Pyrography is the skill of making art or designs using wood and fire. While the technique can be done on several other types of things, like leather, wood is the most common and highly suggested for beginners as it can be a little more forgiving.
When beginning on your journey to learn how to Woodburn it’s important to get the correct supplies to be successful.
Most commonly you will use a woodburning pen. It’s best to find one that comes with various types of tips and also has a simple switch. You can look at the fancier pens later once you have some skill under your belt. But for now go with a basic woodburning pen with a few tips. Check the reviews and you will be able to find a decent one without having to spend a lot. You will also need carbon paper, tape, sandpaper, a wet paper towel helps, and lastly the design you want to create.
It’s important to get familiar with your tools. Starting with the woodburning pen think of it like any other pen. The biggest difference are the interchangeable tips that are metal, this is where the heat is generated for the burn so be careful around it when it is on. They should come with a stand, if not be sure to get one you don’t want to drop a hot pen on any surface. The various tips are there for various styles, like rounded edges, or shading etc.
Remember to practice! So get some scrap wood that you are not planning on putting anything specific on or care about it get to practicing. Use same basic designs and just get familiar with the pen. Remember to let the pen heat up first before you first start to use it, then draw some basic shapes and designs to get a feel for how it works. When changing tips be sure to turn off the pen and let it cool off before switch tips out. Then wait for it to heat up again. Woodburning takes patience!
If any of the tips feel odd make sure you spend the most time practicing with them. You’ll get comfortable with a couple of the tips but be sure to learn all of them and how they work. The rounding tip and shading tips have specific purposes so be sure to learn them.
So why the wet paper towel? As you will see when working with the pen it will start to get a charred residue built up on the tip of it. This is normal but it can interfere with proper use and case problems when trying to make a specific design. The wet paper towel is used to clear this off, remember it must be wet and be careful! A dry paper towel will simply catch fire. Another thing to notice is that if you see smoke coming from the pen as you work it’s probably way to hot. The perfect heat will be smokeless.
In order to burn properly the tips get into the hundreds of degrees of heat. Even the minimum is extremely hot so you must take precautions and be careful. Changing tips doesn’t have to be difficult you can get a specific tool for it, or something like pliers wrapped up in insulated tape of some kind. Be sure to put the tip somewhere safe as it will remain extremely hot for a while.
Time to pick out a design
Designs are everywhere and you can find them online or in stores the important thing, to start, is to pick something simple but also that you are excited about so that you put the effort into it to make it look wonderful. Pick you design, then choose the size you want for the piece of wood you are working on.
Now don’t immediately jump into working on it be sure that you take all the steps ahead of time as needed. Be sure the prep the wood by sanding it down until its smooth. Different types of wood will require different temperatures to burn properly and not all are the same. So once you practice on a particular type of wood try not to change it for the design until you have tested out a scarp piece to fully understand the heat level you need.
Get to work and congratulations you are well on your way to learning how to woodburn!
[IMG VIA: http://www.woodburner.com]