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Pyrography is derived from the Greek words pur (meaning fire) and graphos (meaning writing).
In Europe, Asia, Australia and America pyrography was used to decorate artifacts such musical instruments and kitchenware. In Europe the use of pyrography is thought to have appeared in the medieval and renaissance periods. The Great Masters were thought to have used pyrography to decorate wainscots, although this has not been substantiated.
In Victorian times it became more popular, being accepted as an art form called pokerwork. This because they would have used a charcoal stove with holes all the way round into which pokers of various sizes and shapes were heated. A constant temperature had to be maintained and heat control was letting the poker cool down! The standard of some of the work done at this time was remarkably high considering such crude tools were used ...
He also includes his experiences with different types of wood at the above link.
• Sand the board down to at least 220 grit. You may have to start with a rougher paper (60, 80, 100, or 150 grit or all of the then in progression) to get the board in shape for the final sanding
• After it’s sanded to 220 grit, wet out the wood. Only do this on solid wood, never wet out plywood as it might buckle. To wet out, take a very wet sponge and wipe it over the sanded surface of the wood. The goal is to get the wood wet, but not dripping, it should feel damp to the fingers. Place the wood someplace to dry for a few hours.
• After it’s dry, sand again with 220 grit sandpaper. It should feel very smooth at this point.
The board is now ready for use. The purpose for the wet sanding is to bring up the grain, or nap, so that during the second sanding it gets removed resulting in an ultra-smooth board to burn on. Smoother surfaces enable the tips to glide across them easier and allow for finer detail in your artwork. Also, if you plan to seal the work, it will help prevent the nap from raising when you do and thereby avoid it getting ‘fuzzy’ in the process of applying the sealant....
originally posted by: skalla
a reply to: blend57
Ha, cool! I bought a super cheap pyro iron a few weeks ago and have gradually found more time to use it the past few days. One of the soldering iron types with screw-in tips.
Tried it on wood a little at first, on end grain ash which burnt irregularly and i have a bunch of birch to try (a favoured wood so i read) but have not prepared any yet.
I done a lot of bone and antler in the last few days though and i'm loving it. Slow but seriously engaging.
Post some work!
originally posted by: Night Star
Oh, I remember wood burning kits sold when I was a kid. They were fun! I am looking forward to seeing your work!