September 2020 – Featured Artist – Rachel Strass
Hello Pyrocrafter Family! Let me introduce myself, my name is Rachel Strauss of Wood Burn Corner, and I am so excited to be here. I love Aney and what she does in the pyrography space so darn much. She is CONSTANTLY exploring, is such a great teacher, creator, and inspiration to so many other artists. If she has made an impact on you, I want to encourage you to reach out to her and let her know. She works so hard and puts so much love into bringing the world incredible content, be sure to give the love back.
But, enough about Aney, let’s talk about me! LOL Sorry, I had to….
You can find me on Instagram @woodburncorner and join the fun at Burn Club+. We would love to have you.
I’m Rachel, and I am a wood burning artist, teacher, coach, author, and (my favorite job) collector of pyrographers. I bring wood burning artists from around the globe together for conversation, education, connection, and growth. I host lots of free wood burning challenges (#burntday, #burntmarch, #burnthislandscape) to push the community to stretch their skills and push their craft. I have also hosted a virtual wood burning craft fair (#burnclubcraftfair) and we are planning to do another in September.
We all share ideas in a safe space we call Burn Club+, where everyone believes in the power of community over competition. I offer Zoom mastermind sessions for pyrographers, tutorials, giveaways, community news, a safe place to congregate, and so much more in Burn Club+, and everything is specifically created for the wood burning artist. Burn Club+ is for the novice who wants to improve their skills and for the expert pyrographer who wants to grow their business. It is for everyone. Nothing pyrography or business is off the table in Burn Club+. We talk about it all, and we all help each other, and support one another in the process. It’s the best. I hope you join us.
I also just wrote a book which comes out August 18th! It’s called The Wood Burn Book, and is available on Amazon, Walmart, and Target currently, and also available Internationally. I wrote it to act as an essential guide for pyrography. It talks about safety, essential tools, cleaning/maintenance, types of burners and nibs, transfer techniques, ways to add color, types of wood, alternative surfaces, and finishes. I also walk you through many different projects using different transfer techniques, burning techniques, finishing techniques, and coloring techniques. There are super helpful “words of wisdom” quotes from fellow pyrographers throughout the book, and several of the projects were created by some amazing guest artists. I’m excited for you to see it.
Something I love to do, and that is a big driving force for everything I do with Wood Burn Corner is helping people. It’s why I teach, it’s why I coach, its why I wrote my book, and why I started Burn Club+. Nothing brings me more satisfaction than being helpful. Sometimes it comes in the form of business tips, and I want to share one with you here. One simple mistake I see people doing all too often, and one I made for too long, is using a linktree or free link hosting site for their “link in bio,” instead of creating their own on their own website!
It is really simple to set up a hidden page on your website with links. Mine is woodburncorner.com/links. In doing this it will mean that everytime someone clicks the link from my Instagram, they are now spending time on my website instead of on Linktree’s website. This in turn helps my SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It is a simple change, but can make a big difference in your website’s traffic and visibility.
Also, while we are on the subject of helping and now Instagram, I want to give you permission and even encourage you to go through your Instagram feed and remove any posts of yours that are no longer serving a purpose. Maybe it wasn’t a great photo, or a piece you no longer offer, a giveaway, or shared post, or a piece that doesn’t fit your aesthetic anymore. Whatever it may be, cleaning up your Instagram is a maintenance item that I think is important, but a lot of us forget. Remember to think of Instagram like your art portfolio. A living, constantly changing, constantly updated, art portfolio. Make sure it is a good representation of you, your art, and your business.
In Burn Club+ this week we were discussing nibs. You probably also see them called tips or points. My hope is that one day the pyrography world will come together and pick one name that we can all agree on, and my vote is for “nibs”. Anyways, we talked about the different kinds of nibs, their uses, our favorites, different styles, cleaning, and a whole lot more in Burn Club+. I wanted to share my best piece of advice I have when it comes to nibs with you all.
Keep them clean, and spend time with them!
They become an extension of your hand the more time you spend with them. To clean them, I prefer to use a brass brush to gently brush them off while I am burning, and I like to use a leather strop with white compound to do a deep clean when they are cool. I do this deep clean on occasion.
To do this, you simply rub the compound onto the rough side of your leather, and then gently rub your nib over the surface until your nib is nice and shiny. Keeping them clean will ensure that your lines stay clean as well. It will be a game changer if you don’t currently clean your nibs.
Come join the conversation in Burn Club+, meet me on Instagram, participate in a #burntday challenge, and have some fun with some fellow pyros! I hope to see you around.