Pyrography, which literally means “writing with fire,” has been identified as one of the leading making trends for 2019, and it’s not hard to see why. Not only does it sound pretty exciting, but the artistry and creativity of the makers who practice this art are truly amazing. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite examples to inspire you. If you want to give pyrography a try yourself, keep reading for some tips on getting started!
What is Pyrography?
Pyrography is a surface design technique where, instead of drawing, painting or carving, designs are burned into the surface with a heated pen tool. Most pyrography is done on wood (which is why you’ll also see people refer to it as wood burning) but it can also be applied to other materials, including leather, canvas and cork.
What kind of designs can you make with pyrography?
Just about anything you can imagine! Pyrography is a versatile technique that can be used to decorate objects of all sizes, with designs from the very simple to the very intricate. If you decide to give “writing with fire” a chance, you’re sure to discover it a rewarding way to express your personal creative style. One of the most popular items to make are hand-lettered signs. With specialised tips available for pyrography pens, it’s almost as easy as calligraphy with ink and paper.
You can also decorate a wide variety of household items with pyrographic designs—imagine making your own unique kitchen utensils, for yourself or as great personalised gift!
Add a Splash of Color!
While most pyrography tends to be two-toned, some makers add an extra level of artistry to their work by adding color with paint or other mediums.
Tips for Getting Started with Pyrography
Are you ready to give pyrography a try? To start, you’ll need a pyrography pen or wood burning tool. The two major categories are solid-tip burners and variable temperature, wire-tip burners. The former is great for beginners or general makers, and usually come with interchangeable tips that let you vary the kinds of marks you make. Wire-tip burners are better if you need a lot of precise detail. Some people even start out wood burning using a soldering iron.
- Sketch with a pencil or transfer your design to the surface with carbon paper before you begin. This will help you avoid making spacing mistakes. Tracing stencils is another option—try making stencils from your favorite dies for your woodburning projects!
- When you’re just starting out, practice on scrap wood to get comfortable with the tool and different tip options.
- Great wood choices for beginners include birch and basswood panels. Avoid using MDF boards, though, as the chemicals in the pressed wood make it unsafe for burning.
- Always wear safety gear when doing pyrography, including a respirator and a heat-proof glove. Set up a small fan next to your work area to blow smoke away.
- While burning, keep your pen moving at all times to avoid blobs in your lines, and keep your speed slow and steady. Jerky movements will show up in the quality of your lines.
- Finish and protect your burned artwork with a protective UV coating, so it will last a long time.
So, what do you think? Are you “on fire” to try your hand at pyrography?
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