Playing With Fire.

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (Reuters) – Czech artist Ladislav Vlna has swapped his brush for a blowtorch as he ‘paints’ with fire to create artworks that change according to lighting.

Vlna’s self-titled metallurgic painting technique results in surprisingly delicate and detailed pieces, mostly portraits or figures, with oxyacetylene torches.

The 40-year-old artist begins by painting a draft upon a steel surface and then carves, sharpens and polishes the basic image into it before putting a flame to the engraving which alters its color, depending on the temperature. This process gives the piece its unique appearance.

“I am painting using fire instead of a paintbrush. I am extracting the colors from inside the steel with heat and fire.”

You can read and see more about this extraordinary artist at Reuters. Definitely treat yourself and have a wander at his website! Truly beautiful and unique pieces.


  1. jimb says

    I really don’t want to sound like a broken record, but “Wow!”.

    What really astonishes me is just the *idea* of creating art that way. What it took to come up with and master the technique, let alone the actual artwork.

    Thanks Caine.

  2. rq says

    His website has a series ‘People of the Sea’ where my absolute favourite is the portrait of Krystyna. She’s like a pirate whom the world keeps reminding to say ‘fuck you’.

  3. Ice Swimmer says

    Thousands of millions of people must have known that iron/steel discolours when exposed to flames or heat. He took that knowledge and really pushed the boundaries. Who knows what was the inspiration, a particularly fine case-hardened object, some welding he was doing or what?

    Powerful portraits. The palette makes them dramatic in a “quiet” way.

Leave a Reply