I stumbled into woodburning by accident many years ago. Wood has always been a source of comfort for me, whether taking a peaceful stroll through the pines or tossing logs onto a crackling fire. During a difficult economic time, I gazed out the window at the surrounding forest and decided to try woodworking for extra income. I quickly realized that building furniture was out of the question due to my lacking mathematical skills, so I tried my hand at carving. My first carving turned out horrible, so I purchased a simple woodburning kit to “improve” the carving by burning accents. My woodcarving still looked awful, but I immediately fell in love with woodburning.
Thus began my career in pyrography. I began practicing on pieces of wood from the surrounding forest, then I made woodburned art as Christmas gifts. Since then I’ve taught myself the art of pyrography by constantly experimenting with new ideas, techniques, and subjects. I love learning new things and sought to challenge myself.
Five years after my first woodburning, I left my part-time job as a publisher and devoted my time to homeschooling and pyrography. I’ve since created several instructional DVDs for woodburning.
This book will focus on how to use simple and affordable tools to create realistic wildlife pyrography, but will also take you by the hand to learn the setup and basics as well. Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced artist this guide will help you on your own journey in pyrography.
Want to be an artist but don’t know where to start? Start with art! You don’t need a big studio. You don’t need expensive supplies. You don’t even need experience or “talent.” All you need is the desire to create art.
The art of pyrography has been around for thousands of years. However, recent advances in technology have made it easier than ever for artists and hobbyists alike to create fun and fantastic woodburned art. Whether you want to make simple plaques and signs or realistic pet portraits, woodburning can be a rewarding pastime.
As with all good things, pyrography takes time. In this fast-paced world, it’s satisfying and enlightening to watch a piece of art slowly blossom before you. Many artists, myself included, find woodburning to be very calming; it can help bring a sense of peace into our hectic lives.
Whenever you learn any new artform, be patient with yourself. Don’t be afraid of the learning curve, but rather embrace the joy and discovery of acquiring new knowledge.
Mountain Lion. My first woodburning project
CHAPTER 1: GALLERY
Bald Eagle. Basswood, colored pencils; H. 6″ W. 5″ (from photo by Chris Allesbrook)
Standing Grizzly Bear. Basswood, colored pencils; H. 11″ W. 9″ (from photo by Diana Grant)
Butterfly. Basswood, acrylics; H. 5 1/4″ W. 4″ (from photo by Karen Broemmelsick)
Kingfisher. Basswood, colored pencils; H. 11″ W. 14″ (from photo by Gary Jones)
I love the challenge of burning large pieces. Adding small details to a large piece is the fun part... However, the tough part is staying motivated when burning that much surface area. It’s easy to become overwhelmed!
I try to focus on completing one area at a time, instead of bouncing around from one place to another. It allows me to see more progress, more quickly. But there are times when I get “burned out” on a particular area and will switch to a different part of the piece for a rejuvenating change of pace.
Horse Portrait. Basswood, colored pencils; H. 7″ W. 5″ (from photo by Ainslie Gilles-Patel)
Bighorn Sheep. Basswood, colored pencils; H. 9″ W. 10″ (from photo by Lorraine Logan)
White Wolf. Basswood, colored pencils; H. 10″ W. 8″ (from photo by Edwin Butter)
Colorful Barn Owl. Basswood, colored pencils, watercolors; H. 7″ W. 5″ (from photo by Chris Allsebrook)
Buck. Basswood, colored pencils; H. 16″ W. 12″ (from photo by Nelson Kenter)
Tiger Portrait. Basswood, colored pencils; H. 3 1/2″ W. 3 1/2″ (from photo by Chris Allsebrook)