Give Pyrography a Try
The art of pyrography, or wood burning art, has been around for centuries. It is an ancient technique where a heated metal tool is used to burn wood, leaving behind a decorative pattern. The history of the craft dates back to the Egyptians and some African tribes. In ancient China, it was known as fire needle embroidery. Throughout history, artists have expressed themselves by creatively burning strokes into wood, leather, and even gourds. With today’s focus on upcycling and personalization, it’s no wonder that pyrography is getting popular again. The technique can turn any plain wooden object into a unique custom treasure.
All you need to jump in on the trend is a pyrography pen, something made of wood, and your imagination. Pyrography pens typically come with interchangeable tips to create different effects. To use a pyrography pen, press it against a wood canvas and hold and lift it at different intervals. The longer you keep the pen in contact with the wood, the darker and more expansive the mark. This shading effect is used to create a sense of depth and texture in the work. More advanced pyrography tools have variable heat control and use a wire-nib burner to create more precise wood burning detail.
According to Hobbycraft, sales of wooden blanks were up 360% last year and are being used as a base for pyrography projects. Lighter colored woods are typically used as a canvas for pyrography. Beech, birch, and sycamore are perfect for showing off the artwork due to their coloring and light grain. Maple, pine, walnut, and oak are also popular choices. For safety reasons, it’s so important to use untreated wood. Pressure-treated wood, particle board, and MDF all contain added chemicals that will release dangerous toxins into the air when they are burned. It’s also a good idea to wear a mask if you’ll do a long session, since fine dust particles and resins can be released from the wood.
Once you have your pyrography pen, medium, and safety gear, you can let your imagination run wild. You can either draw your design directly onto the wood with a pencil or use graphite paper to trace and transfer any image you desire. Cutting boards, utensils, furniture, frames, and boxes are just some of the items you can etch designs into. One of the most popular projects is etching inspirational phrases, quotes, or Bible verses on disks of wood that can be hung like a canvas on the wall. Once you get started, it’s not difficult to find all types of innovative projects.