Looking for a way to slow down, you say? Look no further! Give wood image burning (Pyrography) a try. Pyrography involves hot things and tracing lines which requires focus and a moderately steady hand. As a self-proclaimed impatient person, I had a lot of fun with this DIY. Even though it took FOREVER, it was a lot of fun, and I look forward to doing it again.
Seriously though, I imagined it would be a much faster process. Instead, it required me to slow down, focus, and breathe. These are all good things, especially in today’s way too faced paced world and with my uber restless hands. So, if you have not tried wood burning before, just be prepared.
The design I chose to wood burn was the Seed of Life which is a sacred symbol. I won’t bore you with the details of what it is, because you can just Google it. Geometrical and symmetrical patterns are really beautiful to me and since it’s a line drawing it makes for a good wood burning image.
When doing the actual burning, it isn’t like carving. It’s more like shading, which I find to be very zen and meditative. When shading, you have to pay attention to how hard you’re pressing, and with tracing, you have to pay close attention to the lines and the tip of your tracing utensil, which in this case is the wood burning tool. It took me a minute to get a good feel for the tool, but since I didn’t totally botch things up my first try, I would say it isn’t too difficult.
How To Get Wood Burning Started
Special notes: 1. This tool gets HOT… really hot. I burned myself. Don’t burn yourself. Be careful. 2. I suggest getting a feel for the tool using the backside of your wood piece before you jump into your design.
- First, find a fairly simple image you want to burn into wood. I chose the sacred symbol, the Seed of Life. I actually used a math compass to create the image and then transferred it, but save yourself the time and energy and print it out.
- Before you start transferring your image, go ahead and plug in your wood burning tool as it takes some time to heat up. Then, cut your image out and place a sheet of transfer paper in between your image (image side up) and the wood and then trace the image.
- Hopefully you’ll have a decent image on your wood that you can then trace along with your wood burning tool.
- I used just the basic tip, as seen in the picture. As I went along tracing the image, it isn’t like you’re carving into the wood. It is more like shading with a crayon… which is why it takes awhile to get deep or dark lines. If the tip sits in one place for too long (i.e. 0.5 seconds) it will leave a round mark, so keep that thing moving. I also recommend starting light and then going over the lines multiple times, opposed to trying to get a thick dark line in one pass.
And that’s all there is to it! Once you finish, do a little dance, definitely do some stretching because odds are you were sitting hunched over for awhile. Take a picture of it and then share your fine craftsmanship with the social media world. I think this makes us woodworkers now.
You can find more of Sabrina Shelby’s DIY projects at The Active Koala.
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This post was created with the help of Grammarly.