Wielding his simple wood burning tool as precisely as a surgeon’s scalpel, Tom Dunlap creates distinctive and dimensional images in wood. This self-taught pyrographer gently cajoles the wood to life resulting in original images ranging from nature and history to the spiritual and mystical. His honed process incorporates ethereal forms, raw energy and rich color to transform simple slabs of wood into fine art, each with a fresh and inspiring interpretation of life.
From an early age, Tom possessed a creative spirit and he intuitively began working with his hands. Unfortunately, his artistic endeavors were often tabled in order to support his family with a regular-paying job. Tom maintained a toehold in the art world over the years and won an award for his wood work at a juried show in North Carolina.
Applying his wood burning skills, Tom meticulously captured a series of antique fire trucks which are currently on display at The Hall of Flame Fire Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. Tom’s 17 years of experience in repairing and maintaining rescue support vehicles lent itself to this project helping him to accurately portray these vintage fire trucks. It is this attention to detail and painstaking realism that draws the attention of collectors to Tom’s work. He also sculpts wood into exquisite highly-polished pieces such as his diving humpback whale. Poised to enter the ocean’s depths, this piece impossibly mirrors the mammal’s muscular strength and grace and echoes Tom’s deep connection to nature.
Recently, Tom joined the ranks of full time artists and has begun to fully unleash his imagination and creativity at his studio in New River, Arizona.
“As I ‘paint with fire,’ I embrace the challenge of creating a piece that will offer a sense of discovery by integrating small details that will be uncovered over time by an observant eye. I enjoy converting a flat image into an inventive work using a non-traditional medium and pleasing a client beyond their expectations.” – Tom Dunlap