After years of dedicating her life to raising a family, this fiery female is finally ready to take on the art world again – one piece of art at a time.
Brenda Donals of DreamWeaver Designs situated in Surprise, Arizona, can be described as many things but my favorite by far is definitely pyrographer (that’s my bias talking of course!).
I have so much admiration for this wife, mother, grandmother, full-time worker, business women and artist.
Check out my interview with her below.
Tamara: Tell me about your woodworking journey.
Brenda: I was an artist back in high school. I sold artwork as a hobby. I got married in 1982, and had 3 children by 1985. I had given up my dream of doing art to raise my family at the time. The family moved around a lot. In 1996 we moved to Arizona where we are now. I have 3 daughters, Michelle (34), Heather (32) and Rebecca (31). For the last 12 years, my daughter Heather, and her children have lived at home with my husband and me. She has a son, Nathan (14) and a daughter Cailey (10). My children recently moved out and my husband and I became empty nesters within the last year for the first time in 34 years. My other daughter Rebecca has two children, Bentley (6) and McKenzie (4).
I started doing the wood-burning within the last 2 years. I did so, making gifts for Christmas. From there, family and friends started requesting items. And it just kinda blew up from there.
Tamara: Tell me about your business
Brenda: I do pyrography wood art, crochet dream catchers and crochet mandalas. My husband does most of the wood cutting for me and any building needed. He helps with painting large pieces and staining when needed. I try to involve my family as much as possible.
Tamara: That’s great. Who else is involved?
Brenda: We are also involving our 14 year old grandson Nathan so he can learn. My eldest and middle daughter both also help me with tracing and ideas. My youngest is learning to burn, and she also does other crafts.
Tamara: Why did you pursue pyrography?
Brenda: I love drawing and I love making people happy. The look on the person’s face when they receive their item is one of the greatest feelings.
Tamara: Is this where you thought you would end up?
Brenda: No, actually. I thought I would never draw or do the things that I’m doing. I’m very blessed.
Tamara: Where do you get your inspiration for the images you burn?
Brenda: Usually something I see will give me inspiration. I use Pinterest and Google alot to search for ideas. Then I just draw it. I enjoy doing native designs and dream catchers. I’m not much on portraits. I have a real hard time with them, but I’m practicing and learning new techniques for the portraits.
Tamara: Do you have a preference for what you burn onto?
Brenda: I prefer the softer wood with less grain. Pine and basswood burn like butter.
Tamara: What characteristics/ skills/ attitude do you think you need to be a successful pygrographer?
Brenda: Patience. And to keep going at it. Practice makes perfect.
Tamara: What advice can you offer other ladies interested in this trade?
Brenda: If it’s your dream, go for it. Don’t let being a female stop you.
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