DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — Robbie Tate’s art is more than just portraits; they are realistic and life-like.
“That’s something I strive for,” Tate said. “I start with the eyes and as soon as he’s looking at you he’s like ‘bring me out, come on, bring me out.'”
Using a soldering iron with various sized tips, he literally burns images into wood, an art called pyrography.
“I have one tip, it’s just like a needle tip,” he said.
Tate started a few years ago when he bought a wood-burning kit and started making signs as a hobby. Then after doing research he discovered some people were creating some very detailed pictures with the technique.
“I wanted to see what I can do with it,” he said.
He discovered a talent he never knew he had and when you look at the detail of his work it’s hard to believe he taught himself in just four years.
“A lot of trial and error, If I can see it in the photo I’ll put it in my work, especially details like the wrinkles and the bumps,” he said. “It’s a labor of love.”