Electrified WoodART uses a high-voltage transformer to create fractal figures in wood by flowing electrical current across wood soaked with a chemical solution.

The tree-like markings created in this process are often call Lichtenberg figures, after German physicist George Christoph Lichtenberg, who discovered (in 1777) the electrical discharge patterns now bearing his name.

When used creatively, Lichtenberg figures can enhance WoodART. But Lichtenberg figures are often used without care or judgment, and because of this, are quickly becoming generic, and may soon become a fad.

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Lichtenberg Factoids

An interesting factoid: People struck by lighting sometimes get Lichtenberg figure lighting-strike scars, permanent, tattoo-like markings on their skin.

Terry included the factoid on this website for two reasons.

First, to remind you people struck by lighting sometimes die. Using a high-voltage transformer to create Lichtenberg figures in wood is dangerous. So dangerous, that in July of 2017 the American Association of Woodturners (AAW) banned fractal burning from all AAW events. The ban was prompted after the death by electrocution of a Washington State woodworker attempting to create fractal figure markings on a wooden frame.

[Note: Because creating fractal figures in wood can be deadly, Terry does not recommend you make or acquire a Lichtenberg Fractal Figuring Machine or undertake the process. He had a near-death experience while attempting the Lichtenberg Process on November 22, 2017, when, perhaps due to over-confidence, he became lackadaisical in following his safety procedures.]

Second, to remind you tattoos often outstay their welcome. Fractal figures in wood may be appealing to art collectors today, but much like the tattoo of an ex-girlfriend’s name, may not be as appealing in the future.

Used judiciously, Lichtenberg figuring can enhance WoodART. However, cheesy tattoos do not fall under Terry’s Electrified WoodART umbrella.

Next Steps

Search Terry’s WoodART for Sale - Electrified Gallery to see his work. If you see something you would like to add to your collection, or are inspired by what you see and would like to commission Terry to help you transform wood you own, cured wood from Terry’s stockroom, or Terry’s inventory of partially-completed pieces into Electrified WoodART, use the form found on the Request a Quote page or connect with Terry directly: terry@albyart.com | 262-806-2086

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Turned WoodART


lathe-assisted artistry