The Dutch newspaper “De Gelderlander” published an article last week about Mascha Bossuyt from Think Pink Studio. We had it translated into English so you can read it as well.

Mascha Bossuyt gives old wood a second life as a work of art

RHENEN – Mascha Bossuyt gives old wood a second life as a work of art by burning images in it. ‘By reusing wood, I give it its original beauty back’, said the artist from Rhenen, the Netherlands.

There are two piles of wood at Mascha Bossuyt’s home in Rhenen: firewood for the fireplace and wood to turn into art. ‘If there even is the slightest bit of doubt about a piece of wood, it does not get burnt up in the fireplace. I save it then’, she laughs.

From aquarelle to pyrography

She made aquarelles in the past, but that did not give her enough satisfaction. Now, she does pyrography, meaning that she burns text and illustrations into wood. That wood often comes from furniture or flooring the Rhenen artist gets through Marktplaats or Facebook.

‘I use old wood and by reusing it, I restore the beauty of it. I often work with teak. It has lots of grain, in which I see patterns. Those can be water, the sky, or the bottom of a mountain’, she says. 

‘The grain of the wood reminded me of the waves of the sea.’ – Mascha Bossuyt –

At this moment, Bossuyt is working on a piece on the backside of an old door. ‘The grain of the wood reminded me of the sea. When I started polishing it, I already saw the story. I immediately saw a surfer, secretly surfing inside this little door at night’, she says.

A time-consuming process

The creation of a work is often a time-consuming process. The Rhenen artist first dismantles the piece of furniture, polishes it, saws it into planks and puts those in a workbench to take off a little layer. ‘I need to go all the way back to the wood. There sometimes are circles on a table, and I take those all out. It is quite the process, but I love every step in it’, says Bossuyt.

Pyrography is done with a device that heats a little knife so much that it can engrave wood. There is no paint in the artworks. ‘Wood is always the protagonist. I only use whitewash if I want to show water. People often have a hard time finding water in wood, and by lightening it, I help them’, the artist explains. 

‘Only then did I find out there is a device especially for pyrography’

Mascha Bossuyt only discovered pyrography last year. ‘I started woodworking a few years back, and made a cutting board. At a certain moment, I wanted to engrave wood, and I used a Dremel cutter and a soldering iron. The result was not detailed enough for me. Only then did I find out there is a device especially for pyrography’, she says.

A product of nature with a will of its own

A new world opened up to Bossuyt. ‘Wood is life for me. I can look at a piece of wood in admiration. How did nature create this? For me, pyrography is a way to express myself. I want to co-operate with wood. Not everything I have in mind works out, because wood is still a product of nature with a will of its own.’

Mascha Bossuyt will be part of the art event “Kunstroute Rhenen” the next two weekends. ‘Since we have only lived here for a year, I want to be a part of the neighbourhood and meet other artists. Also, I am ready to show my work now. I already sell it on the internet via the website Etsy. This will be the first time people come by to look at my work. I find that a little scary, because with it, I show a piece of myself.

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