A beginners lesson in Pyrography
Preparing The Surface Of The Wood
For the following lessons, I will be using the Peter Child machine.
1) Choose the piece of wood that you are going to use, I recommend
sycamore or birch ply. Sycamore is light in colour and has a very small
difference in hardness between the grains, so that you can get a smooth
line. Birch ply is softer and cheaper which is good to use for our
pyrography practice lessons.
2) Get some fine sandpaper and work that up and down in the direction of
the grain. Try to run along the full length. I always sand my wooden
blanks even if they feel smooth.
3) After sanding I always keep the paper handy so that I can keep the
tip of my pen clean as I burn. Carbon deposits will build up on your pen
and gradually reduce the heat of the burning tip, so you need to keep it
Your First Lesson
Once you have prepared the wood it's time to use the pen! I would
recommend first experimenting with the heat settings. Practice drawing
lines with the heat settings from one upwards. You will notice that if
you move the pen quickly you will get a fine line, if you draw a line
more slowly the line will become darker.
When first practicing pyrography never think of your pen as a biro with
constant flow of ink. Try to get the point to arrive in contact with the
wood "as if t was an aircraft landing", then "take off" again. Practicing
this will eventually lead you to over come the 'dreaded black blob'!
Remember that whenever the point is in contact with the wood it will be
Get a piece of wood and draw six squares. Firstly turn your machine up
to a high setting, but not so hot as to produce too much smoke or set
your wood on fire! Practice on a square like the picture below.
Now continue to the
adding textures page.
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