- Dino Muradian: A Project Unfolding
- Dino Muradian: Varied Themes
- Book Review: Step-by-Step Pyrography Projects
for the Solid Point Machine by Norma Gregory
- Sue Walter's Newsletter--Smokin'!
- From Spain: FFerdezO
- Tom Schulz: Update From Alaska
- Remembering September 11th
The images exhibited here in part two of this piece show a range of the
many themes and styles Dino Muradian has so successfully rendered in addition to those
for his iconostasis project exhibited here in part one.
It takes courage to attempt a theme like the one above, and obviously Dino was up to the challenge. He chose the motif--from a photographic study he did himself--just because he likes the way blackberries look. The touch of the master is manifest in the exquisite execution of the blackberries but especially, of course, the bold choice of showing them against a black background.
Dino had the following comment about his only pyrograph on paper (above) entitled "Toscana," a street scene in a city of the beautiful Tuscany region of Italy, "... one of the most wonderful parts of Italy, from a photo taken by a friend of mine in his last trip there. It was more like an experiment, and the strangest thing I could find out about this was: paper burns slower than wood!?!"
Ballerina at Rest
Among Dino's portraits, some of very famous people, his pyro paintings of ballerinas leave viewers in awe for their beauty of composition and exquisite details of satin ballet slippers, tumbling folds of dance costumes, soft shining hair, and delicate skin--all done in monochrome with a burning tool.
Before he started doing portraits and other pyro paintings on guitars,
Dino early on did the gorgeous portrait (above) of Jimi Hendrix and his
guitar that won him much acclaim and notoriety. No doubt this piece was
in part responsible for putting him on his later track of getting
commissions to actually custom decorate guitars with his art work. When
asked--Why the Jimi Hendrix portrait?--the answer came back readily:
"Because I like his music a lot."
In 1994, over a long lunch in a restaurant at the Seatac Airport [an airport in Washington State, serving Seattle and Tacoma], Dino had the opportunity to show the portrait he had done to Jaimee Hendrix Wright, the sister of Jimi Hendrix.
Portrait of B. B. King, detail
B. B. King named his original guitar Lucille; however, over the years, there have been many guitars, so each one has been christened Lucille and given a number. Some years ago, Gibson Guitars commissioned Dino to do a special Lucille to present to B. B. on his 70th birthday. Above is a detail image of the finished Lucille 17 that was presented to the blues king on that occasion.
B. B. King and Dino Muradian
Dino recounts their meeting: "I met B. B. King in 1995 after he had a concert in Paramount Theatre in Seattle. I waited for him in a long line after the concert, backstage, had my picture taken with him, and had a ten-minute conversation about this Lucille 17th, Gibson Guitars' present for him on his 70th birthday. I didn't know then how big this guy is, and why all those guys in line were so envious seeing this god B. B. conversing so pleasantly with this Cuban-accented, one-eyebrow guy... B. B. didn't know I was the guy who did his Lucille. Now he knows... "
Poster of Metallica's James Hetfield and
His Custom Guitar
"Another very fulfilling meeting," Dino recounted, "was the occasion when I met Metallica's James Hetfield (the one I worked that custom ESP-Explorer with a stag scull on it for), and with Kirk Hemet, also in Seattle, also in 1995. These two guys, really heavy metal animals on stage, real gods for so/too many younsters, made me feel like ... Michelangelo, backstage, just before their concert in The Sonics Arena. Clean, very nicely mannered, even shy, they both impressed me a lot then, so now I'm kind of a fan of theirs."
When he departed the United States a couple of years ago, Dino took down
his homepage on the internet. His many fans will be pleased to know
that he now once again has a web site at www.geocities.com/dinumuradian/
Dino also has works exhibited in the Dino Muradian Salon in the E-Museum of Pyrographic Art.
Dino's work was first featured on line in the WOM's premier issue in January of 1997 in an article on Pyrography as Fine Art: An Interview with Dino Muradian.
Dino's goals for the future include a wish and the will to work big,
large pieces. He enjoys the challenge of special commissions,
particularly the large pieces and large projects. He is already
looking forward to new opportunities. He says that, as long as he has
DHL Express, he can work anywhere, anytime on custom work.
Dino's final 'words of wisdom': "To succeed in anything, you have to ... take it seriously, even if that anything is 'woodburning'."
Step-by-Step Pyrography Projects:
Norma Gregory's first book Pyrography
Designs reviewed in an earlier Pyrograffiti--is essentially
a collection of designs appropriate for decorative art pyrographic
artists of varying skill levels. The designs are accompanied by a
limited set of instructions, including some for color and finishing.
Norma Gregory's second book pictured above, entitled Step-by-Step Pyrography Projects for the Solid Point Machine seems really a "prequel" to her first because it has fewer designs and more detailed instructions for beginner and more advanced projects. It provides patterns for each project demonstrated as well as for the pieces shown in the enjoyable gallery chapter at the end of the book.
As the title indicates, Norma uses and obviously prefers a (Janik) solid point tool that she refers to throughout her new book, which has many color pictures, and even shows how to do some projects that were pictured as finished pieces in her earlier book (including the one on the cover of her first book).
If anything is surprising about Norma Gregory's writing this new book,
it is that she didn't write it until now. Her biography indicates that
she has been teaching art and pyrography extensively for some years to a
variety of groups, "including women's groups, scout troops and
The last piece in the book (the only one with neither pattern nor instructions) is most interesting--a beautiful octagonal chess table designed by Adrian Admanson. Roy Hamilton's twelve pyrography panels depict scenes from the life of King Arthur with one flanking each of the four sides of the chessboard in the center and one on each of the eight sides of the table itself, which was made by inmates at the Craft and Design Workshop of a prison where Norma Gregory also teaches pyrography.
Now with already her third newsletter on line, Sue Walters had the
following to say in an interview about this latest successful endeavor
"Well....I'm actually a BIG believer that sharing art techniques and news is a wonderful way of encouraging and inspiring the new people in our medium. More than that, it demystifies the process, techniques, and possibilities with the serious and amateur pyrographer alike. I'd like everyone to know all the possibilities, not just mine, but all.
There are a thousand books on watercolour painting, and this knowledge only helps that medium better itself. There are thousands upon thousands more watercolour artists than us. I don't think this competition is at all bad for their art because I am a believer that you will never know how fast you can run unless you compete against others...and that can only be good for pushing the standard...to get us seriously taken."
The special appeal Sue's newsletters hold for her many fans is the opportunity they provide for learning Sue's tips and techniques and those of other well known artists she features there.
Because Sue was already so well known among pyrographic artists both for her own much admired work as well as the helpful and expert advice she has so generously offered over the years to any and all through the IAPA message board, this newsletter of hers was indeed welcomed "with open arms" by all.
Subscription to it is free, and anyone wishing to subscribe need only go to www.suewalters.com linked here, to sign up.
Follow Sue's tagua elephant's nose (below) to page three of this Pyrograffiti 19 for more article segments, including one about Tom Schulz bringing more good news from Alaska. As part of that segment you will see another link to Sue's latest newsletter (#3) where she features details of Tom's work and techniques.
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2002, Kathleen M. Garvey Menéndez, all rights reserved.