Introducing Dan Allnutt and Fran Rehn
Book Review: How to Woodburn Wildlife: A Burning Class in a Book by O. W. Davis
Christian Maraschin, Decorative Artist
The Tagua Craze Continues! A Gallery of Tagua Works by IAPA Members
Update on the Corroboree--It's Sporting a Plinth!
Dan Allnutt--Western Themes
Dan Allnutt Woodburning
Dan Allnutt tells how he got started in pyrography: "I am a self-taught "artist". I received a woodburning iron when I was just a young boy living on a ranch in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. Nine years ago, while shopping at Tandy Leather, I noticed a basic woodburning iron just like the one I had as a child--I couldn't pass it up, and I started practicing on wood scraps."
Dan's Style. "Over the years, rather than take instruction,
I wanted to "discover" my own style. The theme of my
woodburnings centers around the old west of the late1800's, and I would
hope my rustic woodburnings would appear, themselves, to have been done
around that same period.
The Crystal Lake Mill
Dan's Website. See more of Dan's work on his brother Frank's
website. Look for Western Art.
About joining IAPA, Dan says, "I look forward to meeting others who share the same love of woodburning that I have found, and I also look forward to learning about wood carving as well. At some point, I would like to integrate woodburning, wood carving, and leather work in works that are in keeping with the old west theme.
Meet Fran Rehn
Fran's beginnings in pyro art. When Fran Rehn wrote me recently, I was
just about bowled over with her enthusiasm when telling me her own pyro
"Pyrography became my cure!" By the time she completed her medical treatment, Fran was on to a new career in woodburning. She "got a business license and started right in." "Since the beginning," she says, "I have 20 ribbons won in three competitions. I've burned about 300 works...and love every one!"
Her heroes and her website. From her research on the internet,
Fran decided: "My goal is to produce works of the caliber of Sue
Walters' and David Kreider's. My absolute favorite technique is the
elusive Photo Realism. All the books I bought mentioned it, but didn't
go into much detail on "how to". So, I taught myself. I know I have
many years of practice ahead!"
"I have a website, http://www.rehnbeau.com, called Warm Touch Studio. She adds hopefully, "Maybe someday, people will see my site and feel as I do about Sue and David."
Looking for New Opportunities in Montana. Fran's enthusiasm
didn't end there, though. This is what she had to say next:
"We're planning to relocate to Kalispell, Montana shortly and I can
hardly wait! The exposure to wildlife, scenery, rodeos (horses in
particular), and rustic, homey feeling of Montana just seems to fit
pyrography to a tee! "
Fran's next comment struck me as particularly telling of her positive spirit. What is daunting to many pyro artists, Fran sees as full of opportunity. She said: "I've checked local galleries and didn't see a single pyro! And, there are lots of opportunities to do custom home decorating for some of the rich and famous who 'hide away' in Kalispell. (Tiger Woods just bought a hunk of land there!) Besides outfitting the local ski lodges with wall hangings, I could do custom kitchen cabinet decorations for residents to enjoy...eventually."
"Those are my goals anyways...self-fulfilling prophecy I hope! I'd love to entertain the thought of giving classes, too, someday."
About joining IAPA. By the time you read Fran's words about her wanting to join IAPA, like me you're going to want to hug her! "Becoming a member of the IAPA would be one of the proudest moments in my newest career. Are there patches, t-shirts, or other material available to members for advertising? So...Please consider my sincere request for membership in the IAPA. This sounds like the perfect place for me! The local woodcarvers loved me, but my stuff just didn't fit in. There were only two categories I could enter...compared to their hundred or so. The art world says my work is a craft, yet the crafters call it fine art! I feel lost! Until NOW!! There IS a place for us pyros after all!!"
How to Woodburn Wildlife
Taking treks through the wilderness used to be a pastime for Orchid
Davis who loves wildlife. But when she left a career as a commercial
artist to do nothing but carve and later pyrograph the wildlife she so
loves and enjoys, she found her niche. Now when she goes hiking in the
wild, she has the excuse that she is doing research for her art work!
Her book How to Burn Wildlife: A Burning Class in a Book
has quite a stunning cover portraying a bob cat, one which Orchid has
had the privilege of seeing on her own property on more than one occasion.
This 46-page book has a number of helpful color pictures throughout and a goodly number of black-and-white ones to explain what Orchid is describing. This is not so much a step-by-step how to book as it is the lecture part of a class session with general ideas about how to approach a project, what to look for, what to think about, technical considerations, creating your own designs, and more. To illustrate points she is making in the accompanying text, Orchid's book displays certain pictures for the purpose of comparing one step and another in a project or one technique and another, or contrasting without color and then with color, or the wrong way and the right way, etc.
There is the usual amount of helpful auxiliary information about tools, tips, supplies, organizations, and schools. In addition, she dedicates a page to talking about presenting your work to best advantage when selling to maximize its profit potential. It also has patterns for the projects (small and big) that she illustrates in the book.
Orchid uses acrylic color in subtle washes in most of her work and she shows examples of pieces that are burned only and then how they look with color added. As she explains, a piece already has a lot of color before she starts painting by virtue of all the nuances of cream to tan to deep brown to velvety black that she achieves with just her burning tool. For this reason, all those who prefer burning only will also find this book helpful.
Although this book is not aimed at someone who has never touched a burning tool or a paintbrush, Orchid has more detailed pages on how to do eyes, fur, and feathers--the favorite topics and most frequently asked questions of wildlife art students. Orchid's style is one of a soft burn, which makes for that soft fur look for which she is so well known.
Orchid's book, which is available through The Caning Shop, is another fine addition to the collection at the E-Museum Bookstore exhibit.
Knife with Moth
Welcome to Another New IAPA Member--from France!
When French pyrographic artist Christian Maraschin of Haut-Rhin began to work in this medium in 1992, he soon found it had become a passion, especially once he started experimenting with burning on some of the more challenging materials such as bone, horn, leather, and ivory. Each of these has its own particular requirements in terms of both technique and burning temperature.
Knife with Moth, detail
As far as working on wood is concerned, Christian's wood of choice is boxwood, the wood he chose for the knife handle. He describes it as "incomparable" because it offers many qualities that allow for very finely detailed pyroengraving--as evidenced here on the beautiful large moth.
Flowers in Monochrome
Notice in Christian's monochrome work on leather above how he has achieved a wide range of shadows and lights. He says that it is possible to achieve subtle nuances of colors--even reds and purples--by skillfully manipulating both the pyro pen and the heat to take advantage of the leather's own tannins.
Christian's animal motifs are not meant to be strictly realistic so much
as decorative. He works them on small areas (of about one and a half
inches) like the ones shown above on exotic materials destined to become
articles like bolo ties and belt buckles. The hound is burned on
polished antler while the deer motif is burned on boxwood set in an
irregular ring of polished horn. Detailists will appreciate just the
right border on it, which adds the final touch for a very unusual and
Below you will see the artist and his display table at an exhibition. Notice the antlers and the variety of other items of interest there plus some pyroengraved letters at the front--they make the French word PYROGRAVURE, which you will see when you link to his website. Although distinctly pyrographic, his floral works on both wood and leather are reminiscent of motifs used to decorate porcelain.
The Artist at an Exhibition of His
In addition to his own work, Christian has acquired a very carefully chosen collection of old and antique works. Viewing it in his second gallery is one more reason to visit his website PYROGRAVURE.
Working with color. Christian accomplished the subtle translucent colors on the above piece by using tinted satin finishes containing small amounts of pigments.
More examples of Christian's work are on display in his E-Museum Salon. As you will see, his own goals parallel those stated at the entrance to the E-Museum.
Although still in its beginnings, Christian Maraschin's PYROGRAVURE website has obviously been prepared with both great care and vision. Not only has he given it a very sophisticated presentation, he is constructing it in three languages--French, English, and German--to open it to more visitors. His vision for it is his desire to research and document the medium and display work by other artists who want to participate in his project. Like almost every pyrographic artist we have encountered thus far, Christian has found little documentation on this art form in his own country. He invites you to help him change that.
2001, Kathleen M. Garvey Menéndez, all rights reserved.