Save Outdoor School For All - Multiple

Ballot Initiative Thank You Plaques


Save Outdoor School Ballot Initiative -Donor Thank You Plaques

I was contacted by the Director of the Audubon Society of Portland to burn ballot initiative thank you plaques. They had experienced success with their recent Save Outdoor School For All initiative and wanted a unique way to express their gratitude to their donors.

The non-profit found my website and reached out via email seeking my help. I was thrilled!

Though, when I learned that they needed 75 identical, hand-burned plaques, I was a bit thrown off.

You see, I specialize in one-of-a-kind, custom pieces. Up to this point in time, I hadn’t produced duplicates of a single piece, much less multiples of this magnitude.

But, I was actively trying to spread the word about my pyrography business, and I figured taking on this massive project would offer great exposure in the Portland Metro area. So, I accepted the job.



Most people don’t realize pyrography can be a physically demanding occupation. “But,” you’re probably thinking to yourself, “it’s just art. You’re sitting on your butt burning on a piece of wood.” Well, yes and no. Pyrography, as a job, requires that you sit, bent over, in essentially the same position for hours on end. The woodburning, itself, requires exquisite attention to detail. And the burning and shading with heat process can take much longer, and requires a level of precision many other art forms do not. The position of the burning pen is important. You need to hold it down, on the surface of the wood or whatever surface you are burning onto. And that pen is connected by a cord to the heat source. So, you’re limited as to the distance between you and the piece you’re burning. So, you can’t really sit or stand upright very well. You have to bend over your work. And this can cause excruciating neck pain after even a short period of time.

Add to that the fact that the pen itself is generating heat upwards of 1300 degrees Farenheit, and your hands can become hot, cramped, and sore. Lastly, there is the not insignificant fact that your work is constantly creating smoke and fumes you need to be careful about inhaling. And then there is the issue of back pain.

And I haven’t even touched on the sheer BOREDOM of reproducing the same piece of artwork over, and over, and over, and over again.

You’re probably thinking, “Yeah, but the money probably made it all worth it!” Right? Umm…not so much. Because I was a newbie business owner, a-n-d because they were a non-profit organization…let’s just say I was in the red on that project. BIG TIME!


Hand burning all those ballot initiative thank you plaques was definitely an experience. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Would I do it again? Hell no! Not at any price. And CERTAINLY NOT at the rate I charged them. But it _did_ result in repeat business here  and here. And I’m very happy to have that work to list in my portfolio.