Artist’s perspective: Amanda Takacs’ ‘Burned in Time’

“I started out figuring out what I thought would be challenging for me. I hadn’t done a lot of florals at that point—at least not with wood burning—so I wanted to see what it’d be like to really push that to the max. I am a naturalist in my day job, so every day we’re studying all of these things in the natural world and trying to educate the public on it. Ultimately, we’re part of what we study: It’s a cycle where we become part of what we’re trying to learn about.

When I start a piece, I do a small sketch to get a basic outline. Then, I will sketch it full size on paper. Once that’s how I want it, I transfer it to the wood and start that process. When I’m doing something like that with the detail of the skull and the bird, I’m burning centimeters at a time and just going super slow. If I finish an inch in a several-hour setting, I’m pretty happy. That part is pretty time-consuming, because I’m basically just trying to reproduce something from a picture.

It took me two years from start to finish, from the initial thought of the design to sketching it out to burning it. But that was really broken up, because I do work like this in between when I’m doing my custom orders. I would say I probably put over 400 hours into it.”

About the artist

Amanda Takacs works full-time as a naturalist with BREC. By night, she’s a pyrographer, creating personalized wood-burned items with tools that resemble a soldering iron. She stumbled upon the art of wood burning during a chance trip to Hobby Lobby and has been selling her work since 2011. Originally from Ohio, Takacs received her undergraduate degree at Bowling Green State University in environmental studies and her masters in geology and geoscience education from the University of Northern Colorado. Apart from wood burnings, she also creates watercolor paintings. She sells her work on her Etsy shop and at art events around town. etsy.com/shop/burnedintime

This article was originally published in the December 2018 issue of 225 Magazine.