Mayor Knotrob Ford

As you may of heard, Knotrob Ford is in some serious hot water! Reports say that the oft-maligned Mayor of Knotsville has been caught on camera smoking what appears to be a banned substance. The original footage, taken by Somalian fashionistas, was eventually eaten by Ford in what was described as an "unruly display of hunger".

Knotsville reporter and professional pyrographer, Chris Burns, was in the room when the incident took place:

"We were all hanging out on a typical Tuesday afternoon, smoking crack with our Somalian wardrobe specialists and BOOM... Knotrob jumps out of his chair, starts feverishly waving his hands around in the air and makes a bee-line towards Farxaan screaming, I'M GOING TO EAT YOUR PHOOONNNEEEE!!!!!"

Burns went on to say that although he felt threatened by the incident, he knew right then and there that he had to let the people of Knotsville know the truth about the man they once adored.

So he started doing what he does best - woodburning his rendition of the fateful scene for all the world to see.

The 'Knoteye' series feature characters that are brought to life using the artist's imagination, and the natural defects in a given piece of wood.

 

Ithaca Invasion

Saturday, April 27th, 2013 - Comet Skateboards held another epic Slide Jam in Ithaca, NY... and Toronto's own skate and art collective, the Skate Invaders, made their presence felt!

Now, I am honoured to be considered a member of this extremely talented group of individuals...and am admittedly THE WORST skater of the bunch. Because of that, I take the 'art collective' side of being an Invader very seriously!

This year, in preperation of the Ithaca Jam, I stripped down an old Comet Voodoo Doll and went to burning something special for my fellow Invaders to bring to the jam.

Using the photography of Jonathan Nuss as reference, I burned the steezy stylings of S.I. member John Park sliding his way off the Mothership and landing at this years Ithaca Slide Jam.

The board was presented to Comet, and given away to the 'most awesome of the awesome'... which happened to be Toronto's own Zachary Nyers! Way to hold it down man.

Photo by: Jonathan Nuss

EAT YOUR CEREAL

Rarely do I use my art to 'make a statement' on a trending topic... partly because the woodburning process is generally too slow to finish a piece before it becomes irrelevant. But in this case I thought it was important enough to make the time. 

I'm not going to pick apart the ridiculousness of the things he said.

I'm not going to go on about how society should be working towards everyone having a more positive self-image, regardless of height, weight, sex or 'cool' status.

I'm not even going to point out that my husky-ass wouldn't rock those clothes if they came in size Extra Extra Bacon-Lined Large to begin with.

All I'm going to do, is let my portrait pyrography skills shine, and tell the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Mike Jeffries, to...

Nothing like a couple hours of burning wood to get something off your chest.

If your not familiar with the controversial stance of Jeffries, check out this 2006 interview from Salon.

And for those of who don't get the cereal part of this, check out this very informative post by CBC's Lauren O'Neil about the 'Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal' meme.

Global News Feature

Global News reporter Dave Gerry found Champstiles Woodburning online, and contacted me about doing a feature highlighting my experience as a pyrographer.  He wrote, "I've covered a lot of artists and craftsmen over 37 years...but never done pyrographics"... well Dave Gerry, welcome to my world of wood!

Watch Mr.Gerry wax poetic about his visit to my studio:

It was a pleasure having the crew from Global News over and showing them around. The feature aired later that same night, and my phone blew up with congratulations... mostly from my friends' parents. I guess they're the only people who actually watch the evening news anymore ;) For the rest of us, feel free to spread this link around whenever someone asks about the ancient art of pyrography/woodburning.

Custom Longboard Art

Burning a custom graphic onto the bottom of a board is one of my favourite canvases to work on... especially when I get to make the board and don't have to sand off a previous image and finish before I start. 

I was recently contacted for a commisioned piece by a gentlemen in Florida, who wanted to get his girlfriend a longboard for her birthday with some very personalized imagery. He asked family and friends for an image each that best represents their relationship with her, and ended up with quite a list!  Everything from cd's, toys and furniture, to a smurf with a cigar and a burn mark on his arm... this was going to be quite a challenge, but I pride myself on being able to bring people's visions to life.

Just another example of how Champtiles Woodburning can work with you to design and burn just about anything onto a piece of wood.

Email champstiles@gmail.com for custom work.

I built the board using Roarockit's Thin Air Press and 7 layers of 1/16" Canadian Maple veneer.  The classic pintail shape ended up being the perfect canvas for the project, and the recipient was thrilled to receive such a one-of-a-kind gift. 

Click on the photo to check out more custom longboards by Champstiles

Keyway Designs

In my never-ending pursuit to find new wood products to burn, I came across a Toronto-based company called Keyway Designs who had been working on a new adhesive backed iPhone skin. I contacted them, showed them my work, and told them I would be the first in line when they had finished prototyping their product line.

The adhesive backed iPhone skins were one of their first products, and ended up being a perfect canvas for my woodburned artwork. I ended up purchasing a small lot of both iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 sized skins and started practicing with the new canvas.

These little guys open up a world of customization and beautification options for your iphone. Champstiles Woodburning Toronto is now offering these as a product available to be custom woodburned for $45.  Every square inch of the skin can be burned with a custom design of your choosing. 

Contact champstiles@gmail.com to work out a design, shipping and payment details.

Keyway Designs has since expanded their product line and are always working on something new and fresh.  They do some beautiful inlays and custom etching on their veneers, and I am proud to be supporting the work of another small, creative, woodworking company in Toronto. Check out their site for more info about the skins themselves, and to see what other products they have available for burning ;)

 

Milk Boards Custom

Towards the end of the 2012 skate season, I was given a blank Milk Board longboard for another custom collaboration with Longboard Living in Toronto. The only instructions given were to incorporate the 'Milky Way' theme, and to "Do your thang Burnsy".

I sat on the blank board for a couple long winter months, letting an image brew in my head. It had to feature the 'Milkman' himself, shredding the stars with a CRAZY space scene behind him! Properly branded with his signature style and milk carton logo. 

As I laid down the burns, I started scheming on the background. My mind wandered to cosmic and colourful places... the kind of imagery that lent itself more to painting or digital art. It eventually came to me that my buddy Matt, who is pretty sick with the airbrush gun, could do exactly what I was picturing.

Matt, who's always down for a one-of-a-kind collabo, does some amazing woodwork as Frenique Customs out of Pickering. He makes anything from Muskoka chairs, to hand-turned spacers, longboards and even wakeskates. He agreed to donate his talents, and blew me away with the finished product!

The board turned out even better than I had anticipated. It was delivered to Longboard Living in Toronto, and got the stamp of approval from Milk himself. The combination of pyrography and air brushing worked amazingly well together and gave the piece that extra 'dimension' it needed. Next level shit.

 

 

Smashmouth Ent.

I recently got a chance to do a custom burned sign for Toronto's Smashmouth Entertainment, a multifaceted entertainment company offering artist management, bookings & promotion. 

"Getting the chance to work on a piece that represents Toronto's Hip Hop, Arts and Culture is what Champstiles is all about."

Smashmouth Ent. has been responsible for booking over 30 artists into the city in the past 2 years alone, including acts like Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar and Big K.R.I.T... not to mention working closely with personal favourites The Antiheroes. 

Inspired by the theme, and armed with full creative control, I was able lay down a sick burn featuring the Smashmouth logo, a Toronto/Hip Hop graffiti scene and a one-of-a-kind Champstiles 'Forest Fire' signature. Colours were painted by hand using watercolours.

This piece will be proudly displayed at the new Smashmouth studio in the heart Hogtown.

Check out and follow Smashmouth Entertainment for upcoming shows, events and artists on Twitter and Facebook

 

 

 

Merry Champsmas!

'Twas the weeks before Champsmas, woodburners ablaze

the original artwork, was sure to amaze. 

The CHAMP CHAINS were strung and beaded with care

with colours to choose from, that match what you wear.

A Champstiles T-Shirt, some pretty sweat threads

and prices so low, they be callin' the Feds.

So don't be a Grinch, don't put up a fight

FREE SHIPPING (on all orders placed online until Dec.17th) to all, and to all a good night!

We are pretty booked up for custom work before the holiday season, so we thought it would be a good idea to offer some discounts on our online store.  Check out a bunch of new products, including T-shirts, original art, hi-resolution prints, bracelets and of course - CHAMP CHAINS! 

Free Shipping will be offered on all products ordered online until Monday,  December 17th.  We will make sure that all products ordered before the dealine will arrive in time for Christmas.

To receive your Free Shipping, enter the Promo Code - CHAMPSMAS at Checkout

Click on the photo below and head straight to the online store! 

 

Posted on December 10, 2012 .

DJCB x (3)

Toronto's own DJ Craig Brooklyn just got his 3rd, custom made and burned, wooden piece from Champstiles.  His first two commisioned pieces were some of the biggest, baddest #CHAMPCHAINS to date... but his third request was a little different.

This time he wanted something even bigger, something no one had done before.  Something that would make Ghostface shiver in his Wu-Wallabees... were talkin bout the first ever Champstiles Custom SHIELD!

Check out the making of all three custom pieces in this new video. 

DJ Craig Brooklyn is a wizard on the tables, and his new shield helps keep his mastery a mystery when he's spinning sets... Make sure to think of him if you ever need someone to spin some REAL vinyl at an event, and check out www.djcb.ca and Bottomline Entertainment for more information about his music and booking inquiries. 

BOARD MEEEETING

So the 10th Annual Toronto Board Meeting (TBM) has come and gone, and stoke levels in the city were at an all-time high.  For those who may not know, the Toronto Board Meeting is a yearly event that gathers Longboarders from all over, to push through the city in business attire... hence the name, Board Meeting. This years event drew over 1000 riders, and was the 2nd time that Champstiles has sponsored the event with some gnar goodies!

You can read a really well written history of the Board Meeting here - Short History of Board Meeting

This year we were able to donate prizes to the Board Meeting itself AND the next days Slide Fu event held at the infamous 'Pooper'.  Prizes included 3 custom burned 'TBM' boards; including a Roarockit pintail, a Bombora Board Griffin, as well as a Champstiles made, Pinebox Shuvla board for 'Best Trick' at Slide Fu. 

Bombora x Champstiles ...image courtesy of the Skate InvadersBurns-a-Burning the 'CHAMP RAMP' for Slide Fu + Best Trick prize board

We were also able to make and donate 2 custom made kicker's for the Slide Fu slide jam.  Only the brave dared hit them, but the kids had a great time setting them up and trying to show off for the large Sunday crowd.  Dan Herzog won the event for the 3rd straight year and walked away with a shit ton of prizes, including the Pinebox 'Best Trick' board. 

Ramp Photo courtesy of Scott Harrison + Dirtsurfer #CHAMPCHAIN

...and what would Board Meeting be without the documentary style wrap-up video by Toronto legend, Jonathan Nuss.  Nuss is the main man behind the lens for the Toronto longboard scene, the Skate Invaders, and a few Pinebox videos as well.  Here is his edit of 'Toronto Board Meeting 2012  - 10 Years of Stoke' ...enjoy.

 

Whitby Station Gallery

Such a huge honour to finally have a piece being displayed at the Station Gallery in Whitby, for the Surfacing Magazine 'Off the Pages' exhibit. 

It all started when we were approached by Surfacing Magazine, a publication that 'Showcases Durham's Artistic & Creative People', to feature the pyrography of Chris 'Burns' Bennett in their Fall 2010 issue.  The article helped give the Champstiles brand some great exposure in the Durham Region, and the magazine's success led Surfacing to do their own art show at the infamous Station Gallery in Whitby a few years later. 

When we were approached by the creators of Surfacing Magazine to be in the show, they requested that the chest featured in the orginal article be submitted for display.  They wanted something large that would really stand out and show the diversity of their artists.  The chest itself is made from solid Pine and features 5 hand burned panels with cherry blossom flowers around the front and sides, and a rendition of the Pisces astrological sign on the top.

Posted on October 8, 2012 .

Manifesto Rd.2

This was Champstiles Toronto's 2nd appearance at the annual Manifesto Festival, Live at the Square event.  It was another great day, not only for the Champstiles Team, but for everyone who attended.  The stage was shared by performers, activists and vendors alike, and it was truly a celebration of T Dot's finest.

Not only did we get an opportunity to meet some great people and showcase some new pieces of art, but Chris 'Burns' was also commisioned by Manifesto, to make a series of hand burned CHAMP(ionship) CHAINS for the 2nd Annual Floor Awards. 

The awards took place Friday of the weekend-long festival, and 20 chains were given out in recognition of Toronto's best B-Boys/Girls and Urban Dancers.  Some titles included 'Lifetime Achievement', 'Innovation & Originality', 'People's Choice' and 'Up Next' which was awarded to the best emerging dancers in each category. 

It was great to see our vision of actual Championship, Award-style chains being given out with the Champstiles name on them... and even better that they were all given to talented Torontonians ;)

 

The Freshest Goods Market at Yonge & Dundas Square was wild as always!  We got a front row view of some amazing live performers and musicians, while manning our 2 tables that Sunday. 

Aside from a few spats of rain, the day went perfectly!  Sooooo much talent in this city! SO MUCH.  It's always overwhelming to be right in the middle of so many friends and amazing people/artists/businesses. 

Lee for Mayor rockin' his #CHAMPCHAIN with Vice Mayor BLOCKA!!

Burns with Faction's Prime, holdin' the Champstiles custom made and burned 'Web Slingin' Emcess' skateboard.

Thank you Toronto. And thank you Manifesto... you do great work year round, and deserve the Festival celebration as much as anyone.  Cheers.

Posted on October 3, 2012 .

DJ Xplisit Reppin' Hard

Earlier this year (2012), we were contacted by a dude claiming to be 'Toronto's Craziest Beatboxing DJ' to make a pair of custom CHAMP CHAINS for him to rock on stage... From the moment they were delivered, Shiv Willoughby a.k.a. DJ Xplisit, was down with the CHAIN GANG! 

A few months went by, and the chains were poppin' up in different videos and projects of his.  After being exposed to some of his work, it became clear that he def. was a crazy-ass Beatboxing DJ!!  He combines the elements like no one else, and is doing some really cool work.

Here's a few links worth checkin' out:

Follow on Twitter - Facebook - 'Doin his thing' - Scratch Lab

He recently got at us for a 2nd set of even bigger, and more custom pieces.  Shiv met with Burnsy in person, and explained that these pieces were a gift for friends of his that have hosted an event in Gimli, Manitoba for the past 5 years.  He wanted to make them extra special, and requested some extra text burned on the back as thanks... Champstiles is ALL ABOUT some custom shit, so we made that happen no doubt!

Big props to DJ Xplisit for his continued support and unique contributions to the Toronto music scene.

Posted on August 9, 2012 .

Sinful Galleries

In the past month, Professional Pyrographer - Chris Burns, participated in two different art shows at Sinful Inflictions in Whitby, ON.  Durham Region's most infamous tattoo studio/art gallery, hosted the Scallywags Art Exhibit on April 28th and the Art Fusion Fundraiser for the Durham Humane Society on May 27th.  Both shows were a big hit!

 

For the Scallywag Art Exhibit, Mr.Burns created a massive 3D wood sculpture that was burned in three different stages.  By combining the effects of the detailed woodburning pen, with the charred shading of both a handheld butane torch and a full-sized blow torch, he was able to create a unique trifecta of pyrographic perfection.

You can view the video showcasing his submission, titled 'Ol Dirty Blackburn', at the link below.

 

The Art Fusion event is an annual fundraiser for the local Humane Society that burned down in Oshawa back in 2008.  Sinful Inflictions hosted artists for a full day of live art, music and refreshments.

After about 6 hours of straight burning, Chris donated his custom made Pinebox Longboard with a fresh burning featuring the Grim Reaper and his two best friends. 

The crowd enjoyed seeing the live burning, and the money raised went to a great cause.

You can check out Sinful Inflictions and their roster of talented artists @ www.sinfulinflictions.com

 

B4BC Event

Recently, the Champstiles Team made a donation to the Boarding 4 Breast Cancer fundraiser at Airship 37 in Toronto's Distillery District. 

During the B4BC 'Shred the Love' event, artist Chris Burns did live burning for a packed house of the cities finest riders, promoters and supporters.  We donated a custom made Pinebox Longboard - 'Shuvla' model - to be auctioned off at the event, and helped raise awareness for this amazing cause. The event was a great time, with TONS of great prizes and giveaways! 

The organizers did a fantastic job, and the Longboard Living/Champstiles Team were able to spread some serious stoke!!  Check out the pictures of the finished burning (that was won by an estatic supporter), and the infamous late night pizza delivery to Mr.Burns from the Skate Gods!

KOTD Championship Chain

Champstiles Toronto has had the honour of making the brand new, handmade, burned and beaded CHAMP CHAIN. It made its debut at the Blackout 2, and was won by 'Whitby is the city's own PoRICH.

We knew this piece had to be bigtime, and it ended up being one of the most elaborate and detailed pieces so far.  

It was made with two seperate layers of laminated maple veneers, including red and black colour infused sheets, and a red aluminum outline of the KOTD 'Put your Money Where Your Mouth Iz' logo.

To finish it off, we shopped around for a custom combination of square shaped, gun metal beads in the shape of the CN Tower running up each side.  

The best part about this chain, is knowing how many talented and hungry MC's are gunning for it at any given time.  It represents a big part of the Toronto Hip Hop scene and is one of Champstiles finest.

On the hugely poplular - King of the Dot - YouTube channel, you can view the battle that the new CHAMP CHAIN made it's debut at, and many more... While your at it, you can peep the video highlighting the chain itself for a closer look!

 

Posted on May 24, 2012 and filed under #CHAIN GANG.

Concrete Guerilla

The biggest CHAMP CHAIN to date… A custom piece made for Concrete Guerilla Clothing owner Duxx. 

He was pretty adamant about the fact he wanted the chain to be large... like real large... like some Flava Flav meets wood steering wheel large!  After meeting him, we knew the chain matched the person perectly.  

The largest CHAMP CHAIN to date, was presented to one of the biggest personalities we've met along the way.  Duxx has also been a big help, lending a hand with the Champstiles website and numerous late night technical issues.

Check out Concrete Guerilla for custom clothing, and Duxx's Concrete Films for all you video needs.

Posted on May 24, 2012 and filed under #CHAIN GANG.

Antiheroes

Through their ascent of the Hip Hop ranks in the GTA and beyond - Champstiles has worked with Sha Prince and Flex of the Antiheroes to produce a set of custom, wood beaded CHAMP CHAINS.

The orginal two feature handburned artwork, a precisely cut out area within the Anarchy 'A', and have joined them on stage and in their upcoming 'Listen Up' video with D-Sisive and Rich Kidd. They have also spawned a bunch of custom chains featuring the 'Antiheroes' logo for friends and fam.

Make sure to check these guys out... They were already pretty sick, but they're starting to do a lot of cool projects and gettin the cred they deserve.  Peep the site, follow/like, all that jazz.

http://thisisfreedumb.tumblr.com/

http://twitter.com/#!/theantiheroes


Posted on May 24, 2012 and filed under #CHAIN GANG.

The NEW Home of Champstiles Woodburning

On behalf of myself, and the extended Champstiles family, we are excited to start this next chapter of my original Champstiles Woodburning.

Champstiles Toronto is a brand extension of the pyrography that I have been doing around the city since 2009.  I have always been inspired by the city I love, and my artwork has allowed me to meet some great people and take part in some great events... so many in fact, that I can longer view this as just MY business.  It is truly a combined effort.

 

From my close friends and family, to the Ontario Hip-Hop and Longboarding communities, many people have helped to shape and bring my visions to life.  I want to thank all of you the best way I know how - by continuing to share my success with the people around me.  

I intend for this 'blog' to be a place where I can showcase Champstiles events from around the city, and help shed light on some of the amazing talent around me as well.  I will also be doing regular features on some of the CHAMP CHAIN artists - The 'Chain Gang' - that I have done work with.

Read/follow/like/post/comment/stay tuned for more!

 

 

Posted on April 24, 2012 .