When things are handmade, it is normal for the maker to want to show that he or she made the item. In the past, makers were paid by the amount of items they made (piece work) and they were identified by marks that were unique to each individual (maker’s marks). Nowadays it seems to be primarily a marketing tool for selling older items (see the amount specific pottery or woodcraft can sell for depending on the artist … or brand). For the rest of us, the act of putting your mark on something (branding) you made is not just a way of getting your name known, (altho’ I won’t deny that my brand name is not important to me), but it is also shows that you are happy to be identified with the thing you have created. I do not expect my own work will be worth anything in the future (however part of me wishes …), but I do want to be identified with everything I make (warts and all). It gives me pleasure to see “my mark” on things and it would be great if in the future (once I have improved) people see my brand and recognise my work.
My brand is the hare from the Primitive Crafts logo (designed by Mandy) and I originally thought that it would be nice to have this burnt into the wood and so duly had a brass brand created. This sits inside (to all intents and purposes) a large basic soldering iron that I heat up. Of course being a basic iron, there is no way to control the temperature and I have found it to be very hit and miss as to whether it works or looks ok. Sometimes it looks great, sometimes I end up with half a hare, or the wood is so burned that the hare is distorted. Sometimes I think branding the work actually ruins an otherwise nice piece.
While I could probably get an all-singing-all-dancing soldering or pyrography station with temperature control, money is always tight so I decided to be a real bodger and try something different instead. I have therefore made a handle from an offcut of Birch that I had lying around. Unfortunately I haven’t had chance to get my bungee lathe out of the shed since winter, so I had to make the barrel using a knife.
I think it looks ok and seems to do the job well and I can either press it into the wood or use a mallet if necessary. Even though it is harder to see, it is still there and no longer detracts from viewing the finished item. In fact I am thinking of making a game called “find the hare” for every piece I make.
The only problem I have is that I haven’t been able to brand the handle lol.