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Pyrography Wood Burning Art


 
The Art of burning or branding wood or even leather to create works of art. The art can take a simple form or be complex pieces.  
Pyrography 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.
Pyrography means "writing with fire" and is the traditional art of using a heated tip or wire to burn or scorch designs onto natural materials such as wood or leather. Burning can be done by means of a modern solid-point tool (similar to a soldering iron) or hot wire tool, or a more basic method using a metal implement heated in a fire, or even sunlight concentrated with a magnifying lens.
This allows a great range of natural tones and shades to be achieved - beautiful subtle effects can create a picture in sepia tones, or strong dark strokes can make a bold, dramatic design. Varying the type of tip used, the temperature, or the way the iron is applied to the material all create different effects. Solid-point machines offer a variety of tip shapes, and can also be used for "branding" the wood or leather. Wire-point machines allow the artist to shape the wire into a variety of configurations, to achieve broad marks or fine lines. This work is time-consuming, done entirely by hand, with each line of a complex design drawn individually. After the design is burned in, wooden objects are often coloured, sometimes boldly or more delicately tinted.
Light-coloured hardwoods such as sycamore, basswood, beech and birch are most commonly used, as their fine grain is not obtrusive, and they produce the most pleasing contrast. However, other woods, such as pine or oak, are also used when required. 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. Examples of pyrography can be seen at
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.
[edit]History

The process has been practiced by a number of cultures including the Egyptians and some African tribes since the dawn of recorded time. 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. This improved the pokerwork process by allowing the addition of tinting and shading that previously were impossible. In the early 20th century, the development of the electric pyrographic hot wire wood etching machine further automated the pokerwork process. Pyrography is also a traditional folk art in many European countries, including Romania, Hungary, as well as countries such as Argentina in South America. Since 1997 on the base of woodcarver online magazine (WOM) was established unique resource devoted to pyrography from around the world - PYROGRAFFITIE and also the international Museum of Pyrographic Art. The founder of these resources is a pyrography artist Kathleen M. Garvey Menéndez. The E-Museum of Pyrographic Art is not intended as a commercial enterprise, the E-Museum is a unique cultural resource designed to bring pyrographic art to artists, specialists, collectors and connoisseurs.
In March of 1998 was formed the International Association of Pyrographic Artists (IAPA) and members began meeting on line. Linked from the E-Museum's Café Flambé, which hosts the IAPA meetings, is the Yahoo Groups uniting_pyrographers mailing list, member list, and chat forum set up by IAPA Co-founder Mixo Sydenham of Australia for IAPA members.

 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 

 




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