Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cuban Ingenuity & Artistry

Just got back from a relaxing one-week vacation in fantastic Holguin, Cuba. Beautiful country with beautiful, genuine people. I've always been impressed with the average Cuban's ingenuity to use their limited resources and material goods with expert artistry and skill. This trip, I met a local artisan named Fabio whose medium was pyrography.

The Artist: Fabio Maroldis Salas

Apart from his fantastic work, what really caught my attention was the home-made pyrography device he had rigged up. Apparently, he's an electrical engineer and made the machine with an old Russian television transformer. Carved his own handle, re-used some electrical wiring, made some interchangeable nibs and now has a fantastic pyrography machine. A little cumbersome to change temperatures he told me, as it required him to unscrew the wire connectors and move them left or right to increase or decrease the nib temperature. Most of his work is on local cedar which is either sustainably harvested or re-used from construction scraps.

Homemade Pyrography Machine

Some more of his work:

I ended up with a fantastic Che notebook which I intend to use for scribling some my own paddle design ideas in the future.

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