Enhancing Highly Figured Wood (Online)

  • Saturday, January 16, 2021
  • Saturday, January 23, 2021
  • 2 sessions
  • Saturday, January 16, 2021, 10:00 AM 11:30 AM (PST)
  • Saturday, January 23, 2021, 10:00 AM 11:30 AM (PST)
  • BARN Wood Zoom Room, Class Code WO011621AL
  • 5


  • $130 + $94 materials fee + $20 shipping
  • $130 + $94 materials, to be picked up at BARN
  • $100 + $94 materials + $20 shipping
  • $100 + $94 materials, to be picked up at BARN.

    Registration closes Wednesday, Jan. 6th.

Registration is closed

**This workshop will be live streamed via Zoom.** 

Registration for this class has closed. There is another class scheduled beginning Monday, February 8th. To register click here.

Burl wood and curly-grain wood with flame or quilt patterns are gorgeous as-is. But with flame, acrylics and gilding paste you can give these woods a completely different look that mimics stone or metal or just makes people stare in wonder. This two-session online class will show you how to apply these techniques to woodworking projects such as boxes, cabinet door panels, turned wood projects or sculptures.

The instructor is a woodturner who often uses these techniques on his projects. He made the puzzle-type figure in the picture from big-leaf maple burl and the wall sculpture from quilted big-leaf maple and red acrylic.

At the first session, the instructor will show a wide range of examples and demonstrate how to use flame to turn figure in wood into texture, how to enhance figure by using acrylic paint that has different consistencies, and how to use gilding paste. During the week between the first and second sessions, you will be able to work with a kit of supplies to apply the techniques and experiment with your own variations. At the second session, you and the other students will share your work and have an opportunity for followup questions. After the class, you should have paint and gilding wax left to adapt the processes to a project of your own.

The materials kit consists of at least 20 small samples (approximately 1/4" x 3" x 3" or larger) of highly figured wood, airbrush-consistency black paint; thick acrylic paint in black, off-white and neutral; a set of standard-consistency acrylic paints in 12 colors; gilding paste; brushes; the scrub brush that the instructor recommends for some techniques; and sandpaper.

You will need to supply a propane torch or the type of butane burner used for making creme brulee. If you don't already have one, local shops probably do,  or you can order online. Click this link to see a suitable propane torch. Click this link to see a suitable butane burner. If you order the burner, get an extra butane canister.

You will also need to supply stir sticks (popsickle sticks are good), a paper plate for a palette, a few paper towels and an old toothbrush if you have one. Latex gloves are good for keeping your hands clean, but not essential as acrylic paint washes off easily.


  • Please note that registration closes on Wednesday, January 6th, to allow time to assemble and/or mail kits.
    If you opt to have your kit mailed, please verify your mailing address when you register. You will receive an email and tracking number when package has been shipped. If you are picking up at BARN, we will email you when the kits are ready with information on when and where to pick up your kit.
  • This class will be taught via the Zoom video conferencing program. For a great video on how to use Zoom, watch this tutorial.
  • An email will be sent to you one day before each session with the Zoom link to join the class. Please watch for this email.
  • If a class is full, please add your name to the wait list in case a space opens up or we are able to offer another class. Check our calendar frequently as more classes are being added each week!  
  • Tuition assistance is available. Click here to apply.
  • Open to beginners. Ages 14+ are welcome. (Youth may need supervision.)

Instructor bio:

Art Liestman, who lives in Vancouver, B.C., is well-known as a wood turner and woodturning instructor. He has presented to woodturners' clubs throughout the United States and Canada, including several repeat trips to the Olympic Peninsula Woodturners. He has been teaching online since the pandemic closures last spring.

He specializes in what he calls the lost wood process, in which he turns turning spindle blanks made of three layers. He then cuts the pieces, separates the layers and glues the outside layers back together to create turned objects that aren't round in cross-section. It was a short journey from that sleight-of-hand to incorporating cold-bending wood in his pieces.

Liestman's work can be seen on his website, artliestman.com.


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