the other boxes I did. If you’re checking out my blog well after the date I published… just keep reading.
If you’re seeing this when I posted, and the next post isn’t up yet – I’d suggest hitting the “subscribe” button if you’re a WordPress user… or follow me on Facebook – where each blog post is promoted when I post it. I also have other content that goes up there that doesn’t really have a place on my blog.
Alternatively, if you just want to see more photos of my boxes… come join me on Instagram. I took a LOT of pretty photos, but not all of them are being loaded up here. They’re all going up on Instagram though!