Tools of the Trade


1 min read
10 Jul
10Jul

It has come to my attention that a lot of people do not understand what pyrography, or woodburning, is all about. I have heard comments that some seem to think I have designs on metal irons that I heat up and just "stamp" the wood. Whew! If only it was that easy! 

Starting out, I, like others using this art form, purchased an inexpensive woodburning tool at a craft store. Just like this one pictured below. The Walnut Hollow Versa Tool. These brass tips screw into the "pen" holder and then plugged in. It takes about 5-7 minutes for the tip to heat up before I could start burning on the wood. When switching tips, I had to turn it off, wait 5 minutes for it to cool down, unscrew the tip, put in a new tip shape, and heat up again for 5 minutes. As you can see, this took quite a bit of time to complete a piece of artwork. 

While I was learning all about this art form I used this burner for just over a year. However, the down side was it was taking quite a bit of time to wait, switch tips, heat up or cool down. Naturally, I enjoyed some coffee while waiting. After a year, and selling a few of my burned pieces, I decided to upgrade my equipment. Even though I still use the Walnut Hollow tool from time to time, I absolutely love my new equipment! I purchased an Optima Dual Burner with 3 "pens". 

Here is the wonderful burning unit and my first 3 pens! Look how small the tips are! These pens have "fixed" tips. Meaning, I do not have to wait for cooling down before switching tips. I typically have 2 pens plugged into the unit all the time. At any time, I can flip the switch to change which pen will get heated up to use. These cool down and heat up in a matter of seconds. Now that I have cut down on time drastically, it was time to keep learning and improving my skills. 

From my "first" piece: 

And after learning, practice & determination: 

Since then, I have purchased a few more of the woodburning pens creating quite the assortment and learned many new techniques. Always enjoy my conversations with fellow burners as we trade ideas & tricks along the way! Imagine doing some large pieces with a pen tip the size of, well, a pen tip! From the beginning - sketching an image onto the wood. This is sometimes done freehand or by using a photo and tracing an outline. 90% of the woodburners out there actually trace quite a bit onto the wood. 

To a finished product!

so there it is, from what tools I use to a finished product. Still time consuming when you look at the something the size of a pencil point and working on something that is 20" x 27" in size! 



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