Mandalas are circular designs often holding spiritual significance in some cultures. Traditionally the circles have a meaning and are used for meditation and prayer purposes. Most mandalas we see today don't typically contain spiritual elements, however the art of drawing mandala is still therapeutic. Recent years have seen an increase in mandala popularity. There are pages and books available from explanation of a mandala meaning to coloring and everything in between.
So other than being circular designs and patterns what are mandalas? Learn more about them in my article "What is a Mandala" Today we dive into how to draw and burn a mandala on a wood slice and make a beautiful coaster.
To begin: gather your supplies. I will sit down with an idea; get in a zone then realize I don't have an eraser or gosh! I forgot my ruler. Believe me, nothing breaks the zen faster than this. Thus take the time to get your things together.
What you need to make a simple mandala
Wood burning tool
Print out of a mandala you will use for inspiration. In this example I am using my own hand drawn mandala by. Get some of my original mandala designs, for free, here.
At this time you might say, "I have the print out, why can't I transfer it to the wood"? You absolutely can and I discuss few techniques in my transfer techniques blog post. However for the purpose of this article we are going to hand draw using the print out as a guide or reference. I must also point out at this time to be cautious of using designs or images that you don't have permission to use or do not know where they came from. There are websites like Pexels, Pixabay and others that provide free stock photos and drawings. With all that said lets dive into drawing.
Take the wood slice and find the center. Mark the center and draw the outer most circle with as light as hand as possible (cause you want to be able to erase it if needed).
Divide the circle into 8 sections. Think of this as a pizza pie. Why 8? Cause 8 sections are easier to manage and still get a simple mandala. The secret to a good design is simplicity and symmetry which is what mandalas are known for.
With your pyrography tool, burn a dot where you had marked a center in previous step.
Next with the help of a compass draw a small circle keeping the burnt dot as the center point. Keeping your printed mandala as reference hand draw then burn the next layer. In the mandala we are using I have scallops. Notice I am creating 2 scallops between each section keeping the mandala balanced and symmetrical.
Repeat the above step. Use your compass to draw the circles and keep sections as a guide to get a balanced symmetrical mandala.
One can definitely draw the entire the mandala then burn, however I prefer one circle at a time. It gives me the flexibility of changing the pattern or "hide" any errors.
Pencil marks may be erased but they are not the best solution and should be avoided if possible.
Repeating the draw and burn process till the mandala is complete or you are satisfied with the pattern.
Seal your wood coaster with moisture proof sealant like spar urethane based finish. I like to use spar Varathane.