About Wood Burning Artist: Tracy Johnson

Tracy Johnson

WOOD BURNING ARTIST & Professional Pyrographer

 

Tracy - August 2019I Learned the Art of Wood Burning More Than 20 Years Ago.

My interest in wood burning started as a hobby.
In 1999 Jeff and I purchased 20 acres of bare land on Central Oregon’s High Desert. We loaded up two U-haul trucks and moved our family of six kids from Beaverton to try our hand at off-grid living. Hot summer days were spent built cabins with our older children using only manual hand tools. Water for drinking, washing, and food prep was hauled 35 miles from town in 30-gallon trash cans. We created a composting toilet system. Limited electricity was supplied by a marine battery and inverter system. We used it to power lights and a tv/vcr combo in our cabin. That’s where we ate family dinner (which I cooked on a Coleman camping stove.) We also watched videos there with our kids each evening. Heat was supplied by propane tanks outside each building. We attached portable Black Cat camping heaters to the interior walls. Internet access was only available in town and in 1999 there was very limited cell-phone access.

Sooo…we had lots of time to kill!

I have been an artist all my life and love making things with my hands. Prior to our move from the city I had purchased a cheap, craft-store wood burning tool to play with and decided it might be fun to dig it out of storage and see what kind of art I could create. I’ve been reproducing photos, some full-color,some spot-color and others only sepia-tones, ever since.
That was more than 20 years ago.

SOME OF MY FIRST WOOD BURNING PIECES

Here are three of my very first pyrography pieces. I burned them onto scrap lumber I found lying around on the property. I still have these pieces to remind me of my skill level when I started and to compare that to where I am today.

First Love
First Love
Shiek
Shiek

 

Old Woman
Old Woman

(If you like these portraits then you’ll probably really like THIS ADOPTED FAMILY PORTRAIT I completed for a client in 2020.)

I practiced wood burning a lot!

We survived living on our own property from early July 1999 until mid March of 2000. But once the snow got so bad that it was nearly impossible to get in and out of our own property (did I mention we lived 4 miles down a dirt road from the nearest paved street? That was where we had to meet the school bus each morning and afternoon for the kids’ 70 mile round-trip daily ride to the k-12 school!) I had had ENOUGH! LOL!

I began asking locals about vacant houses in the area we might rent and I was able to make arrangements to move into an old house on a 160 acre ranch with a big, red 3-story barn and multiple out buildings. There I scavenged a bunch of scrap wood that was lying around and these three are some of the first pieces I created out there.

Ultimately we moved back to the city…

First to Bend, then eventually we returned to the Greater Portland Metro area, where we have remained for the last 10+ years.

And the rest is history.

I started wood burning as a hobby. A way to while away the hours and explore my creativity. Then I started making pieces as gifts for family members and friends. But once we moved back to the city and people saw my art I began to receive requests for commissioned pieces. So I made a website and a Facebook page and over time more and more people have approached me…both business owners as well as private clients…to order one-of-a-kind, handcrafted works of art.

I really love this work!

The smell of the wood as it’s burning (I have a much better, professional-quality, temperature-regulated burning tool now, btw!), the entire creative process of working with my hands, and the personal gratification that comes from engaging closely with each client to craft something truly meaningful that will be cherished for years.

I would be very pleased to work with you, as well 😉

Contact me and let’s explore your vision & dream together!

I look forward to hearing from you.

All the very best,

Tracy


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