Every May our hillsides are carpeted with sego lilies. They can be so thick it is hard to walk without stepping on them, which seems like a desecration. They are beautiful in shape as well as color. So it seemed a natural thing to me to try to put one onto a hollow vessel. Last post I wrote about having fun. For me, however, this attempt was no light matter. In order to accomplish it, I would have to “have serious” instead of playing around having fun.
I already had a boxelder vessel turned, sanded, and waiting to be finished. The Greek-style profile of the vessel seemed likely to lend itself to the proportions of the sego lily.
My inexperience with pyrography and my inability to produce a drawing from nature or from a photograph were the main obstacles. Inexperience has never proven a sufficient barrier to my trying something, and when I found a line drawing illustration in an older flower book, I was ready to proceed.I sat down with the book in front of me and drew the shape onto the vessel. I put a fine point tip on the pyrography pencil and burned in the lines. A quick rub with a rubber sanding-belt-cleaning-bar removed extraneous pencil marks. Boxelder is a nice wood to pyrograph. It doesn’t have pronounced grain to deflect the tip and it seems to burn evenly. In spite of my inexperience, the sego lily turned out well. Furthermore, I had a lot of fun for a serious piece of work!
Ellis Hein, author of The Woodturner’s Project Book