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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Totems & River Boat Driftwood

This piece of driftwood has been in the studio for several years, just waiting for use in the right project. We are pretty sure that it was part of the hull of a river boat. When completed this 4 foot piece of wood will become a ceremonial totem with four faces on it. My intention is to burn the wood until black and then buff it to create a shiny black patina. I've done this with other pieces in the past and have been amazed at the depth and purity of the black. Its totally unlike black paint and well worth the several days it will take to burn it using a heat gun and buff it out. 

This is the second day of the burn. Its a slow process. The wood has to be heated to just a certain point. You don't want it to catch fire, but you do want it to begin to burn. I've decided with this piece that I really like the patina of the wood without completely turning it black. It looks more like black walnut. I've buffed out a small portion of it and like what I see. At this stage I'm about 75% done with the burn. I'll use a toothbrush to buff off the charcoal first. Then I'll take an electric buffer to it to create a real deep shine to the wood. 

And here is the piece burnt and varnished to a beautiful glow. Its masks are now added. There are a few other things to be added, but its almost complete.

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