Making a homemade paddle 2

After burning the paddle, take a soft brush and brush the surface clean of the carbonized matter. I use a brass brush for this, or sometimes stiff plastic. Steel is too stiff and will scrub out your hard earned texture. Use water during the brushing process, or you’ll end up looking like a coal miner after a hard days work.

When I looked at the old pots, the surfaces were sometimes pocked with odd bumps, bumps which didn’t look intenional or man made. Finally realized this could have been from wormholes in the paddle used to make the piece. Lacking access to highly trained, hungry pine beetle larvae, I used a rusty nail held in a vice grip to burn texture similar to worm holes into the surface of the paddle. Holding the vice grip away from you heat the nail until red hot with the burner, then jab and drag it into and across the paddle to create your texture. Use your imagination, have fun!

Burn and brush again to knock off the sharp edges from your texture and you’re finished! I don’t usually burn texture into the whole surface of the paddle, since different parts of the paddle can be used for different effects.

This paddle was textured with saw cuts before burning for the crosshatch design.

2 thoughts on “Making a homemade paddle 2”

  1. Great article!
    I’d never have thought to char the wood to get the growth rings to come out. And the wormhole idea is genius.

    I have a couple paddles but haven’t really used them much. This has me wanting to experiment again with them.

  2. Great, glad you found it useful. You can experiment with repeating patterns too. Small images work best, because of the repeating nature. Larger stuff just seems to get jumbled up. Bird feet are interesting.

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