Jaqui's Daily Blog

My Inner Caveman and Playing With Fire

The awful irony wasn't lost on any of us at yesterday afternoon's craft session when we realised we would be spending the next two hours Playing with Fire. Horrific images of the Kensington tower block fiercely ablaze and tragic stories of desperate residents trying to escape an awful death were on all our minds.


On arrival at our fortnightly craft sessions we all take our seats round a table in the Lovely Linda's dining room and try to guess, from the materials assembled before our very eyes, exactly what we will be making. Our leader likes to keep us guessing and will never let on, in advance, what we will be turning our hands to in two weeks time. 


Today we were faced with a perfectly frightening array of electrical equipment, complete with pens with pointy ends which glow red when the power is turned on. In front of each of us a small collection of wooden items awaiting Decoration By Burning. Yes, you are right, all you Crafty People who read the Daily Blog, we are about to embark on the ancient art of Pyrography. 


I am reliably informed via Google, my Best Friend Forever, that cavemen, in prehistoric times, etched the walls of their caves with fire sticks. It is high time for me to get in touch with my Inner Caveman. 


Linda has roped in a friend to instruct us in our latest endeavours and to keep a watchful eye on the equipment. The Pyrographic Expert has come straight from work which I reckon demonstrates True Friendship. I'm sure the Lovely Linda would do the same for her.


While the equipment is being set up and tested I leaf through a book all about pyrography. Most of it goes straight over my curly head but I do particularly like the chapter on the use of transfers which starts (I am paraphrasing because I can't remember the exact words used) “Some people say the use of transfers is tantamount to cheating. On the contrary, the use of transfers indicates attention to the important part preparation plays in such successful pyrography.” What a relief! that's all I can say. I determine to use transfers to my heart’s content, secure in the knowledge that I will not be cheating.


Our tutor is impressed with the excellence of our handwriting. It is a throwback, she reckons, to our long ago schooldays when fine calligraphy was practised and applauded. She isn't actually looking at my handwriting as she speaks, you understand  - I have painstakingly written “Time Flies” on the back of my wooden key ring, on the front of which I have burnt two small butterflies. They don't look too bad once I have coloured them in - but my writing leaves much to be desired.


I turn my attention to a wooden spatula and decide to follow the good example set by Marion, who is sitting next to me and who has decorated the handle of her spatula with waving corn.  Obviously I can't copy her exactly (which would be the next thing to cheating, whatever the Pyrography Book says) so I leaf through a book of transfers to find something vaguely Similar But Different. Lovely Linda helps me to find a stalk of Something Grass Related which we decide will do perfectly. Once again, my writing lets me down but hopefully the sentiment expressed “Bless this home with friends, love and laughter” will carry the day. I have a recipient in mind. I just hope she will love it for what it is, despite its Artistic Deficiencies. 


I carry home to show Mr B my spatula, my key ring and a cork coaster on which I have burnt the words “Place Glass Here” complete with directional arrows. Well, I thought it was amusing. Mr B is non-committal though this may be something to do with the fact that he is watching the cricket on TV. 


Those ancient cavemen, using their fire sticks to etch pictures of the animals and birds with which they shared their world, must have thought they had tamed Fire.


Tragically recent events prove that, even today, so many years on, we haven’t. 


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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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