Whitewater High cooks up art with wood burning

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The flames of creation are burning bright for the Wildcats as they learn the art of wood burning. Through pyrography, decorating wood or other materials with burn marks, Whitewater High art students are learning to write with fire.

As they study different art forms in the abstract and non-objective, artists can use a wood burner to practice new concepts in a unique medium, rather than something traditional like pencil on paper. It is also a chance to reuse items destined for the landfill, as any wood or paper surface could be repurposed for pyrography.

“Woodburning is a very unusual art form that the students are very eager to explore,” said art teacher Chris Hammock. “Once burnt, the wood cannot be un-burnt and, like India ink, it is very permanent and cannot be changed. This is a demanding, but rewarding art form.”

Thanks to a grant from the Fayette Education Foundation, Hammock was able to purchase the burners to get his students started.

He is thrilled to see the creative pieces his classes will make.

“Students are able to create art that doesn’t have to sit on a wall or a shelf,” he said. “They can take small wood objects and create keychains or similar personal objects that are not merely fun art, but also functional and fun. This gives kids a chance to make art for their friends that they can carry around.”

— Provided by the Fayette County School System.