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Altes Paar

First commission of 2019! The reference photo was quite challenging, because of bad resolution, that's why I've made it on a small alder slice. But I have to say that I'm really happy with the result.

My Husband Stefan

It  was February 2013. I was still living in Russia, desperately looking for "normal" job to finally get back on track after a long illness. At that time I was pyrographing only for three or four months, and it was somehow clear to me that this hobby would bring me more than any kind of job. No idea why I was so sure about that, because everything around me was screaming against this. But miracles  started to happen completely unexpected. I met a Ukrainian journalist Konstantin (Costas) Surin on the Facebook page of my favourite band Alcest. He saw the pyrographies which I had posted there (at that time they were not really good, but a huge step forward for me, hihi) and asked me to do his portrait. I was happy to do that and he really liked the result. We became friends with Costas quickly. He suggested that I should listen to the band called Darkseed and make a pyrography of Stefan Hertrich the former vocalist and composer of it. Costas knew him very well assured me that Stefan would be happy to get such a present. When I listened to this band I loved it immediately. It was this song first:

I made this portrait while listening to Darkseed and the creative process was very pleasant. But I was really scared of the potential reaction of Stefan. Would he like it, would he consider me too annoying with this kind of fan art and so on and so forth.

 

But I was worrying in vain, Stefan liked it immediatelly and we started to intensively chat on facebook. It turned out that we had a lot in common and we became pen friends. I didn't hope that we could become any closer, because Russia and Germany felt quite far away from each other, and both as a German and as a Russian you had to go through a lot of annoying formalities. So we tried to stay friends only.

But ater several months it was clear that we were more than just friends, so we decided to be together. And I continued making pyrographies of Stefan. He was supporting my arts from the very beginning

This is the portrait of Stefan and his mother done in 2014. My skills were growing but still I had much to learn yet. I love his eyes...

In 2015 we decided to get married so it called for another pyrography.

I wanted to make this one very romantic, but I still don't know if it was a right decision to burn a heart...

Anyway we got successfully maried in july 2015 and I moved to Germany

What kind of Christmas present can you make for your husband who doesn't like presents? A pyrography on a small birch slice of course. I also did a bit of snow with white acrylic.

But my recent pyrography of Stefan I really love. Of course there are some issues still, but I think that this picture has a soul.

I'm sure that I'm going to make many more pyrographies of my beautiful husband whom I love very much!

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The Fair

   I'm happy to live in Türkenfeld. It is really small, but so close to inspiring nature. This year I went public for the first time during two fairs in our village, which are not as small as a village itself. I'm sure that thousands of people saw me pyrographing during the Christmas on the Hill. Of course it is not very warm in December, even in the heated hall, so I had to drink gluehwein in order to keep myself warm and a bit less nervous. Pyrographing in public is not easy at all. You can't avoid shaking hands when someone is looking over your shoulder. Some ONE is okay, but some ten, or even more...

 

I desided to use this time to do some Christmas commissions. But the fair lasted for 6 days and I had no distactions around like my husband or computer. Well, there was always somethig happening in the hall, like music, dancing and drinking, but brass music cannot be a real distraction, although it may get quite annoying after a long time. I allowed myself to stand up and dance only once during the perfomance of a really good latino band. Anyway I was ready with all commissions really fast, so I took my favorite model for the last three days.

 

 

And this is how it turned out. Not bad at all for the public perfomance, I think.

This year I discovered those small birch slices and acrylic paint. Well, I was using some acrylic paint before for the highlights in the eyes, but this time white colour became a significant addition to my works. I attached little magnets to these slices and sold a lot of them during the fair. Funny enough visitors bought the animals and almost ignored all Christmas angels and Santa Clauses.

And I also found beautiful long birch slices. The quality of wood was not perfect, but maybe I have some magic in my hands, because, I think, they became really beautiful. I managed to sell all four of them.

And of course you can't imagine any Christmas without Christmas post cards. I made this pyrography on poplar plywood, made a photo of it and printed as post cards. But I didn't sell many of them.

In conclusion I must say that it was quite tiresome, but much fun at the same time. If I get an opportunity to take part in this fair again, I'll do it without hesitation.

PS. This is also my work. Emergency boxes for a lady's room :)

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A creative fan

It still sounds funny for me, but I started to pyrograph only because I was and still is a fan.

This is Neige, the mastermind behind the French band Alcest. He is not only a great musician, but also a handsome man. So many fan art with him existed already, and I decided that my works can't possibly become the worst of all.

I tried and tried and tried and was never satisfied. Of course this pyrography was not the first which I ever made, and it took at least three years to achieve something like that. But this is the one which I like most of all my attempts to depict him. All my experiments with skin, clothes and hair finally seemed to pay off.

 

But this is how all it started.

It was a rainy day in October 2012, and I was for several reasons very depressed. I locked myself in my room with my dog and was listening to music and surfing in the internet. I don't know how it works, but Alcest music had and still has a very uplifting effect on me. Several photos of Neige caught my eye, and I decided to draw him. After I spoiled two or three sheets of parer, it was quite clear what a hopeless artist I was, but I wasn't going to give up. As a kid I used to play with an old pyrography device, which once belonged to by dad. That device was still there coverd with dust, but working, but there was no sign of plywood anywhere in the flat. Without further thinking I took a huge piece of plywood right from the garbage outside and washed it carefully in the bathroom.

The process of pyrographing and listening to music surpassed all my expectations. This was so uplifting and fulfilling! I immediatelly knew that I found myself. Although the result was quite bad, as you can see.

After several days I looked at this pyrography one more time and decided that I should try to depict Neige better.

It was my first attempt to do a face, and at that time I thought that I really achieved something good, but it was not good at all. In fact it doesn't even look like Neige when I look at it now, but back then it took several days again to realise it.

And this is what actually helped me to realise.

This is Winterhalter, the drummer of Alcest. I tried to depict him just once, but it looked already much better than my second Neige attempt. But of course it was still not good.

So I decided to try Neige one more time.

I finished this pyrography right on my birthday and thought that it looked great. But, of course there was nothing great in it, although it was definitelly one more step forward.

Right after that I decided to depict Neige with the guitar.

It didn't look good at all and my Neige ended up having 6 fingers on one of his hands. At least the guitar was more or less ok.

Anyway after that I became much more confident and started burning other people and animals and posting my works in the internet. But about two months later I returned to Neige.

I was very much pleased with this work at that time. It was the first time when he became really recognisable. And it really looked a bit alive. But, of course it wasn't  very good still.

One day I was watching this video and it inspired me to do one more pyrography of Neige.

That was the first time when I was using a video as a reference. It was very risky, but I just couldn't help it, his face vas very expressive. I worked on the eyes for a very long time and was very happy with the result. The mike was also quite ok. But anyway I was still very far from perfection.

After that I took a long break from pyrographing Neige, but, as Alcest started recording their album Shelter in Iceland, I decided to do it again.

I didn't like this one at all, Neige didn't look much like himself, although I did learn to do everything less flat. These weird things on the background are supposed to be mountains. I've never tried to depict mountains again since then, so I don't know if I made any progress.

It was clear that I should try Neige one more time to get better.

I was making some progress with skin, but not with hair. And ears were still a big problem. But I tried to depict the sea for the first time and it was not as bad as I was afraid it would be.

In December 2013 something totally unexpected happened. I got the opportunity to do an interview with Neige via skype! I tried to be as professional as I could, but a crazy fan was very hard to hide. After that I was looking forward to the Alcest gig in February 2014 in Moscow, so it called for another pyrography.

This one showed a real progress. Hair were better structured, the face was totally recognisable, the sweater was well structured too. I wasn't ashamed to present this to Neige himself at the concert.

Right at the last moment I was asked to do one more interview with Neige before the concert and of course I was very happy to do it. It was a dream come true to finally meet him in person. His music and his face inspired me for my main passion! I was shaking like crazy and he saw it, but he was very polite and supportive.

And Neige really liked my work! Later he told me that he had it in his living room and even his parents liked it. That was a huge confirmation that I was doing everything right, so I continued pyrographing.

I couldn't help returning to Neige in the beginning of 2015. It was always a pleasure to pyrograph him and was and still is a perfect progress indicator.

This time it was much better than I expected. Everything appeared to be exactly as I wanted, I was getting closer to photo realism, hair were just great.

Of course it was not the last one. I made several more after that, the little birch slices with all four band members I managed to present again, and the guys from Alcest seemed to like them. All the good pyrographies I did by now started with that stange one which I made on the plywood from the garbage listening to Alcest. I'm sure that I'm going to do many more pyrographies of Neige, because his music is still totally inspiring.

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Dogs are becoming my passion

Let me introduce you someone. My beautiful dog Apollos:

   That was my first dog pyrography ever. I did it almost two years ago and I still love it. Polo is actually very kind and active, but somehow he manages to look sad almost always. For several reasons I couldn't take him to Germany with me, so he lives in Russia with my family, but one day I will bring him here to live with me.

   This pyrography is not perfect, I know, but Polo will always stay one of my all time favorite works, because this was my reference photo.

  That's the problem with light and cheap cameras, but nevertheless the eyes on my pyrography look totally alive and expressive! That was a pleasant success experience.

   Of course I've learned much since then, so I just leave a little dog gallery here. If you are willing to have your own dog on a plywood board, you are always wellcome to contact me here:

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Dangerous Advert

I've finally managed to make flyers to advertise my works a bit in my area. But I didn't keep in mind that making a background pyrography could be dangerous for our old cat.

As you can see this  pyrography which I've used for my leaflet called for a very dark background. This means also very much smoke in the living room. It is not a huge problem for me or my husband, at least we have protection masks , but what can a cat do to protect itself?

A little gray cat called Lilli lives with us. Sometimes she likes to watch me working :)

But Lilli is already old and happens to have very severe asthma. We call her Darth Vader, though there is nothing funny in a way how her breathing always sounds. Asthma is a dangerous disease for a cat, because it doesn't take too long to become mortal.

The smoke from my pyrography device caused another crisis for Lilli. In her case it can look totally scary: her breathing becomes very heavy and slow, you can SEE her heart beating through her fur even from afar. As the attack progresses she falls on her side, breathing even heavier with her mouth open, her tongue  becomes pale and  her fingers on the paws which are usually pink become white.

In this case inhalers are not enough, a hard asthma attack calls for emergency vet clinic visit to get some injections and infusions. Even then everything is done right you can never know if she makes it.



This time we were luckly, Lilli made it through and feels relatively okay now. But with such carelessness it can easily happen again.

My appartment is quite small, and I still have no solution how to protect her best from the smoke. In summer it is no problem, because I can open the windows and the door, but when it is really cold outside, like last time, nothing really helps. Closing the cat in another room is not a good solution, because smoke easily gets through the door, maybe not in such an ammount as in the room where I work but still enough to cause an attack. Dressing myself warmly and opening the windows is not the best solution too, because the colwood gets cold and totally ineffective. Besides law temperature might cause an asthma attack too...

All pyrography lovers who have pets,

  Please be always very careful with the amount of smoke your four legged friend confronts. Even if it doesn't have asthma it can easily get it in time because of smoke. We all want to do our arts but we also want our pets to live long and happily!

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