By Meg Martin
I grew up in a small town, surrounded by foliage, wildlife, and a strong community in Cedar Key, a cluster of little islands in the Gulf of Mexico. I feel grounded when I return to nature. Living now in South Florida, I find other ways to stay connected to myself—my favorite is pyrography.
Pyrography, also called wood burning or pokerwork, means I burn designs into pieces of wood using a metallic tool with a heated tip—it sounds really cool, and it is. When I started this craft over three years ago, I was unsure about the impact it would have on our Earth, but I found a company called Walnut Hollow that commits to multiple environmental practices. Since then, wood burning has been my favorite way to connect with nature and myself. Now I practice it in my daily life.
Right now I need wood burning more than ever. It’s my outlet, and it allows me to express emotions, understand them, listen to them, and work with them. I am a happier and more relaxed person because of wood burning. Every project is different and teaches me something new, usually about myself, always in a different way. The main lesson I’ve learned is the importance of practicing compassion for myself.
Creating art is a constant struggle and sometimes I doubt whether my art is “good enough” or “unique enough”. Through wood burning I have come to understand that being “good enough” or “unique enough” doesn’t matter. What matters is that I’m creating. What matters is that I still try.