When I first started this blog years ago, I was always passionate about finding teenagers and young adults to write about in my Creative Youth Archive. I've since interviewed 11 unique individuals from all over the world and today I'm interviewing one more, a pyrography and mandala artist, Lauren 'Lorry' Jones, from Australia. When Lorry first posted about her art, I was amazed by her talent as I had never seen anything like it, so of course, I had to interview her.
Hello, Lorry. Can you tell us about you, what you create and why are you passionate about it?
My name is Lauren Jones. I am a 26-year-old artist, creator and mother from Perth, Western Australia. I am the owner of a business called The Wandering Jones. I dabble in lots of art mediums but Pyrography and Mandala art are my specialties. Art is what makes me the happiest; I am constantly either doing art, thinking about art or watching other people do art. I have always been drawn to art since I was a kid! I studied art extension in high school and visual art after school. Once I became a mother, I didn’t create art for a while and there was a side of me that felt lost and unhappy, until I realized I was missing a big part of myself by giving up art. I found pyrography, started drawing mandalas again and The Wandering Jones was born.
What is the story behind your username @thewanderingjones?
So, my close family friend actually came up with this name years ago! We had taken a family day trip to a nature reserve. We were sitting on some rocks, my brother was playing guitar and we were all having lunch when my mum's best friend snapped a picture of us. She uploaded it onto Facebook and captioned it “The Wandering Jones”. I loved it so much and I knew I wanted to use it as a business name.
How did you get into pyrography?
I got into pyrography after my partner, Matt, became really interested in wood cutting. He came home with some big wood rounds and initially I was just painting on them. I don’t remember ever seeing pictures or videos of wood burning/pyrography before. I think it was just a random idea one day and I went to my local hardware store and bought a $30 soldering iron. I immediately fell in love with the process. I taught myself everything and I rarely watched any tutorials. I just learnt from my mistakes and practiced every day. My partner bought me a proper pyrography burner for Christmas that same year and so I retired the soldering iron and continued on that.
What is your creative process and where do you draw inspiration from?
I get inspired by the wood that I am burning on. I look at each piece and pick the one I’m drawn to the most and just envision what would look good on it. Then I just start it and hope for the best! I generally do mandala art, which is something that I have been drawing for years. I never really plan my mandalas. I just come up with it as I go, though Instagram is a huge inspiration to me! Not necessarily for designs, but if I’m feeling demotivated to create, I go to my business explore page and watch art videos and it takes me about ten minutes to want to create myself. Pyrography is a very slow process.
It takes hours to complete one piece. I love to show real-time videos on my Instagram which reminds people of the dedication and patience that pyrography takes. In saying that, time really does get away from me when I am burning. I can easily sit there for hours and burn because I love it so much. It’s really quite therapeutic and a form of meditation for me. I think I absolutely do stick to a certain boho aesthetic. It’s how I decorate my own house, so that is the kind of decor I want to make for like-minded people. I love boho witchy vibes and most of my pieces definitely give off that rustic feel.
What kind of home decor do you make?
I make a lot of wall hangings/wall art. I have always made my own house decor - from macrame to paintings, framed art, flower art and now wood burned art. It’s still crazy to me that people are decorating their own houses with things that I have made. I find decorating to be very important and it’s a huge reflection of who you are, so to be apart of that with my customers is very special. I also offer homewares - serving boards, utensils, bowls etc. I really love the bigger scale pieces that I’ve done. I think it’s really rewarding to spend hours/days on something that big and to finish and step back and see what you have created from scratch. I think it’s the most rewarding creatively and I am really looking forward to doing some more big-scale pieces in the future.
How do you decide which piece to make next?
I get drawn to each piece of wood at different times. I have a notebook where I write a lot of my ideas and I’ll just look through my pieces of wood and pick the one that excites me most and then see if any of my past ideas will look good on that particular piece. Otherwise, I just start a mandala and see where I end up. A new piece usually starts with a bare piece of wood and me tapping my pencil on it for five minutes while I brainstorm and then I just go for it.
To contact Lorry, you may use Instagram, Facebook or her website. She ships internationally (though this needs to be discussed prior to ordering online due to shipping costs) and custom pieces can be arranged via email@example.com
Hope you enjoyed today's interview!
All my love,
Read the rest of the teens and young adults in the Creative Youth Archive section here