Burning workshop at Art Liestman’s studio! Fire department late to scene.

Art and class in Art's studio

Last weekend was a special day in Art’s shop. Eight of

Sample of a pyrographic sampler

us shared his space while he led us through a progressive approach to learning pyrography. We all had burners but had had little success in the past with the process. Art showed us several different types of tips to make various shapes. For each one he showed us various ways to apply the tip to get several more shapes from each tip. We all seemed to gain quite a bit of confidence and ability due to the progressive way in which Art took us down the path. Starting with a straight line, we progressed to keeping that line strength consistent, making curves, small circles and then branded shapes.

In addition to pyrography, Art showed us his brand of colouring using acrylics to highlight grain patterns. It is the same method as I use when employing dyes and then sanding back to expose the figured grain through the colour. Everyone tried the technique on various pieces of figured wood with some very satisfying results.

Mystery instructor

Bullwinkle learns to burn.

Before we started, Art asked each one of us what we wanted to learn in the session and wrote the answers down. He then proceeded to make sure that each concern was covered to our satisfaction. I was very pleased with what I learned about pyrography and also pleased to learn a new way of making an impromptu lesson plan.

Lunch – always a highlight – was delivered by Art’s wife, Jan. Picked up at their favourite Lebanese restaurant, the meal was not only delicious but ample enough that after we were done, we were all ready to curl up like a boa constrictor for a five day sleep after downing a calf.

The gang of eight plus one.

Very possibly the highlight of the day was learning how to shoot elastic bands faster and more accurately than I ever had before. Only a mathematics whiz could devise a method of putting a spin on the band to better control its flight. Who knew?!

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About Ed Pretty

I am a professional woodturner, specializing in gallery work, commercial work, teaching and demonstrating. I have been turning since 1958, so... a long time. I use this site to present my work to the public at large and to let people know that I am available for teaching private lessons in woodturning. Wood turning is one of my passions (the other is motorcycle touring). It is my desire to pass on everything that I have learned over the years to others so that the craft of woodturning will grow.
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