Pyrography - Cthulhu Dice Box

This week I am literally playing with fire as I craft a couple of decorated boxes as gifts...

Hardly military related, but my other interests do have an impact on the speed and frequency with which I can work on Milgeek related projects so I thought I'd give you a glimpse into some of my other hobbies! Indeed, one of my greatest problems - if you can call it a problem - is that I am so eclectic when it comes to pastimes, that I have so many diverse hobbies is the reason it takes me so long to finish anything! 😏

The First Rule of Craft Club is...

I guess I haven't talked about my crafting hobby a lot on my blog because - aside  from it seemly not quite relevant - is that it's one of those things I like to have to myself. It's my get away hobby that I like to do on my own in order to relax. While all hobbies are suppose to be a form of relaxation I have a tendency to burn out quite quickly - I obsess about a subject intensely and as a result exhaust my interest and have to have a break.

Craft Club Monday - Lining My Box
Above: My little station at the local library's Craft Club.

This is where my various arts and craft interests come in, they provide an oasis of calm in my otherwise over indulgent hobby spates!

New Ideas and Skills...

Part of my eclectic nature is a need to try new things. Unfortunately, I am kinda destined never to be a master of one particular art or craft, I am too inquisitive about new things and and tire far too easily of them once I feel I have a adequate grasp of the  mechanics of that 'thing'.

So, here we are with my latest diversion - pyrography. As part of my post-stroke rehabilitation I joined a social craft making club at our local library in order to get me out the house. The club seems well suited to my gold-fish like attention span as they introduce new crafts on a regular basis with one-off projects! 😀

One the first week we were given a very small and simple introduction with a spot of pebble decoration. I really enjoyed that as it really was a complete departure from anything that I've done before, and surprise surprise - I actually managed to finish the project in the given time...

Pebble Painting - The Moon
Above: 'The Moon' - Permanent marker on pebble.

I deliberated restrained my usual over-ambitious nature and chose to do to a very simple monochrome illustration. This was just what I needed to give me the motivation to come back the following week where we were given a slightly larger project of making a 'Memory Box' [the club is run in part by 'Help the Aged' as a means of encouraging retired people to remain mentally active].

Although the group leader sets the project idea you are still free to interpret the brief freely and I decided to make a decorative box for my eldest daughter based on a Viking theme, which she is very much into.

Out of the Frying Pan...

Of course, trying new things does present it's own problem in that I now have to learn new techniques in quite a short time. After a chat about craft idea with the group leader I decided I'd like to have a go at pyrography decoration as just painting the box or covering it (découpage) didn't grab my imagination.

Now, it just so happened that I bought a pyrography kit a couple of years ago for the purpose of crafting Christmas decorations but never got round to using it, so it had been gathering dust in my attic. So, bingo! A new idea was born!

Pyrography - First project, Dice Box
Above: Ready for a first practise exercise with the pyrography kit!

Pyrography - First project, Dice Box
Above: And away we go - first attempt before I do the 'big box' project.

Pyrography - and predictably - isn't as easy as it looks (who saw that coming)! You use a tool similar to a soldering idea to burn designs into wood but despite it sounding like it's just another form of drawing... Er, it kinda ain't!

Despite the fact you do draw with the tool and that you hold it sort of like you would a pen That's where the similarity ends as the pyrography tool's weight and length makes the whole process rather awkward and ungainly. Unsurprisingly, it's turns out to be a techniques that takes some amount of practise just to - quite literally - get to gripes with.

Lucky I decides to do a small practise box (dice box) before undertaking my bigger Viking box!

Pyrography - Cthulhu Lettering

It all Becomes a Little Clearer...

Anyway, to cut a long story - of trial and error - short I eventually twigged that it's sort of all about the pyro-pen's nibs. Each detachable brass nib has a particular shape and is designed for a specific purpose, sharp pointed nibs are great for fine lines while rounded conical nibs are great for pointillism effects [dots], and you have to plan and change out the right nib for the right effect.

Once you get that through your head things start to become a little easier (a little).

Pyrography - Viking Themed Box

Pyrography - Viking Box Project

And so I started to make some head way with my Viking themed box and I can see how pyrography will be a very useful string to add to my bow as it has sparked off (excuse the pun) a lot of ideas which I can use for this year's Christmas gifts.

A bit of a surprise new skill I didn't expect - by the way - was working with felt, of all things, as we also had to line our boxes. I was actually a bit shocked at how pleased I was with the job I did with this new technique...

Pyrography & Crafting - Viking Themed Box Lining

I should finish the Viking box this week and I have to say that this project has not only been very relaxing and something refreshingly new but it is nice to actually take on a new project skill where I have nearly completed a project within a reasonable time! 😁

Pyrography - Viking Box Project

- Scarborough Library Facilities & Activities

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