House of Gnawr

Recently I had the honour of working with the amazing student designers at the Oasis Skateboard Factory (OSF) on an installation for the Gladstone Hotel's annual Come Up To My Room exhibit called the "House of Gnawr". OSF is a Toronto District School Board alternative design program where students earn high school credits by creating their own brand and running a skateboard business / professional design studio. I have been a proud partner of the program for over 6 years, and this was our biggest project to date!

Over months of planning, we decided to run with the theme of youth as represented by rats in the city. The rat has long been a symbol for the OSF students, and the "House of Gnawr" transformed visitors to a post-apocalyptic skatepark overrun by these resilient rodents. The installation involved creating a large rat nest structure, with a quarter pipe on top, a skateboarding/pizza eating rat and a bunch of different features constructed with broken skateboard decks.

In contrast to the madness of the "House of Gnawr" structure, we wanted to relieve the tension of the room with a more art gallery appropriate series of skateboards installed on the opposite wall. These handmade decks were created in the classroom and feature a laser etched image of the student's faces trapped within the outline of a rat and completely coated in an all white spray paint.

As always, I had a great time collaborating with these incredibly creative and inspiring students. The OSF program is truly a hidden gem in the city, and I have seen first hand how it positively affects every student who has gone through the program.

Hope you got a chance to see this little piece of history! If not, hopefully the photos do some justice to just how hard everyone worked on the project.

#BURNSTHE6 Art Show

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In his first solo show at the Hashtag Gallery, pyrography artist Chris Burns (Champstiles Woodburning Toronto) brings a large collection of his signature burnt canvases to the #BURNSTHE6 exhibit.   

#BURNSTHE6 is an exploration of what makes Toronto such a unique, interesting and vibrant city, as well as a commentary on current issues and pop culture through the eyes of the artist. In addition to his solo works, there will be a series of collaboration pieces created with other local artists. By using primarily recycled and reclaimed materials, Chris aims to breath new life into forgotten pieces of wood.

Grand Opening will be 7pm -11:30pm on April 21st, 2016 and the show will run from April 21st - May 1st at the Hashtag Gallery in Toronto.

 
Posted on April 5, 2016 .

Dalai Lama: Job Interview

Title: Job Interview       Size: 14" x 14" on Wood Panel

Title: Job Interview       Size: 14" x 14" on Wood Panel

I was inspired to do this piece as a satirical commentary of recent comments made by the 14th Dalai Lama in regards to the possibility of there ever being a female Dalai Lama. In the interview he pretty much said that any female Dalai Lama would have to be attractive or she wouldn’t be much use. This brought to me a vision of ‘His Holiness’ hosting a casting couch style job interview for his successor.

Here is some coverage of the controversial interview from the CBC website>> Click here for link

“Job Interview” is a woodburning portrait of two hopeful young job seekers demonstrating their relevant skill sets to the boss man himself.

Posted on October 14, 2015 .

Mount Crushmore

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As a lifelong Jays fan, I was inspired to make this woodburning portrait in honour of the team's recent success, and the big 4 players in the middle of our lineup – a.k.a. Mount Crushmore (from left to right: Troy Tulowitzki, Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion).

This original woodburning is done on a 24" x 36" birch wood panel, and the whole process took me about 20 hours to complete. The panel itself is 1.5" thick and ready to hang.

I think it would hang perfectly on the walls of any Jays fan, sports memorabilia/art collector, sports bar, studio or mancave!

If I sell the piece, I am hoping to put it towards getting myself some Jays playoff tickets! If not, I will proudly keep it on my wall at home :)

Feel free to contact champstiles@gmail.com for inquiries.

 

Posted on September 7, 2015 .

ALL MY SHIT: Recap

Friday, June 5th was the grand opening of my first solo art show. It was held at the 416 Gallery in Toronto, ON. and was a huge success! I have never felt so much love and support for my work all at once, and it was truly inspiring for me moving forward with my art/business.

The ALL MY SHIT: Pyrography Showcase featured 100+ pieces of work from my first 6 years of woodburning. I broke the gallery down into eras and collections of my work to help walk people through my journey to this point.

I also had a wall dedicated to a dream team of collaborations I did with other artists. Working on nine individual pieces with artists from all different backgrounds and styles really helped broaden my abilities.

Check out some more photos from the opening below:

Big thanks again to everyone who came out and helped make this night happen. Extra special thanks to Jimmy Chiale for sharing his home and running the bar/music/security, Jon Nuss from Social Images Photography for documenting the night, and Beth from the Birch and Baker for the AMAZING custom cake sculpture!! That cake was pretty much my favourite piece of art in a gallery filled with my life's work haha.

Video recap of the grand opening below:

Posted on June 9, 2015 .

ALL MY SHIT: Pyrography Showcase

After being surrounded and influenced by so many great artists over the years, it is my humble pleasure to put on my first solo art show. It will be hosted at the 416 Gallery (home of Jimmy Chiale and my talented collective of Aces) and is appropriately titled “ALL MY SHIT”.

The plan is to display every piece of art I have burned (and not sold) since the beginning. Every little coaster, every piece of jewelry, every skateboard and every full-blown masterpiece under one roof!

I look forward to showcasing my work in the city I love and being surrounded by the people who helped get me here. I really want to share where I came from, and where I’m going with my art. See you all on June 5th!

Check out the Facebook event page for updates leading up to the event.


Posted on April 23, 2015 .

Pinebox IPA

In one of my most exciting and delicious collaborations to date, Champstiles Woodburning and the 5 Paddles Brewing Company have worked together to create a hoppy flavour explosion known as 'Pinebox IPA'.

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When 5 Paddles opened up in my hometown of Whitby last year, I burned them a custom canoe paddle with their logo to welcome them to the neighbourhood. After introducing myself and my pyrography work, they reached out to me about doing a collaboration beer named after my Pinebox Longboards.

The Pinebox brand (handmade skate/longboards that act as a canvas for my woodburnings) is a side project of mine that I have been passionately working on over the past couple years, and having it turned into a badass brew has been such an honour!

Back in early May, I went by the 5 Paddles brewery after hours and helped create the first batch with brewmaster Mike Bray and my good friend Kash.

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Pinebox is a 6% IPA that is finished with three varieties of piney hops - Columbus, Chinook and Simcoe

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The first batch of Pinebox IPA has now been bottled and labelled (amazing graphic done by designer Greg Pool), and like most 5 Paddles beers...won't last long.

Make sure to drop by the brewery at 10 Sunray Street Unit 22, and pick up a bottle. In fact, you should really pick up at least one of every different beer they have in the fridge because they're all damn good!

There is also a 1 Year Anniversary Party being held at Buster Rhino's in Oshawa to celebrate 5 Paddles first year in business on June 7th... hope to see you all there!

Toronto 180

On March 6th, 2014, Happy Birthday Toronto, the Canadian Alternative Arts Collective (CA-AC) and Steamwhistle Brewery put on an exhibit to celebrate Toronto's 180th Anniversary with the 'Past, Present and Future' theme. 

As a proud member of the CA-AC, I was invited to take part in the event and produced an original burning just for the show. I had always wanted to do a pyrography map, and figured this would be a great oppourtunity to do a unique burning of the city I love. 

The burning took about 20 hours to complete and is done on a handmade, 24" x 36" bent maple veneer canvas meant to replicate an old scroll map.

After doing some research for the piece (and picturing it hanging in a brewery), I decided to do portraits of Toronto's first and most recent mayors... in what I like to call, my 'Legends of the Pub' series. William Lyon Mackenzie and Rob Ford will go down as two of the most rebellious and drunken leaders of this great city!

Ten Tree

I was recently commissioned by an old friend to burn a custom made longboard for his Ten Tree Apparel company. After building the board to specification, using the Roarockit Skateboard Company's Thin Air Press vacuum bag system, I was able to burn a Tentree inspired nature scene onto the bottom of the deck.

If you haven't heard of them, Ten Tree is a clothing company that believes in social responsibility towards the environment, and plants ten trees for every item sold. Check out this short video with an overview of their grassroots company:

The board features a classic Canadian landscape with mountains, wildlife, a serene lake setting and of course, trees! Here are some pics of the process and details of the board:

Wu-Tang Forever

20 years ago today, one of the rawest and most influential albums in my life dropped. That of course, is the debut of the Wu-Tang Clan's - Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). While I really didn't discover Wu until I was about 15 years old - about 5 years after their debut - 36 Chambers has been one of those inspirational, emotion sparking pieces of art that has helped to shape both my art and life.

I thought it would be fun to show some of the Wu-Tang inspired pieces that I have done over the years...long before I ever started woodburning. 

When I was 16 years old, I created this 3 dimensional casting of my hands in the signature Wu-Tang 'W' pose for a school project. On the back of the hands are the lyrics to C.R.E.A.M. My art teacher hated it.

 

When I was about 24 years old, and working in a cabinet shop after college, I was commissioned to make this custom coat rack for a friend. It features a distressed black finish and is mounted on a Wu-Tang logo-shaped base.

 

And now, 14 years after my first piece of Wu inspired art, I'm an old ass pyrographer who is still very much down with the 'W'. I recently started burning a series of portraits that feature each member of the infamous Wu-Tang Clan. Together they 'form like voltron' into a 18"x18" collage.

I documented some the process with Instagram's new video feature. Check it out below:

WU-TANG FOREVER.

Posted on November 9, 2013 .

5 Paddles Brew Co.

Many of my finest creations have been done with the accompaniment of a pint, bottle or can of premium Ontario craft beer. More and more it seems that beer ends up being a 5 Paddles brew.

If you're not familiar, the 5 Paddles Brewing Company is a Durham-based nanobrewery that brews, sells and even teaches people how to make beer.. Check out the Brewer's Pantry for all your homebrew needs!

 

They moved into my hood earlier this year and I've been steady drinking and representing ever since. Naturally I had to burn them a custom wood paddle for the shop. Check out the burning, and make sure to go meet the boys at 5 Paddles and try one of their unique small batch beers.

To give you an idea, I currently have bottles of Jalapeno Beet, Pumpkin Barley Wine and Don's Rye & Ginger in my fridge! Crazy non-stop variety.

The 5 Paddles Brewing Company is located at 10 Sunray Street - Unit #22 in Whitby ON. Give 'em a follow on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest.

Posted on November 2, 2013 .

Cmdr. Chris Hadfield

Short and sweet. I gotta lotta love and respect for this modern Canadian hero. His personality and charm took the world by storm over the last few years with his use of social media, and as a proud Canadian artist, I wanted to honour him the best way I know how... by burning one of my signature Knoteye caricatures of him! Enjoy.

Turning a scrap piece of knotty pine into the Knoteye Chris Hadfield

If your not familiar with Mr.Hadfield, give him a follow on his official Facebook and Twitter feeds to see why everyone is so endeared with this public figure.

Pinebox Halloween

 

Every year around this time, when the leaves start to change and the pumpkin spiced beers start to flow, I get inspired to do a bunch of horror-themed woodburnings. And with three big art shows lined up in October, I have been steadily burning, selling and displaying some of these new pieces.

With Halloween being my favourite time of year, and having recently received so much support for my artwork from new friends and old, I wanted to show my appreciation by hooking someone up... Facebook contest style!!

Click on photo to visit the Champstiles facebook fan page for your chance to winFrom now until October 31st, anyone who 'Likes' the Champstiles Woodburning Toronto fanpage AND shares the Halloween Giveaway contest photo will be entered for a chance to win this one-of-a-kind, handburned Pinebox 'Shuvla' street deck.

For anyone who isn't familiar, Pinebox skate/longboards are decks that I have been passionately making by hand for the last few years using Roarockit Technology. They are special made to order, and often feature a custom Champstiles woodburned graphic. Check out this video of Pinebox rider Sebastian Bravo shredding his Pinebox drop deck. Film/edit:Nuss

Champstiles' October Event Listing:

Oct. 12th - The Bazaar of the Bizarre: Halloween Extravaganza - 918 Bathurst

Oct. 19th - House of Madness Art Exhibit - Sinful Inflictions Custom Tattoos

Oct. 24th - Day of the Dead Group Exhibit - Creatures Collective

 

Contest Rules

*No purchase neccessary

**Products will be shipped free of charge within North America

***Contest will be promoted on, but is not sponsored, administered by, or associated with Facebook or Twitter

Bombora SoGnar

This past year, I have had the pleasure of working with Bombora Boards owner, Rob DeFreitas, on designing the graphics for a few of their new deck releases. The first of which was the redesigned SoGnar model. It was a challenge to design the vector-based artwork after years of almost exclusively woodburning images onto decks, but the board came out great and has gotten some amazing feedback from the community.

Last year, Champstiles and Bombora Boards collaborated on a custom burned deck as a giveaway for the annual Toronto Board Meeting. It went so well that we decided to do another collab deck for this years event.

On Sunday, September 14th - we will give away custom Toronto Board Meeting x SoGnar deck to one lucky individual. To add a little more stoke to the already incredible event, we documented the burning process for this one-of-a-kind board to further enhance to awesome factor!

Check out some photos from the burning sessions and a video put together by Bombora Boards:

Roarockit EU

I was recently asked by the owners of the Roarockit skateboard Company, Ted and Norah, to do a custom woodburning on a skateboard as a going away present for Sarah Jackson and Nicolas Alix – the new operators of Roarockit Skateboard Europe!

I had the pleasure of working with Sarah and Nico earlier this year, helping train them on the daily operations of the Roarockit HQ in Toronto.

Here's a look at the finished board and the process involved in burning it. The artwork chronicles their journey from training in Toronto, to the long flight home where they have begun their new adventure!

Posted on August 21, 2013 .

Intergalactic

On July 28th, 2013 - at Toronto's infamous Poop Chute - the Skate Invaders (SI) will be hosting a BBQ/Slide Jam/Fundraiser. They host a few of these events through the summer months, and it's always a good time...even for non-skaters to come out and watch these talented athletes kick it.

Click on image for the facebook event page

Check out the last SI event, a nice little picnic held at Bickford Park:

For this event we are auctioning off a few, very special decks. The boards are handmade by OG Invader, Professor Gnarcel, and include the signature Mars Lander deck. Each board being auctioned will have original graphics done by a local artist, and the funds raised will go towards the SI team fund for hosting this years annual Slide Fu event in September.

All that being said, you know I've made a super rad original burned board! Check it out:

Another dimension new galaxy,
Intergalactic planetary!

Posted on July 23, 2013 .

Toronto Loves Kicks

Over the years I have had the oppourtunity to work with some amazing Toronto brands. One of my favourite ongoing collaborations has been with the Toronto Loves Kick's (TLK) organization. TLK uses sneaker culture as a way to reach and engage youth in our city. They have put on some incredible events, and have always thought to include my woodburning art to add that extra bit a local flair.

Here's a look at some of the projects I have been lucky enough to be a part of:

The first of many custom shoeboxes designed and burned for TLKThis Sneaker Lounge sign was part of the first 'United We Sole' Sneaker ExpoTwo more custom sneaker boxes made their debut at the TLK Sneaker ExpoCustom design burned for the Bata Shoe Museum This box was commisioned to display the winning pair of shoes for the TLK Design Project at the Bata Shoe MuseumThe Rise of the Sneaker Culture exhibit at the Bata Shoe Museum, partnered with CP24, SVP Sports and Hazelton Hotel

Make sure to check out and follow Toronto Love's Kicks on their official Facebook and Twitter pages for all the latest sneaker news and upcoming events.

Arts Market

June 19, 2013 - Just finished setting up my new space in Toronto's year round Arts Market, located at 1114 Queen St. E in Leslieville.

This is an incredible collective of over 50 artists, and I am all too pleased to share the space with these talented individuals. The Arts Market is open 7 days a week, and they are opening a second location at 846 College St. on June 22, 2013. Good luck to all the vendors in both locations, new and old.

Here's a few pics from my first install... there will be plenty of updates and exclusive items in the Champstiles area, so make sure to stop by the store and check it out!

Original 'Knoteye' woodburnings and prints available.Exotic woodburned Amazon driftwood pieces, exclusive to the Arts MarketRepurposed Backgammon and Chess board end tables

Make sure to check out BOTH of the Arts Market locations! They are very artist friendly and filled with tons of amazing, one-of-a-kind products.

Keep up to date on event info and Arts Market news on their Facebook and Twitter.

Blue Jays Art Party

For those of you who me personally, you know that I am a die hard Toronto Blue Jays fan. Always have been, always will be. So when I was approached by my buddy - and extremely talented artist Jimmy Chiale - to submit a few pieces for a Blue Jays themed art party...you know I was down!

The show took place on Saturday, April 27th at Tequila Bookworm on Queen W. It was a great oppourtunity for me to display three new woodburnings of mine, all while drinking good beer (Wellington SPA to be exact) and watching the Jays vs. Yankees game upstairs on their giant projector. The Jays lost, but good times were had.

Check out some of my favourite submissions for the show, as well as the live art that took place on the patio and the process of creating my Blue Jays inspired burnings:

KnotyeyeBats19 bout to crank one out of the park!R.A. Knoteye lettin that knuckler fly.

Three amazing Jays paintings from the show... trying to find the artists' names.

One of my all-time favourite pieces of art EVER by Jimmy Chiale