I recently finished this Clockwork Owl – my first pyrography project. I wanted to get into pyrography because the medium has always attracted me and it’s versatile. Pyrography can be done on many different substrates, like wood, bone, leather, almost anything that changes state when heat is applied to it. It’s best to choose a substrate that doesn’t melt, off-gas anything dangerous when burned, or damage the heated tip of the woodburning tool. I also did a few small experiments and found that it doesn’t work well at all to burn into acrylic paint. It works better to plan to apply paint after the woodburning is completed.
I woodburned this Clockwork Owl into a pine board and added some color accents with acrylic paint. It takes some patience because moving the wooburning tool too fast over the wood cools it down and makes it not burn as well. I also ended up straining a tendon in my thumb, but nothing a little ibuprofen and 24 hours couldn’t take care of… Woodburning uses a different set of muscles than drawing, at least the way I did it. Hopefully, with more practice I will learn to some techniques that will make it easier. I really enjoy the challenge of attempting to work in new media.