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Burning Text
into wood with a
magnifying glass

I received this message and these photos
from someone making her own peace pole out of a tree stump.

Peace text burned into a tree trunkHello_ Greetings of peace to you! I first heard of Peace Poles this spring when a family at the Unitarian church I go to decided to donate a peace pole to our church when they moved out of state. Loved the idea and had to learn more just for general principle, so I went to your website. a month or two later, I met someone who did wood burning by magnifying glass on pencil markings on walking sticks. The light bulb went off in my head. Near the river where I live there is a huge tree that was cut down, all but the bottom 10-12 feet, last year due to disease. The bark is falling away, leaving the inner beauty of this wise old tree. So, using the translations you provide on your website, my magnifying glass, pencil, and sunglasses (the light gets intense), I am in the process of creating a peace tree. So far I have 7 languages represented and am energetically looking forward to adding as many as I can. i have Nepal, Spanish, Latin, Greek, Ojibwa, French, and English. I really like the idea of the music ones too. I'll probably do the John Lennon "give peace a chance" one. It's fun to be one with the sun while working as the position of the sun, clouds, etc. dictate where and when I can create the messages. The whole process is fulfilling. Thank You for your part in this creative endeavor of spreading the message of peace.

Namaste-Kathleen Engblom

July 3, 2008

Her magnifying glass she describes as "typical size." She got it at a rummage sale. The typical size for her letters is 1.5 inches. She says it takes between an hour and an hour and a half to burn one translation. However, she has discovered that her work fades within months out in the elements. So she has started varnishing the messages with four coats of glossy. We are looking forward to hearing how that holds up over time.

Her photos were shot with a cell phone.


Update, November 1, 2008
Hi Joel-just an update since i last contacted you regarding the peace tree/wood burning by magnifying glass project.
A lot has transpired since i last wrote. Over the summer I continued to write many different languages on the tree. I had 37 plus many different animals, birds, and some plants. two weeks ago the project came to a temporary halt when one day as i was going outside i heard a chainsaw.....a city parks worker noticed the tree and thought there was graffiti on it so he hired someone to come and cut it down! by that time he had already cut a vee from the base so it had to go.but the good news is that he agreed to leave the bottom part of the tree(that had my artwork on it) until he talked to city.i was completely devasted at that point. a few days later a Viet Nam vet that lives in the neighborhood talked to some people that knew some people and we got the peace tree project moved on to my apartment complex property free of charge(it must weigh several tons. my apt. caretaker contacted a cement worker and they poured a concrete base for the project to be put on at a reduced cost-materials only.my caretaker donated $243. in quarters for the job.i am in awe of the people who came forward with support in so many forms.
the whole situation has made me look at the possibility of making peace poles now. one of the first ones i make i think i will donate to the city so they can plant one in one of the city parks.
anyway, that's the latest-i hope you are well and may peace prevail on earth-Kathleen