How To Do Pyrography

Pyrography is an art that is very obscure to most people but it is a form of expression that has been used since ancient times. In fact, it was in ancient Egypt when this art form came into existence. Technically, pyrography is the art of creating an image on a wooden or leather canvas by burning specific parts of the canvas using a variety of tools heated at varying degrees. You can liken the artwork to a simple sketch on paper using varying shades of pencil however, instead of pencil, you are using fire, and instead of paper, you are using a block of wood or a sheet of leather. Since this art form is not common and requires skill and care, you will want to know the basics on how to do it. This being said, here are some tips on how you can start doing pyrography.

  • Know the materials. The materials used for this art form is out of the ordinary. For instance, you will need a canvas. This could be a piece of leather or a block of wood, particularly made of sycamore or birch. You will need a wood burning poker or pen and some sandpaper as well. With regards to the poker or pen, you will want to invest in a variety of different tips since each tip can only produce a specific style or shape. Finding these materials locally may be difficult but some art supply stores do carry them. You can check online as well since there are lots of online stores that provide these supplies.
  • Prepare your workspace. Since you will be dealing with fire and smoke, you will definitely want to work in an area that is well-ventilated. It is really highly recommended to work outdoors due to the risks of fire but you can create the art indoors as well provided that you have enough exhaust and ventilation so that the fumes do not bother you as you work.
  • Know the techniques. The process is simple if you think about it. Technically, to create an image, all you have to do is to heat up a tip to a certain degree with a well secured and contained fire. Once you reach the desired degree of heat, take the tip off the fire and use it to mark the canvas, whether wood or leather. While this process may seem simple and straightforward, to create a beautiful work of art, you will definitely have to learn the various strokes and techniques associated with the art. The image you create will depend on the heat of the tip, the pressure applied, the tip used, and the stroke itself. To learn more about the techniques of this art, you would do well to take a class or at the very least, watch an instructional DVD.

Well, these are the basic tips that can help you start creating wonderful works of pyrographic art. Once you learn how to hold the tips with the wood burning poker or pen and how to apply the right pressure and heat to the canvas, the next phases to excel in this art will entail constant practice and patience.


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