Pyrography is the art of imprinting designs on wood using fire. While this can be accomplished with heated metal brands or even a magnifying glass and sunlight, most modern pyrographers use a wood burning pen, a hand-held device with replaceable wire or metal tips which heat up, allowing the user to draw or write on the wood. Imprinting letters may be accomplished freehand or following a pattern with a wood burning pen using a calligraphy tip.
Things You'll Need
- Wood blank
- Fine sandpaper
- Stencils or hand-drawn pattern
- Colored pen
- Carbon paper
- Wood burning pen
- Calligraphy tip
Sand the wood blank to a smooth surface. A rough surface makes it difficult to make smooth strokes with the wood burning pen.
Make a pattern of the writing you wish to imprint by drawing it on a piece of paper in pencil. Transfer the pattern by placing carbon paper between the wood and the paper pattern, tape everything in place and draw over the pattern with a colored ball point pen. Alternately, use stencils to draw letters directly on the wood with a pencil.
Remove the pattern and carbon paper. Place a calligraphy tip on the wood burning pen and plug it in. Set the pen's temperature to the appropriate level for the wood you are imprinting -- cooler for softwoods and hotter for hardwoods.
Follow the pattern on the wood with the tip of the wood burning pen, using a slow, steady stroke. Do not push the tip hard against the wood; it's the speed of the stroke which determines the depth and darkness of the burn, not the pressure. A slow stroke makes a deep, dark line and a faster stroke makes a lighter, finer line.
Sand the completed wood project to remove any remaining pencil lines from the pattern. Stain and varnish the wood to protect it and add color and shine.