Archive for September, 2011

Pyrography Artist Blair Mclean

Posted in Art, Process, woodburning with tags , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2011 by scratchyb

Yesterday I talked about the dearth of pyrographers kicking it up a notch to create a higher art.  I found this guy Blair Mclean on YouTube and thought I’d point out his work as an example of the concept that I strive for.  He does some incredible straight-line images of architecture and landscapes that kind of put me in mind of art deco and Peter Kuper.  Instead of traditional burners, he uses a torch and metal straight edges.  This is awesome stuff, check out these videos of his process.


Crafty Art

Posted in Art, Process, Technique, woodburning with tags , , , , , , on September 28, 2011 by scratchyb

I’m counting the days down until the craft fair portion of 50/50 Pilsen, and thinking a little bit about where craft and art meet.  Art almost always involves a degree of craftsmanship, unless it’s purely conceptual. The work I’ve been doing recently involves a medium that puts most people in mind of boy scouts, grandparents, and kitschy outdoor country scenes.  Pyrography doesn’t have the popularity of, say, screenprinting, and it is far more time-consuming without the possibility of mass-production. But there’s a lot of possibility in the medium, because of the range of possible markings, from fine-detail to thicker, deeper burns.

Since the theme of this show is where art meets craft, I’ve been exploring the craftier elements of my woodburning, but really, I’m far more interested in how to incorporate this craft into paintings and drawings. Now, plenty of people consider pyrography a serious art, and so do I, but does it get the same respect as painting or sculpture? This past spring I was at the Art Chicago show at Merchandise Mart, and saw one example of pyrography. I’ve found a few cool woodburn artists trolling around the web, but ultimately, where I draw the line is whether someone is creating original subject matter with a discernible style. I’ll be interested in hearing some of the comments of the Pilsen arts community, because at this show I’ll be focusing almost exclusively on woodburn art.

We’ll see what we’ll see.

50/50 Pilsen Sneak Preview

Posted in Art, Painting, Projects, woodburning with tags , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2011 by scratchyb

The Snail Seller




The big show coming up for me in October is 50/50 Pilsen, which Mandy and friends are putting together.  Last year’s show was a huge success, and we’re hoping to build up excitement for this one.  While I’ve a few ideas for the craft portion of the show, what I’ve really been focusing on is a body of work for the art opening on Friday, October 14th. These two pieces are mixed media: woodburn on basswood and birch panels, with gauche and pencil.

All images © Eric Battaglia 2011