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Canada’s leading contemporary outdoor and online art fair

TOAF will take place July 12 – 14, 2024.

Featured Artist: Blair Mclean

This week we spoke with Blair Mclean about his work, process and what inspires him. See what he has to say below.

TOAF: What do you do? (In art, life, work, free time)

Blair: I am a modern pyrography artist. I developed a new technique for burning the wood. I use found metal and a various collection of blow torches to mask and burn the wood. In my spare time I enjoy riding my motorcycle in the countryside and looking at architecture.

TOAF: Which artists inspire your work?

Blair: I would say the architecture Frank Lloyd Wright. I really love clean minimal lines when it comes to all forms of art and design. 

TOAF: If you could collaborate with anyone in the world, who would it be? 

Blair: I would say when it comes to my art, I don’t play well with others, but I would gladly collaborate with an architect. I would love to work with a architect to design a very large piece for a new public space like a library or recreation centre or  public gallery. Any architect designing nice minimal modern building would do just fine. 

TOAF: What is the most challenging struggle regarding your work or creative process? 

Blair: Working with fire! I try not to burn my fingers, however at the end of the day to get the great detail I love, it’s unavoidable. My technique is evolved throughout the years. Originally I started working with glass to mask the wood, but because of the heat the glass broke and now exclusively work with various metal shapes. Everything from rulers to spatulas anything I can find with an inspiring shape. An example would be if I use an old-fashioned keyhole and turned upside down burn the center it makes a perfect silhouette of a vase. 

TOAF: Tell us something interesting or quirky about yourself.

Blair: I have been a body modification and flesh branding artist for over 20 years. 

TOAF: Where can we see your work?


Check out Blair Mclean in booth B11 at Nathan Phillips Square, July 4-6 during the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair.

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