A: I first picked up a woodburning pen about 2½ years ago, mainly to reconnect with my creative side after realizing that for about eight years I was really only doing creative projects for my kids’ birthday parties. I had lost touch with my creative self when I became a mom, which I think is common for most mamas. I noticed I wasn’t being the best version of myself because I was missing out on expressing my creative side.
If you’ve ever used a wood burner, you’ll know that there’s no rushing the process. I find that the slow-paced nature of this art form is such a therapeutic compliment to the busy chaos of my day with my four kids. Not only do I get to make fun pieces, but my art also helps me unwind and reestablish at least a thread of sanity for the next day.
A: The endless possibilities around what I can create. It forces me to slow down when usually my pace for the day is quite the opposite. I love that I can create pieces that bring so much joy into people’s lives.
Q: How did you learn the craft of wood burning?
A: One of my best friends had a Walnut Hollow Versa Tool and I thought “hmm, maybe I could do that!” After LOTS of trial, I started to get the hang of it. My main source of learning has been from my fellow "pyro pals" community. The woodburning community is filled with the most amazing souls and I have been fortunate to develop phenomenal relationships with other wood burners who encourage, support, share tips, and are overall just the best humans.
A: I’d say my pet portraits and ultrasounds are my most popular pieces. I’ve been honored to be asked to create many memorial pieces and I’m always touched that someone would trust me to capture a person or pet who has meant so much in their lives. I’m often asked to make custom home decor pieces and cribbage boards for weddings, birthdays, any occasion really which is always a treat.
Q: Where do you look for inspiration?
A: Living on the west coast of Canada I am blessed to be surrounded by the most gorgeous aspects of nature. Mountains, florals, ferns, trees, oceans, whales, bears, eagles, wolves, and otters are just a few of the sources that influence the pieces I create.
A: For the wood burner/woodworker: SAND YOUR WOOD! I look back on my earliest pieces that weren’t sanded and had pencil sketch marks and just laugh at myself.
In general, I would really encourage people to not fall into the trap of comparing your own creations to what others do. Comparison is the thief of joy and we rarely come out on top when we compare ourselves to others. Find your own style, do what speaks to you, and make what you’re passionate about. Whatever is genuine and authentic to you, in my experience, is what sells. Speak to yourself the way you’d speak to others and be patient in allowing for growth of your business.
Q: What are the key tools that you use for your craft?
A: I adore my Razertip wood-burner, they’re such a great company with great products. I also love wood sourced from Walnut Hollow, Wilson Enterprises, and Rustic Wood Supply.
For paints, because you’ll see a lot of colour in my work, I love Artistro Art Supplies paint pens and watercolours.
I’d also be far worse off without my Tombow Mono Sand Eraser - it’s amazing for getting those pencil/graphite marks off of wood.
Q: When did you first begin wearing your RZ Mask?
A: I love my RZ mask and have recommended it to people since I started using it about 2 years ago. I went for a period of time without wearing it when burning thinking that being beside an open window with a fan would be enough. I ended up getting a persistent sore throat that wouldn’t go away. I started wearing my mask again and it cleared right up so I’m pretty sold on its effectiveness. It’s also super comfortable, stays in place, and I look badass when I’m wearing it which is pretty awesome! I always make sure to use it when sanding my wood which is a huge part of the behind-the-scenes of what you see in a final piece. We need to protect these lungs.
Q: What are your goals for your business?
A: The current plan on the horizon is to make this more of a full-time gig as opposed to its current side-hustle status. I love collaborations with other creatives so that’s always a goal. I also want to make larger, more epic pieces. I’ve done a few of those and they really push my skills in good ways.
A: This one made me laugh! If you ask my kids it would be “fair doesn’t always look like exactly the same” and “take your shoes off in my house”. More existentially though, I’d say the things I tell myself more often are that “My best in this season may look differently than in other points in my life, but in every season - I am enough.”