Arts·Video

Ablazing! Here's how to make art using wood and fire

Aicha Lasfar is here to "torch" us a lesson in the art of pyrography.

Aicha Lasfar is here to 'torch' us a lesson in the art of pyrography

Ablazing! Here's how to make art using wood and fire

2 years ago
Duration 2:32
Aicha Lasfar is here to 'torch' us a lesson in the art of pyrography. Filmmaker: Sura Mallouh

Pyrography is a fascinating artform where designs are literally burned into a wood surface by a skilled pyrography artist. Calgary-based artist Aicha Lasfar is a professional pyrographer, so we asked her to give us an up-close look at how she creates one of her favourite designs, "Fatima's Land."

Lasfar starts by sketching her design onto a piece of smooth wood using a pencil. She then puts on her safety equipment (a smoke mask and gloves) before plugging in her temperature-controlled wood burning tool. 

The next step is where the magic happens: Lasfar starts to burn her design into the wood. To achieve different textures, she uses various tips for her woodburning tool, and the longer she holds the tool in place on the wood, the darker the stain becomes. Sometimes she uses a butane torch to make areas even darker. 

Aicha Lasfar scorching wood to create her pyrography art. (CBC Arts)

"Along with the burning, I also like to do a bit of carving because it really gives my piece some texture," she says. "At the very end, I like to add some extra outlines and textures to really make the design pop out of the wood."

"And that's how you make a piece of pyrography!"

Video by Sura Mallouh

Aicha Lasfar's pyrography work 'Fatima's Land'. (CBC Arts)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mercedes Grundy is a producer for CBC's Unscripted division. She has played an integral role in the creation of series like Exhibitionists, The Filmmakers and Canada's a Drag as well as special projects like Superqueeroes and The 2010s: The Decade Canadian Artists Stopped Saying Sorry. Collectively, these projects have won Grundy 5 Canadian Screen Awards. She has an educational background in photography, and produces film and theatre when not busy here at the CBC.

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