Inspired by nature and wildlife, artist Julie Bender etches illustrations of various animals by burning her images into wood. By employing the traditional art of pyrography, which dates back to ancient Egypt, Bender essentially paints with fire. The art involves scorching a piece of wood, or other natural material, with a heated metal tip, in place of a brush or pencil.
It’s hard to believe that Bender’s works aren’t sepia-toned photographs. The added shock of the illustrations being configured by burning into a segment of maple wood is astounding. The Atlanta-based artist brings these creatures to life with each intricately defined stroke of fur or feather on their body. She manages to capture minute details like the glimmering reflection in an animal’s eyes just as well as the full-bodied portrait of an animal in motion.