A few months ago I was approached by a friend about creating a commission piece. A large piece. A special piece. He brought me a large piece of cedar he wanted it burned on. The cedar piece measured 18" wide at base, 12" across top and stood 3.5' tall. It was 1" thick and had gorgeous grain. I agreed to try the piece. And "try" is what I meant. This would be a large undertaking!
One of my blogs last year had us traveling to New Jersey to visit family & friends. If you read that (click here to read that one) you know how involved my husband & I were with the fire department. Along with my dad, brothers and many friends (which became "family"). Now, our friend who wanted this piece moved to Alabama from New York. He was a firefighter on 9/11. As you can tell, these are quite a few reasons for the commission being emotional.
He had the photo from a friend of the 3 firemen raising the flag at ground zero. This was only part of what he wanted woodburned on the cedar. Then, he wanted the Freedom Tower "emerging" from the rubble. A wonderful idea, but, could I really pull this off? It's quite detailed in areas and blurry in others and then burning the tower so it resembles glass. You all know that I try to create items that are very realistic, so I accepted the challenge!
Hours and hours of Jim sanding the wood smooth and me burning the piece using pyrography tips the size of a pencil point for details, this was a challenge. It is finally done! That is not to say that when I started burning the Freedom Tower, it looked too "skinny" compared to the bottom part, so, more sanding was done to remove the burn and make it wider. Of course, widening and enlarging the tower also meant more details in that part. This piece was so large, I had to set it on my long workbench in order to lay it flat and work on it.
With over 15 hours of burning, I am extremely proud to share this now. This piece is finished. I did feel the need to add some color, but ONLY to the flag. And, the colors are not bold to take away from the piece, but just enough.
So, for all the men & women serving that day and after, and those called home that day, this piece is for you, all of you, and your families. I cannot say if I will ever create another one like it or not. I will say that I will be sad when he picks up the finished piece.
Never Forget ~ Always Remember ~ United We Stand ~ America ~ Bravery ~ Honor ~ Sacrifice
This piece will be sealed soon and the beautiful grain will show and it will be a little darker.