This post entry is to give my personal view and the first experience with the pyrography kit which I bought and used recently to create the latest two pieces of artworks.
The kit that I bought is a standard pack which comes with a wood-burning pen, 7 types of interchangeable tips stored in a sealed plastic tube and a universal stand to hold the iron safely when it is hot. The price is reasonable and affordable to a beginner level whom intends to pick up the technique.
Beforehand, I discovered pyrography through some distinctive wood-burning crafts out there. They look just so nice and beautiful and really fascinating me utterly. One of the impressive works that I saw was on a menu signboard in Baristas Café – a café which I used to hang out over weekend for their delicious Caramel Latte that specially topped with a sprinkle of salt (my super fave).
The menu with different size and pattern of alphabets is etched nicely on a wooden panel and hanging on the wall for customer reference. From the incredibly organised workmanship, I guess it was done by a machine. I believe handmade would give another taste of delightfulness for pyrography. And, so I bought the kit to prove that! 😀
From my last experience of pyrography, after attaching the tip to the barrel with a plier and plugging the tool into an electrical outlet on my working desk, it took around 10mins to get the iron up to its temperature and it was really really hot.
I remembered there was once I changed the tip and left the previous one in a stainless steel tray with the rest of other tips. Then I forgot that was still hot – I picked the burning tip with my right thumb and first finger. As a consequence… YES, I burnt my fingers but thanks God, it was only a very slight burnt on the surface of skin as I quickly chucked it back into the tray as soon as I discovered it was still hot. I feel lucky that my painful experience with the hot glue (both of my palms were terribly injured by hot glue in one of the commission works in 2014) does not reoccur again in this incident.
Holding the pen and letting the hot tip to work on a wooden panel is just as simple as you draw on a piece of paper except it required some effort if the panel is made of hardwood.
My first piece was done on a Paulownia lumber. It’s light but strong and the surface was easily etched. So it’s quite enjoying and relaxing, taking less time to complete the drawing.
However, the second piece was done on a 4-layers plywood. I’m not sure what type of lumber it is made of. The surface required some effort to etch. Thereby it took me utterly lengthy of time to accomplish. In addition, the length that extends from the edge of rubber holder to the tip is a bit longer plus couldn’t grasp the holder too close to the edge because you can still feel the heat. Hence, I have to grasp at higher part which caused my hand really tired after worked out the piece for hours.
I’m wondering is there any way that could help to grasp the holder lower but not burn the hand? Any useful and constructive proposal or idea is welcomed.
Oh yay, there is one more cautionary note here – let the pen do the work without giving too much force as it will easily bend the tip. Thanks to my impetuousness, I had bent my first tip once in my first trial. What I did to save the tip is, applying an equivalent force to the opposite side of the bent tip when it is hot so to bend it back. Whether it could recover back to the original shape or not is all likely depended on one’s skill. 😉
I do not apply shellac or vanish or any other protective oil to my work so far. Probably on someday when I think I want to apply them.
After these two trials, I think I’m hooked with this art. I’m going to explore more and produce more Pyrography work in next adventure. I’m excited about it. I can’t wait. 😉