Pyrography, Platters, and Boundless Energy

Recently, Jenny and Charlie came to visit.

When I spend time with them, I always amazed by their boundless energy and creativity.  Did I say they have an admirable amount of energy?

IMG_8537Among the many activities we take on from cycling, disc golf, to eating ice cream and pizza, we usually embark on a creative journey where we all make something with Jenny and Charlie.

Last visit, we embraced polymer clay and created a kitchen full of  soccer fields, bears, cats, snakes and beads for bracelets.

This time we learned about pyrography (including how to spell it which Jenny mastered quickly).   With small poplar platters turned for each, we learned about drawing our patterns with pencil, then using different woodburning pens for different parts of the drawings.

We started with an inexpensive pen that takes a long time to heat up and a longer time to cool down.  We put a moon shape tip on it.  This pen had to be held still for a loooong time in order to burn the moon image.


Next we learned how to hold the Optima pens and used the writing tip and skew tip which both burned very differently.  Jenny and Charlie did very well for their first time writing with fire.

Charlie’s platter — replete with spiders — includes a very hairy green spider which he burned great detail into with the writing nib.  The skew nib was a little harder to control and he is sporting a small signature on his finger as memorabilia.

turtle-platterJenny used the skew and did a nice job on drawing then burning the kelp in the ocean with her turtles.   She also used both watercolor pencils and paint for the ocean currents.   The combination of colors makes for a very vibrant platter which she says she’ll use to hold her jewelry.

Another avenue for boundless energy was our spontaneous music circle.  We included others in this activity.  As a flutemaker who loves to make music as well as instruments,  I have a collection of musical instruments.  With plenty of different instruments to choose from,  everyone chose an instrument and we sat in a circle taking turns starting a tune or rhythm which everyone else ultimately joined.

This activity is pure spontaneity and great fun for a group with energy to burn.  While the file you hear is less than a minute long, I’ve edited out lots of laughter and discussion of who leads and who nods for us all to end.   The second song in this sample is titled “Call for the Medicine Man,” because one of our percussionists needed such. Nevertheless, he  managed to ingeniously incorporate a cough into the rhythm!