Creator: Jordan Thomas, BurntPieCreations
Hello fellow geeks and welcome to the Coaching for Geeks Creator of the Month for June!
In this section we pick out one of our very own epic geeks to highlight the amazing creations they produce. We want to show the whole wide world just how cool, creative and outright geeky we are. So let’s dive into the work of Jordan Thomas, of BurntPieCreations.
What is the shop called and what do you make?
It’s called BurntPieCreations and I make display pieces and functioning items with pyrography skills, the art of burning images into wood by hand. Mainly framed display pieces, but also do notebooks, magnets, signs etc… I’ve recently taken up whittling and along with eventually myself getting a garage, I will expand to include a range of small functioning wooden items (no doubt all to be geek related!)
What’s your reason for doing this?
I’ve spent a long time of my life in a sort of limbo trying to figure out what my true passion is. Over the years I’ve been a band photographer, childminder, music magazine editor, RSPCA volunteer, competitive jujitsu etc which all has been great but they’ve never quite stuck. So I confronted myself of what do I actually like doing at any given moment in time? And it’s simply drawing and building stuff, which led me into carpentry (for which I’m currently training in and it’s perfect vocation I’ve been looking for) and then led me to pyrography as something I can do with wood from home. I honestly cannot remember how I came across pyrography in the first place! I do remember buying a standard £10 woodburning pen and then never looked back, it only took two months before I got a professional machine!
What has pyrography helped you with that your previous ventures couldn’t?
Well, bit of a broad question to me. Firstly, I’m profoundly deaf since infant with extra hearing loss starting from a couple of years ago. And then around a year ago I’ve ended up with Meniere’s Disease, which gives vertigo, extreme tinnitus and nausea. It just so happens that pyrography enables me to literally escape reality of the illness and the symptoms for a few hours at a time. Most importantly, I find it rewarding. I’m really grateful to myself! But the true bonus is, pyrography acts as a rope that I can connect my geek interests with my love of woodworking. It really is the best of both worlds in my eyes.
Tell us more about yourself and what kind of geek would you describe yourself as?
Anyone who even remotely knows me, knows that I’m a huge Pokemon fanatic. To the point that my bedroom is practically a tribute and have tattoos of my favourite Pokemon, my best mate thought I was deliberately dressing like a Pokemon Trainer for years but that was just a happy accident. I don’t think much more can be said about that! I also love Doctor Who and to collect rare Doctor Who 70s/80s toys and props when I can afford to. I’m a total sucker for role-playing adventure video games (Pokemon included of course) with titles like Zelda, Arkham and Ni No Kuni. Also have a slight love for POP! Vinyls but I only collect characters that mean something to me, personal icons or childhood nostalgia like Spyro the Dragon, my favourite drag queen Trixie Mattel, Mighty Morphin. A lot of my main interests seem to stem from childhood so I guess I’m nostalgic AF! Oh, love Drag Race big time.
What’s the geekiest thing you’ve ever made?
I think they’re all equally geeky, but that’s just another way of saying I struggle to choose. There’s some front runners that stick out in memory though, such as the Joker clock I made for a Christmas present. I particularly like the Pokemon Red/Blue Sugimori artwork I did, for the reason at the time I was going through a week of pretty tough Meniere’s symptoms. I put it to a challenge to myself to just do it an hour at a time with it regardless of the symptoms and come out with something awesome at the end of it. It’s a sense of pride you cannot put a price on.
What would you describe as the geekiest thing you own?
What like the 6ft Haunter shrine I have above my bedhead? I’m not even kidding! Haha. I think by collection wise as in rare finds, I have to say my first edition 1976 Tom Baker Doctor Who doll. Even better, two of them! Most of my geeky stuff are christmas/birthday gifts in the first place which makes me cherish them more and it’s hard to choose. And they’re mostly from geeky crafters too which is cherry on the cake. Such Haunter hat and mittens, 3D printed Cubone skull, Gengar candle, some paintings and themed jewellry. I really am blessed in that way!
Who is your role model?
I don’t really have a role model as such in my interests. I was brought up to be independent as possible so that probably has a factor in doing things off my own back as much as possible and never really sought a mentor or figure in any area. But in life, my grandad played a part throughout childhood and taught so much wisdom and my uncle in my more recent years as turns out his life has many parallels to mine so it’s pretty cool to have someone in the family to relate to like that.
What are your top 3 favourite facts about you?
I do like randomly saying I’m a double-Gold medallist! I competed in Martial Arts weapons and self-defence at the Copenhagen World Outgames in 2009 and won first for both, it was a year of heavy training while I was at university and Japanese night college so it was a huge achievement. But after that I was satisfied and soon quit training as turns out I wasn’t into competitive environment.
That I started and ran a local music magazine at 5,000 copies a month. Part of the reason why I did it was to prove people wrong about what they might think of hearing impaired people in the first place. Actually, that’s pretty much a big motivator in life for me, proving people wrong about assumptions of other’s abilities. Obviously my hearing has worsened after a few years so I passed on the helm.
Probably cliched to say but I guess the third favourite thing is simply for being a geek. I like that I can still connect with my interests and stay connected throughout my life, and it can actually be quite therapeutic and teaches less judgement on others. I much rather have that than suit myself to someone else’s idea of what adulthood is and what adults are supposed to enjoy.
You get one geeky wish, what is it?
Make Pokemon real, duh!
What’s your favourite thing about Coaching for Geeks?
Well not only I’ve swapped awesome crafts with fellow members! But it is also that there’s plenty of fellow crafters with different health problems that affects motivation, that’s not dissimilar to what happens when my Meniere’s flares up. That sort of thing makes you feel less alone. Most importantly, it makes me feel less guilty at the times when I’m unable to burn or build and it’s not the end of the world. Those moments when I’m unable to do stuff lasts shorter as a result, knowing we’re all there in spirit for each other.
How do we find you and your work online?
Instagram at BurntPieCreations which would be the best one as I use that the most. There is also facebook under the same name but I really should get a move on with that one…
Now I feel that I’ve done enough work to provide a decent sized portfolio, will be setting up a website by the summer!
Jordan K Thomas – BurntPieCreations
Etsy – BurntPieCreations
Instagram – BurntPieCreations
Facebook – BurntPieCreations