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Don’t Play With Fire

I have mentioned from time to time that my parents, my Dad in particular, didn’t get the art thing. He was proud of me to be sure, but it was more in the “Look what my offspring can produce” department. Its fine, at this point in my life I actually find it amusing, gives me material for making fun. Actually I believe that’s where my hobby of making fun of the general public comes from. My Dad makes fun of everyone. Dad would very often pass comment about me, he would refer to me as eccentric, or bleeding weirdo. I had an incident today involving my project and flame that reminded me of one of those times with him. I think I may have been nineteen or twenty, as always I was is my room with the door closed, music playing, and I was painting. I had a small candle burning. The wind blew through an open window and the curtain caught the candle flame. In an instant the curtains were in flames. I can honestly say in an emergency, I am the person you want near by. No panic, I may worry myself into a frenzy later about what I should or shouldn’t have done, but in the moment of the emergency I am as calm as can be. I put the fire out. Then I heard them, the sound of his footsteps on the stairs. Crap! The room smelled of melted polyester. I moved towards the window and stood to hide the charred curtain. Dad walked into my room, “What is that smell? What are you doing?” “Nothing, I’m painting and I had a candle burning.” Hoping the entire time that he wouldn’t see behind me.  “Bleeding weirdo, no more candles in the bedroom.” With that he walked out. I later heard him telling my mother what a weirdo I was. I learned my lesson, at least about candles and open windows. I waited until he was at work the next day to throw the curtains out.

This little tale brings me to today. I have two or three times in the past eight months showed a technique for burning brown paper so that it looks like metal. I saw an old metal sign on an auction site. It is a perfect gift for my daughter and her husband, they are newspaper people. The sign was much, much more than I can afford these days, so I simply made my own. I don’t like to use work without giving credit, so this is officially credit. To whomever created this piece, nice work! I love it. I wish I could have bought the actual piece, but money is tight. I decided to recreate the piece using my burning technique. (Speaking of credit, I think I first saw the burning technique on Aleene’s crafts a million years ago. Not quite as sophisticated as I do it, but credit…) I hadn’t planned to use this piece for the blog tonight, it’s a Christmas gift, but it took me the better part of the afternoon to cut it out, thus no time for other art. I decided to try the technique not on brown paper, but on a heavier white board. I drew the design on the white board, and cut out the negative spaces, coated the entire thing in glue, and began to burn. I was coming out beautifully, in silver tones unlike the bronze tones of using the brown paper. I was enjoying the process until suddenly the end caught fire. Yes that’s right, fire. No panic, I put out the fire. I thought it was ruined, but I loved the top so much, and thought it looked so good I didn’t want to lose it. I lost the center P, and parts of the A and E. I made new letters from the left over scraps of cardboard, attached the letters to the bottom, re-glued and burned. Afterwards I burnished the entire piece with both silver and bronze metallic paint. I think this one was a happy accident, I love the results. IMG_3245





The finish project with repairs.

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