Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Guitar anyone?

Hey Everybody!

Over the past couple of months, in amongst work and life, I've been trying out a different application for my burning. I was asked by a friend of mine, Jon, who plays guitar in a band called Jo Jo Gun & The Bullets (Myspace) (FB Page) (one of his musical incarnations), to burn a design onto the wooden pick-guard he has for his guitar. I was quite happy to oblige!

The design was drawn from scratch and it went through a few different incarnations before everything seemed right, and the green light was given to burn away! The burning was a little slow-going, as the pre-existing finish had seeped into the grain of the wood. This meant that my pyrography tools had to kind of 'plow' through the finish to get to the burning point.

Here are a few images showing the progression from beginning to end:

After sanding off the existing finish, there's a
nice clean canvas to work with.
Here was the beginning of the first concept.
The latin wording is VERA - Truth,
SPES - Hope, AMOR - Love, ARS - Art.
The text was a little crammed together, so
another version was needed.

This next positioning had the beginnings of
the text taking over the piece, so this one was
scrapped as well. 
And here is the rough draft of the final version,
complete with more focus on the floral design.
Then I used my natural light box (the sun, plus an
open window) to help in inking the final draft.
After the design has been transferred to the
And now a series of details from the more or less
final burned piece. (before finishing)

Rough approximate lines were added to show
where the volume and tuning knobs were going
to be.
Pre-finished, after burning. The text was added
after this pic was taken.
And the final product! Lovely!

I hope to have some images of the guard on Jon's guitar in the near future. When I get them, make no doubt they'll be posted that very night!

Buoyed from the success of the first one, I did another pick-guard for my very own guitar. This one was a little easier to burn, as the basswood was unfinished to start with. It was also a little smaller, as the guitar is a Les-Paul style. One of the challenges for this project was that the guard I have is plastic, and so a new one needed to be cut and shaped out of some 3/8" basswood. No problem though, using some hand tools and a little patience in cutting and sanding.

I chose a honey bee and honeycomb design 'bee'cause of how awesome honey bees are. I mean, come on... all kinds of amazing.

On the left is the original guard made from plastic. The other
two to its right are made from the same piece of basswood,
although they do look slightly different in colouring.
Bee design transferred onto the wood.
All finished burning. The design always looks
a little darker before it is finished with polyurethane.
And the final piece on the guitar. Whenever I play
now, I feel the mighty power of the honey bee, guiding
me towards unrivalled fret-board mastery! :O

There we go! A couple new projects completed in my pyrographic journey. I keep having a blast doing this, so there will be plenty more to come.

Later, folks!

Adam Grant
Man of Craft


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