Art Gallery - Art by Customers and Former Students of Nedra Denison, Owner of Sawdust Connection
Art work submitted by my former students & customers using some of the products I sell
I am always thrilled when customers & former students want to share the work they have done using some of my products. It's now my pleasure to share some of it with you. Hopefully it will help inspire you.
About The Content, Artwork & Images On This Site
All images of artwork on this website are owned by the original artist &/or the owner of this website. They may not be copied, reproduced or altered in any way without permission from the artist &/or owner of this website.
My only criteria for posting work here is that it be an original design or one that is not created based on someone else's work or photographs due to copyright & intellectual property laws.
Sunny Carpenter from Arizona
"I started working on gourds around the first of this year (2012). I went to the Wuertz Gourd Festival for my birthday, & have been learning different techniques as I go. I met Nedra at the Festival & we talked for awhile about gourding & I decided to use my birthday money to buy my Razertip. I was inspired by the work I saw from artists like Nedra & I am looking forward to entering some things in this years competition. Since I'm still a newcomer, I can't really price anything yet. I would be interested in hearing what other gourders would price this piece at. My degree is in Art Education, & I taught high school for a couple years before being led astray to the business world. I am currently in law enforcement, although I am looking forward to retirement in three or four years & plan to devote full time to gourd art"... Sunny Carpenter
I met Sunny at Wuertz Festival. She later came to our RV Park where we had a nice visit & we have been staying in touch since then. She has been sending me photos of the gourds she has been doing & she is one of the reasons I wanted to add this page. Seeing what she has done since she started has been very exciting because her gourds just keep getting better.
This is Sunny's first Canteen Gourd but she did a great job. The Woodburned design was done using The Razertip SK Single Output Burner. Sunny also used Memories Dye inks in Aqua & Artprint Bown. She also used Pearl-Ex with Minwax polyacrylic & Adirondack alcohol inks.
If you wish to contact Sunny about purchasing one of her gourds you can reach her through her email.
Greg McCullough from Connecticut
In September Greg bought a Razertip dual output burner & some pens from me. I am a CT Yankee myself so I was thrilled that someone from CT was buying a burner from me. We've been chatting back & forth since then & I was impressed when Greg told me he made guitars but I was floored when he sent me photos of the first guitar he made using his new "toy".
Sept 17th: "Nedra--I am just lovin' this every step of the way!! I was really hoping that my pen & ink technique would be translatable to burning, & I guess it is! I've wanted to somehow get "my art" onto a guitar for YEARS, & just never knew how. This project is unfolding just the way I hoped it would...just wanted to share the progress with you & say thanks for your input & the great equipment"
Sept 27th: "Hi Nedra...wanted you to see the progress on the guitar to date. It's really been interesting, fun, & exciting. Where has woodburning been all my life?! going to let the tru-oil set for a week & then begin assembling the instrument."
Nov 17th: Greg finally got the neck of the guitar in & has finished the guitar. I must say it came out fantastic. The bottom right photo is a close up of the finished guitar.
Greg explains about the neck of this guitar which he order especially for this guitar. "The neck is a South American wood known as Goncalo Alves...the fingerboard is Makassar Ebony (fantastic blonde striping on very dark to black background)...it's bound in faux ivory celluloid, the inlay is pearloid synthetic, & the frets are stainless steel. & of course, the feather is burned in...The neck shaft (the Goncalo Alves) needs no finish (as maple or mahogany would) because the grain is so fine & tight that it's entirely stable as is".
Nov 5th: "Hi Nedra- Nice to hear from you! The guitar is complete with the exception of a gorgeous neck with an ebony fingerboard & pearl inlays that's being made for it. Should be coming my way any time now...meanwhile, I had to do SOMETHING, so I did this one. The style is so different from my 'usual' illustration that it felt rather alien to me the entire time I was doing it, but I believe it turned out OK. I wanted it to have a sort of old driftwood feel to it, & be kind of Pacific Northwest...what do you think?"
Well, I will tell you what I think....it's absolutely gorgeous. Having lived in the Pacific Northwest for many years I can appreciate the style & Greg did an outstanding job.
When I asked Greg which Razertip pens he was using for the guitars he said he used the (HD14SM) round-heeled knife, (F9S) writing tip & the (HD5MP) bent spear shader.
Roger Storey from Spokane, Washington
While living in Washington (for the second time) I was teaching a lot of classes around the state. In 2005 I had the privilege of teaching a class in Spokane at shop called Wood & Things. There were 8 students but one stood out among them all & that person was Roger Storey who is now the President of the Spokane Carvers. Roger really took to burning like a duck to water & not long after the class I learned that Roger gave up carving & was doing pyrography exclusively. He entered his first burning at a woodcarving show & won a blue ribbon in the novice class. I was so excited for him & I know he was too but it was just the start of his long list of awards for his burnings. His passion for burning was evident & he just kept getting better. When I retired in 2007 & moved back to New Mexico I heard from Roger a couple of years later & he told me he started teaching & to say I was thrilled was putting it mildly. There hadn't been anyone in the area teaching pyrography before I got there & none after I left so I was so happy that Roger could now step in & continue teaching the techniques that he not only learned but has mastered. I felt like a proud momma when her young son goes out on their own & goes on to achieve his goals & becomes a success in his "art". Roger has done that!
When I contacted Roger recently I was thrilled to hear he was still burning & still winning all kinds of awards. Roger sent me photos of some of his burnings. Looking at what he has done since I left makes me so proud to have played a small part in turning him on to pyrography & teaching him my smooth shading technique. He certainly has become quite an accomplished artist. Below are comments from Roger when he sent me the photos of his recent works.
"I do enjoy teaching others the art of wood burning. I offer several beginning & intermediate projects for students, some of these are in my gallery on Pyrography On Line (web site). I use Walnut Hollow colored pencils for high light areas on some of my work. I don't like to add to much color, as it detracts from the natural wood burned look. I am also experimenting & practicing wood burning on water color paper. It's a little different breed of cat, but you can get some really good tonal value".
"Nedra, had I not signed up for your wood burning class @ WOOD & THINGS, I would not have even dreamed of doing this form of art. I really cannot thank you enough for being such a passionate instructor & mentor. Your techniques will always be entrenched in my mind"....Roger Storey
In 2009 Roger moved up to the Advanced level & blew everyone away with his Hawk shown on the top left. He won a blue ribbon, best of division & best of show. By 2010 Roger was entering competition at the Expert level & still winning blue ribbons. It's hard to top that but Roger's continues to get more ribbons & his work just keeps getting better with each piece he does as evidenced by his portrait of Steven Tyler. Human portraits are one of the hardest things to do & be able to make it come alive with the character's personality & Roger definitely captured Steven's personality.
All of Roger's work shown here is for sale except for his eagle. If you are interested in purchasing any of Roger's work you can contact him by email.
Angel Portice from Michigan
Angel used a Razertip Burner that her husband purchased from me for a Christmas present several years ago. The tips tips she used were a small round shader tip, standard medium skew tip, & a medium round feather former tip for the head. That's it, just 3 tips.
"Not sure what to tell you for techniques. I do it all by hand, & do a lot of relief burning to give it depth".
Alice is self-taught & judging by the quality of her work she's an outstanding teacher!
You can see more of Angel's work on her website: www.arcangelartistry.com
Lisa bought some inks & Pearl Ex powdered pigments from me back in October & a few days ago she emailed me some photos of her work. She told me that she was a bit intimidated by others gourd art so she hadn't posted them anywhere before. When I looked at them I was amazed at how great they were & told her that her gourds were beautiful. Actually my word was "WOW".
"Wow is my response to YOUR response, too! I would be honored for you to put my work on your website.
I used air-drying stone clay to sculpt the head on the giraffe, gourd dye for the body (I wanted the gourd to "come through"), acrylic paint, & a coat of polyurethane.
On the ginkgo vase, I used air-drying stone clay to "sculpt" the leaves (which were a lot of fun to make), & "painted" them with alcohol inks & green shimmering powder, which I also used on the visible inside of the gourd. The gourd itself was painted with acrylic paint, & I applied a coat of polyurethane to the leaves & gourd. The weight of the leaves caused the gourd to be front-heavy, so I poured a thin epoxy in the gourd, then some b-b's & tilted the gourd so that the b-b's would dry in the right place."
Kenn Fung from California
It's not often that I run across an accomplished pyrographic artist who works mainly on leather. I have dabbled in it myself & have found it to be great fun & provides lots of opportunities to be creative with a pyrography tool. When Kenn contacted me about getting a Razertip burner & showed me some of his work. I thought he would be an inspiration to others who are interested in doing some burning on leather but were afraid to try. I was thrilled that he was kind enough to share some of his leather work with me & he was thrilled that I wanted to feature his leather art on my website to share with others. He is excited about the prospect of being an inspiration to others. I hope you enjoy looking at his work as much as I have. Now he's got me motivated to try burning on leather again...I might have to go out & buy some more leather when my life settles down. So, I guess he is already an inspiration...to me!
Kenn began his pyrographic career in 1971 with a Tandy Leather Branding Kit. The tool is much like the single temperature craft burners found in craft stores.
He started by burning a customer's initials on a leather jacket at North Beach Leathers in San Francisco when he was 19 years old. It was his second year as a freelance artist. Kenn spent the next six years as the in-house artist for all the North Beach Leathers stores as well as East West Leathers. Most of the work he did was decorative designs such as flowers, butterflies, birds, etc.
One thing I just learned from Kenn is that working on leather clothing is totally different than burning on Latigo leather which is what is used on boots, key fobs, bookmarkers, etc. When burning on clothing the burner can only remain on the leather for a split second or it will burn right through. That alone is just amazing to think of just how quickly you can ruin a beautiful leather jacket. Certainly not something I want to try!
Kenn has done a lot of commissioned pieces over the last 35 years which have helped him hone his skills as a pyrographic artist & he finally decided it was time to get a better burner.
As Kenn nears retirement from the utility company he's worked at for 31 years he has become very excited about the prospect of taking his work to a new level. Kenn decided to move up to a new Razertip burner & he is already finding that he can do a lot more with a variable temperature burner that he couldn't do with a single temperature burner. I'm excited to see how his work evolves as he gains confidence with his new tools.
Kenn assures me that after he gets used to using the Razertip & has done some work with it he will send me some photos of his latest endeavors with his new burner & tell me about his experience with the burner, the tips he has used & any other input regarding the impact it has had on his work.
5/11/15 - About one month after Kenn received his new Razertip burner I received an email from Kenn with photos of his newest burn. This is what he said:
Here is the first art piece that I burnt with the new Razertip. It will be used on my upcoming commissioned piece.
Garment leather should not have prelims drawn on the leather. I will draw on paper 1st then I do the actual burning based on the drawing.
Temperature setting at 3 or 4 depends upon the leather thickness. So far of the three burning tips the ball tip (F99008) and I are bonding. Right out the gate it performed flawlessly on this type of leather. The medium spear shader (HD5MP) and small medium knife (KN14SM) will take more practice. I really haven't figured these out yet for the way I illustrate.
The new project will take some time to complete as it is similar to the Chinese Dragon jacket in the amount of work"...Kenn Fung
What is amazing is that this his first burn using his new Razertip burner & he's already discovered how to create more contrast between the leather & the burn.
If you are interested in contacting Kenn about his work you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Young from Louisiana
Mark recently ordered a Razertip burner from me & obviously was very excited to get started burning because 2 weeks after he received his new burner he sent photos of his first masterpiece. I must say I was impressed with what he did. This is the message he sent me:
I wanted to show you what I did on that machine I just bought from you just last week. I cannot say how much I love it. Enclosed you will find a few pictures of what I did.
The wood is white oak. It was a leftover scrap from a mantle. I sanded it with 80 grit then 220, 320, 400, 800 and 1000. Since oak is rough even at 1,000 grit smoothness the pen shaders, knife and writer burned smoothly with only a few snags.
I used Prismacolor coloring pencils to color in the sea turtle, ocean and rocks. I used a paper towel to rub the pigment into the wood grain. I think it turned out okay
Once again thank you for this wonderful woodburning tool.
Mark Thomas Young Sr., USN Ret."
I really like the way Mark ran the design around the edges of the wood. It makes it look like it was made on a stretched canvas. And yes Mark, I think it turned out very okay!
NOTICE: All artwork on this page are owned by the artist. They may not be copied, reproduced, altered or distributed in any way without written permission from the artist.