What is Pyrography?

The art of burning words or designs onto wood, known as fire writing, wood burning or scorch scribing (I made that one up), pyrography dates back to at least the time of the Pharoes in ancient Egypt.

Today a tool similar to a soldering iron, with inter-changeable nibs or wires is used (and thank Nature for the gift of electricity), but in times past the effect would be achieved by heating an implement such as a poker in a fire, or even focusing the sun through a magnifying lens (run for cover, ants).

Any type of wood can be used, but light coloured hardwoods such as beech, birch and sycamore give the best results as they have a smaller grain.

Other surfaces such as leather or the shell of a gourd can by decorated using pyrography, though you have to be aware of how the leather was treated because burning it may release toxins which aren’t good for you at all.

I should have posted this one first, but convention was never my strong suit so here it is now, and as I create more things I’ll be posting more about the methods used, the difficulties, the easy bits, the successes and failures. So stay tuned and hopefully you’ll find this informative, or just mildly interesting.

So far I’ve been pyro-scribing beech coasters, a birch name sign for our house, and some birch plaques with simple designs on them, pictures of which should be about here somewhere.

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