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Wood Burning Basics

Updated on August 23, 2011

Collection of Driftwood

Wood Burning Basics

Now that you have a burner and some wood to torch, what are you to do with it? It is most useful to get to know what you are playing with. Consider yourself an explorer as you proceed.

First it is good to know how long it really takes for your iron to heat. I have found that it can differ from tool to tool. Always time yours so you know the answer. Another thing to think about is the exact piece of wood you will be working. Some wood is harder than others and so it will take longer to make a burn mark on it.

You should try testing your iron on a spot that will go unnoticed to see how the wood burns. This can be done on the back of your work, or you can make marks that will be used in the final drawing. Just be careful before you start burning, think about what you would like to achieve. It is near impossible to remove an unwanted mark.

I strongly suggest that you put in as much time as you can on practice wood. This is the best way to develop your talent as a pyrographic maniac. I know I am still learning and I have 40+ years of experience. Have fun experimenting.

Practice, Practice, Practice, Wood Burning

The best way to get really good at something is to do it a lot. The reputation will teach you as you gain comfort and understanding of the tools and materials. Wood burning is no different. The more ways you learn to use the pen when applying it to different kinds of wood, the more experience you gain. When you begin producing finished works of art the results of your efforts will show in the final product.

You can burn on many different types of wood and other materials such as leather, plywood, wax and pyrographic paper that you can purchase. Give them all a try if you like. You might discover a specific medium you prefer to work with. I enjoy working with driftwood because of the unique shapes that you find it in. The wood itself is almost a work of art. I wrote an article that deals strictly with where to find free wood and I would suggest reading this hub if you plan to pursue pyrography.


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    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Marisa Wright 9 years ago from Sydney

      Welcome to HubPages! My family used to call these bits of driftwood "Bunty Dixons", after a friend of ours who had a passion for picking them up off the beach. I hope you'll include some photos of the finished product on some of your other Hubs!