Big Book of Pyrography Projects
Published by Fox Chapel Publishing Co. Inc., East Petersburg PA USA
As reviewed in The Australian Woodworker Issue 192
Comparing a woodworking exhibition today with one of, say, 20 years ago, would reveal a vast change in the use and importance of decoration. Carving, piercing, colouration, embellishment and pyrography are now common. From the viewpoint of the woodworker, each of these is a separate discipline with its own specialised techniques and armoury of tools, and each is used as one of the contributors to an end result.
But all of them are crafts in their own right, capable of being used alone to express an artistic idea.
The Big Book of Pyrography Projects is principally concerned with this specific craft as an art form. However, it pursues the subject not only through a series of projects presented in the conventional manner, but also through a number that combine the project with an instructive article that addresses a particular aspect of the work.
Eighteen pyrographers contributed to the book, many of them having already achieved wide recognition.
The book starts with a gallery aptly titled Inspiration. Many of the pieces shown are stunning; they range from portraits and landscapes to decorated items such as a hollow form vessel, several walking canes and, remarkably, an entire wooden table.
The first of the projects is a Winter Birdhouse - a delicate scene which can be created with only three woodburning nibs. The instructions cover seven pages and include a line drawing for the image, some 30 stage-by-stage photographs and accompanying text.
The four projects that follow, a Celtic Border Plate, a depiction of a Small (water) Mill, Somewhere West of Laramie (a horse drinking) and Soothing Sea Shells, are given less detailed treatment - a line drawing plus a short description of the work, emphasising critical points, tools used etc.
Creating a Reflection is the first of the project-articles, made more challenging than a normal burn by the reflection of the duck in the water.
A scene centred on a Whitetail Deer is also given more extensive treatment, then Woodburning Winter Scenes is another project-article that focuses on a specific skill set used to achieve the impression of cold snow despite the warmth of sepia toned wood burning.
The remaining projects (of the total of 23) include: Cool Case for Mobile Devices, Decorative Light Switch Cover, Embellishing Beads, Burning Wooden Bangles, Techniques of Burning Cork, Making Scrapbook Tags, Pyrography on Canvas, Creating a Gourd Basket, Zentangle-style Leather Coasters, and Burning a Classic Leather Mouse Pad.
The final 21 pages of the book are devoted to 9 articles that range from Building a Basic Pyrography Kit, and guidance Before You Burn, to Pattern Making Made Easy and Making Patterns from Multiple Photos.
The Book, which was assembled by the editors of the (US) Pyrography Magazine, should appeal to anyone interested in developing the skills necessary to use the craft for art works or decoration.
This book uses both wire nib and solid point pyrography machine.
Photos - Colour