I started pyroengraving different objects in 1999 when I lived in Japan. I have worked with bone, horns, mushrooms, wood, & leather but, gourds are the canvas I prefer!
I never know exactly what my finished product will look like when I start burning. I think this is why I love working with gourds. Very often I will have to keep looking at a gourd for weeks before I finally feel inspired by it’s natural markings and shape. I almost always begin by sketching my ideas on the gourd with pencil until I feel confident that its what I envisioned in my head, and then I will start burning. Everything is usually free handed from that point on.
I often use books & magazines to study close-up images to try and add as much detail as I can. I find that when people view my work (even if it does not appeal to them) they notice this detail and it gives me the opportunity to share facts about my subjects. I do not consider myself an environmental artist however, for me there is no greater reward than the feeling I get thinking that the next time someone looks at a dragonfly or a flower they might look a little longer and have a different appreciation for it.
Most of my designs tend to have a nature theme. I also love historic buildings and antiques so every once in a while you will see this in my work.
My influence first and foremost is my love of nature. I think it’s because I grew up fishing (which would be my second passion). I have spent much of my life quietly holding a pole and watching the dragonflies or admiring the beauty of an old tree. In many ways I find the same peace within while I am burning a gourd. Please check out the June 19th, 2000 edition of the Japan update . I was honored to find that they had printed an article about my gourds written by Kathy Diener. You can also view the article on-line @The Japan Update.
For all of my dear friends in Japan......Thank you for your encouragement and support ! You and your families are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.