Buro Tries: Pyrography Art (Wood Burning) with Black Milk Project
Fire it art
We thought silkscreen painting was tricky and then we discovered pyrography art aka wood burning. However it's not really a new form of art but rather, an alternative kind of workshop that's recently offered by Black Milk Project - they have other classes as well - in the saturated artsy craftsy scene in KL. We decided to give it a whirl for this month's Buro Tries, not knowing what to expect, and to our surprise, it's a meticulous technique that creates beautiful pieces of art, whether in the form of words, shapes or a drawing.
Watch the video below for a quick glimpse of what a pyrography art workshop entails, along with our guest, Brandon Ho.
Gwen Ong, Deputy Editor
The first time I came across pygrography art was when Red Hongyi posted up her work for Facebook Singapore. I didn't even know there was a name to this artform then. So going into the pyrography art workshop with Black Milk Project was enlightening (see what I did there?). I finally understood what an effort it is to create art by way of "burning" the wood. It takes an eye to sketch out the details and a whole lot of patience to transfer your vision to reality. I'm restricted in the former and running low in the latter. Although I found wood burning to be quite a labourious project, the session does help to hush the mind. For a few hours, my goal was just to create various degrees of singes and patterns, under the watchful eyes of Wei Tieng of course. It was calming to just focus on one task for that afternoon and not my usual list of things to do.
Rachel Au, Lifestyle Writer
While arranging for the class, Wei Tieng sent me a few guidelines to note before attending the class such as avoid wearing accessories on your hands, best not to wear tops with long sleeve, and best to tie up long hair. With that, I was wondering exactly how epic is this class going to be while imagining the large fire from a wok when you (or rather, the uncle) fry Hokkien mee (granted I had yet to Google pyrography art any further). So it was a relieved feeling when I saw the tool used to create wood burning art but also a nervous one as it wasn't easy for me to "burn" curved lines should I then wish to pursue some intricate designs. But really, anything is possible with pyrography - all you need is patience, lots of it. I ended up pressing the pen harder on the wood, thinking that's the trick to see the marks but as Wei Tieng demonstrated once more for me, I just needed to leave the pen longer on the trail. My artpiece ended up being very spontaneous as I added random dandelions and shading over already-shaded parts. What I learnt is that pyrography is, ironically, exactly that fluid.
Yi Suen Chong, Digital Designer
Having no idea what pyrography is, I was quite excited to see what Black Milk Project could bring to the table and the experience certainly did not disappoint. Lucky for us, Wei Tieng and her assistant were very kind and patient with us first-timers as they guided us throughout the entire workshop and taught us extra burning techniques as we go. It was good that we were first given a smaller piece of wood to practise the basics - it helped ensure we got the hang of it so that it was a smoother process when we start working on our actual artpiece. My inspiration - a unicorn - came from my colleague Rachel's T-shirt. After we transferred our artwork from paper to wood, it was time to burn! I was worried I'd make a mistake and then it wouldn't be able to be removed, but all it took was a piece of sandpaper to do the trick. The process of wood burning was quite therapeutic; yes, it required a lot of patience but once I saw my final masterpiece, it felt truly rewarding.