This is the completed woodburning (Pyrography) art piece titled "Dad", which features a male Silverback Mountain Gorilla from Virunga National Park in the Congo region of Africa. Additionally He has an infant gorilla nested comfortably against his chest and belly. You can see by the flecks of foliage in his fur that these two have been playing and moving around in the understory of the jungle. Gorillas in Africa are facing severe threats from encroachment of humans, illegal burning of forest to produce charcoal, and poaching. This is an issue that both species, Mountain and Lowland Gorillas are caught up in. Like many other animals worldwide habitat loss and human activity will be their greatest danger. Political instability and corruption plague the three African Nations responsible for the care and preservation of Gorillas and other keystone species within these regions.
The woodburn was done on birch. Between both Gorillas a total of 64,400 hairs (give or take 40 hairs or so) were individually burned into the wood. The scoring of wood with a heated burning tool leaves both marks and depressions in the wood which refract sunlight and leave a sheen to the fur when seen in strong lighting. The burner was set at 950F (510C) for the majority of this burn. The total time in the project was 37 hours.