Heartburn Creations is one of the Emerging Artists featured at this year’s Lackawanna Arts Fest! Melissa Stiles of Waymart PA creates intricate and beautiful artwork with pyrography, or woodburning. Animal lovers will adore her pet portraits on wood and luckily she take commissions! Check out her work in person at Lackawanna Arts Fest on August 4th!
Tell us a little about how you started Heartburn Creations.
It was quite by accident. I had an opportunity to take some art courses. I eventually took a “painting with fire” course and fell in love. I haven’t stopped since.
The name is somewhat of a play on words. I had a dear friend who always said I heart you. While I was burning one day, I thought, I heart burning….the name stuck. Of course it has a double meaning in that sometimes burning can be stressful when you a trying to perfect a piece and it does give me heartburn!
What is pyrography? Tell us a bit about your process.
Pyrography is the art of decorating wood or leather by burning it. The first step is to find a design or some inspiration. I find this everywhere. A shirt design, a tattoo, a black & white photo, a friends photo…everywhere. Step two is to find the right wood…it sounds easy, but there are so many kinds and shapes that you need to find the right piece for your work. Step three is either to hand draw or trace the design on the wood. I don’t consider myself very good at drawing, so often, I sketch my ideas and when I burn I use shading and textures to try to make the sketch come to life. I often shock myself with the completed product and think how am I able to do this?
What types of items do you make?
I am open to burning any type of wood and look for random items I can burn. The designs are limitless. I have to feel ready for the design in order to move forward with burning it. I LOVE doing commission work. Taking others ideas, creating a design and turning it into artwork that has meaning to them is what motivates me to create more. Sometimes all I get is scribble on a piece of paper with dates or stick figures. I have to have the vision (and of course ask enough questions) to put what they want on the wood.
What will you be featuring at Lackawanna Arts Fest?
Various creations and useable items. I’ll also offer custom orders.
Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
Never limit yourself. You never know what you’re capable of until you try. Whatever your inspiration is, run with it. I never knew I had this creativity in me. I took some art courses to keep me busy, I’ve always liked art, but it turned into my passion.
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