COLDSTREAM is a town of hidden gems. If you walk down a quiet side street and through a vennel into a small courtyard you will find the Coldstream Museum.

The Courtyard Gallery is the latest addition to the venue, a space to showcase local art and crafts, and they are pleased to present Fogo/Fire/Feu; Art in flames by Chris Ewing this summer.

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The Scottish pyrography artist has been making a name for himself for a decade now, starting with a soldering iron and some chopping boards, trying a few simple designs as a hobby while he worked in pubs and bars.

A self-taught pyrographer, Chris’ skills (and tools) have improved somewhat over the years and he turned professional around 5 years ago when he and his wife Carolina set up their business, Charred Wood, and started attending local fairs and markets.

Border Telegraph: Photos by Carolina Knight Ewing

He now produces custom orders such as pet portraits and bespoke designs as well as a wide range of mainly nature themed handmade pieces, all on hand-picked high quality hardwoods from the Scottish Borders.

So it’s only natural that he comes back to the Borders for Charred Wood’s first exhibition, in Coldstream from June 17th to August 27th 2023.

Curator of the Courtyard Gallery at the Coldstream Museum Helen Leighton Rose says, ‘I’m organising a host of exhibitions in the gallery and am looking forward to displaying a range of artists’ work in years to come.

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“Chris’ pyrography stood out to me at local art fairs and events and I’m excited to see what he’ll bring to the Courtyard Gallery this summer.”

Chris now lives and works in Northumberland so his work is quite well known to regulars of local markets such as Alnwick and Wooler but they ventured further afield this year with the Living North Live in York and Art at Ancrum in early May.

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These larger events have allowed Chris to widen the scope and scale of his work, culminating in a wide variety for the exhibition in Coldstream.

He uses a range of pyrography tools and blowtorches to create his designs, either working from a photo if the client requires it, or creating a sketch and composition of his own, often inspired by local themes and attractions.

Chris carefully selects the wood based on the grain and character of the piece, matching it to suitable designs which enhance the natural backdrop that the wood provides. His pieces are all decorative and suitable for indoor use, with a range available on the website

Looking ahead to the exhibition, Chris said: “It’s an opportunity to reflect on a decade of learning new techniques, experimenting with different tools and developing my skills. I mostly create a piece and never see it again, so it’s quite a novelty to see all my work in one place. It’s a chance to take a step back from the creative process and see where to go in the next decade with Charred Wood.”

Fire/Fogo/Feu: Art in Flames is on at the Coldstream Museum from June 17th to August 27th 2023.

Open Monday to Saturday 10-15, Sunday 12-15, Closed Tuesdays. Visit their website for more information about the venue.