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Choobsooz2.jpg
Choobsooz.jpg
Pyrography artwork of the Mona Lisa
1968 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Pyrography by BTJPyro.com
The White Horse. Pyrography on Poplar Wood
The Tawny Eagle. Davide Della Noce pyrography

Pyrography or pyrogravure is the art of decorating wood or other materials with burn marks resulting from the controlled application of a heated object such as a poker. It is also known as pokerwork or wood burning.

The term means "writing with fire", from the Greek pur (fire) and graphos (writing).[1] It can be practiced using specialized modern pyrography tools, or using a metal implement heated in a fire, or even sunlight concentrated with a magnifying lens. "Pyrography dates from the 17th century and reached its highest standard in the 19th century. In its crude form it is pokerwork." [2]

A large range of tones and shades can be achieved. Varying the type of tip used, the temperature, or the way the iron is applied to the material all create different effects. After the design is burned in, wooden objects are often coloured. Light-coloured hardwoods such as sycamore, basswood, beech and birch are most commonly used, as their fine grain is not obtrusive. However, other woods, such as pine or oak, are also used. Pyrography is also applied to leather items, using the same hot-iron technique. Leather lends itself to bold designs, and also allows very subtle shading to be achieved. Specialist vegetable-tanned leather must be used for pyrography (as modern tanning methods leave chemicals in the leather which are toxic when burned), typically in light colours for good contrast.

Pyrography is also popular among gourd crafters and artists, where designs are burned onto the exterior of a dried hard-shell gourd, usually with dramatic results[citation needed].

History[edit]

The process has been practiced by a number of cultures including the Egyptians and some African tribes since the dawn of recorded history. Pyrographer Robert Boyer hypothesises that the art form dates back to prehistory, when early humans created designs using the charred remains of their fires.[3] It was known in China from the time of the Han dynasty, where it was known as "Fire Needle Embroidery".[4] During the Victorian era, the invention of pyrography machines sparked a widespread interest in the craft, and it was at this time that the term "pyrography" was coined (previously the name "pokerwork" had been most widely used)[5] In the late 19th century, a Melbourne architect by the name of Alfred Smart discovered that water-based paint could be applied hot to wood by pumping benzoline fumes through a heated hollow platinum pencil.[6] This improved the pokerwork process by allowing the addition of tinting and shading that were previously impossible. In the early 20th century, the development of the electric pyrographic hot wire wood etching machine further automated the pokerwork process, and Art Nouveau pyrographic gloveboxes and other works were popular in that era. Pyrography is a traditional folk art in many parts of Europe, including Romania, Hungary and Flanders, as well as Argentina and other areas in South America.

Equipment[edit]

Traditional pyrography can be performed using any heated metal implement. Modern pyrography machines exist, and can be divided into three main categories.

Solid-point burners[edit]

Solid-point burners are similar in design to a soldering iron. They have a solid brass tip which is heated by an electrical element, and operate at a fixed temperature.

Wire-nib burners[edit]

Wire-nib burners have variable temperature controls. The writing nib is heated by an electrical current passing directly through it. Some models have interchangeable nibs to allow for different effects.[7]

Laser cutters[edit]

Laser cutters can be set to scorch the material instead of cutting all the way through it. Many laser cutters provide software facilities to import image files and transfer them onto a sheet of wood. Some laser systems are sufficiently sensitive to perform pyrography on thin card or even paper.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marianne Podgorski; Before You Pick Up That Nib: Wood Burning 101, p7 ISBN 978-0-557-05114-4
  2. ^ "Pyrography." Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. London: Chambers Harrap, 2012. Credo Reference. Web. 2 Mar 2015.
  3. ^ Boyer, R; The Amazing Art of Pyrography, Evanston 1993, ISBN 978-1-879260-12-2
  4. ^ China Culture - pyrography
  5. ^ Walkabout Crafts - pyrography
  6. ^ Carter, Julie; With Mellow Shades and Character Made: The Richness of Australian Pokerwork in Carter's Antiques and Collectables Magazine, Sept 2000
  7. ^ Walters, S; Pyrography Workbook: A Complete Guide to the Art of Woodburning Fox Chapel 2005 p13-14 ISBN 978-1-56523-258-7

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrography — Please support Wikipedia.
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1478 news items

 
Alberni Valley Times
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 02:18:45 -0800

Merging Visions is the title of the next art exhibit at the Rollin Art Centre featuring two artists, Kelly Carter and Karen Gamble, which combines photography and pyrography. This exhibit begins March 10 and runs until April 4. Join us in the gallery ...
 
Alberni Valley News
Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:47:36 -0700

“Merging Visions” is the title of the current art exhibit at the Rollin Art Centre featuring two artists, Kelly Carter and Karen Gamble, who combine photography and pyrography. This exhibit runs until April 4. Join us in the gallery, this Saturday ...

Southwest Virginia Today

Southwest Virginia Today
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 10:37:30 -0700

Minix has a fascination with fire, and since she cannot bring the fire directly to a gallery, she says “my pieces use the closest thing possible– pyrography or fire writing.” By burning these designs into bones she says her artwork “serves to exist ...
 
Alberni Valley Times
Wed, 01 Apr 2015 03:52:30 -0700

This joint exhibit highlights photography by Karen Gamble and pyrography by Kelly Carter. Fraternal Order of Eagles Ladies Auxiliary afternoon jams every Thursday, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., at 3561 Third Ave. Sports CONNECT A Parent Program meets on ...

Patch.com

Patch.com
Sat, 28 Mar 2015 02:56:15 -0700

This event will showcase a fantastic mix of handmade items including pyrography (writing with fire) on wood, handcrafted birdhouses, hand painted silk scarfs, inspirational wall art, textiles handcrafted using alpaca fibers, ceramic tile art, sea glass ...

OCRegister

OCRegister
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 11:00:00 -0700

Rich Mirman, publisher and CEO of the Orange County Register, chats with eight-graders Mason Chaves, left, and Tristan Gomez during Lori Spiak's art class at Pioneer Middle School in Tustin. The students explain their pyrography project, a nameplate in ...

Visual News

Visual News
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 09:52:30 -0700

We have seen many beautiful pyrography works before, but normally they appear on wood with a laser flame device. Korean artist Jihyun Park uses an art tool that you might never expect: incense sticks. And rather than etching his flames into wood, he ...

Statesman Journal

Statesman Journal
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 11:51:38 -0700

This year's featured artist is Lou Wakefield, who creates carvings, pyrography and intarsia. For information on the free show, call (503) 507-5875. cwright2@Statesman Journal.com, (503) 399-6671, find her online at Twitter.com/CarleeWrightSJ and ...
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