View Full Version : Playing with fire... sort of

David E Keller
02-07-2011, 8:40 PM
After seeing some of the pyro work posted here and elsewhere, I stopped in Hobby Lobby and bought the cheapest woodburning kit they had. I've got all of about $20 invested in my setup, but I didn't want to drop a fortune on a new tool only to find out that I hated the process. After playing with it for a bit, I think I like pyrography... I'm still not convinced that I need to upgrade, but I'm sure that comes with time and experience.

Here are a couple of shots of a finished piece and one of a practice doodle. Both are bradford pear and finished only with BLO at this point. The vase form is about 4 or 5 inches tall with a blackwood collar. I used a little India ink to darken the stippled areas.

Comments, criticism, and advice greatly appreciated. I'd love to know about any online tutorials for pyrography techniques that may exist, too.

David Warkentin
02-07-2011, 8:46 PM
Hey that looks great!

Roger Chandler
02-07-2011, 8:47 PM
Well, we have another "R......teeeest" among us! Nice work, Doc!!! I think you did great for your first...........that would be good for your 50th! Love that bradford pear HF!

Michael James
02-07-2011, 8:52 PM
My God, man... you have the hands of a surgeon!!!!! Nice work, and I love the hanging tire..... where did those days go???
Thanks for posting! I'll try to catch up to you guys in a yr or 2.

John Keeton
02-07-2011, 9:00 PM
Nice work, David, and that top shot of the vase form is really neat!! I think you have found a niche!

Greg Just
02-07-2011, 9:03 PM
Very nice David. I have started experimenting with burning and like you I think I like it. I really like that shot from the top.

Greg Ketell
02-07-2011, 9:08 PM
Wow. That is really nice. Not even considering it is your first attempts, that is Really nice!!

Ken Glass
02-07-2011, 9:11 PM
Let's see.....does this make you a pyromaniac, nah, just a guy with some great artistic talent. Must be that steady surgeons hand at work. I like both pieces, but the Bradford Pear is really nice. Well done.

Curt Fuller
02-07-2011, 9:22 PM
I really like the vase with the leaf design around the opening. I like burning when it's used to create a design or pattern like that. As for the other, I'm just not as big a fan of the picture burned onto the wood style of burning. Everyone starts somewhere though and I'm sure both are much better than I could do. I expect in a few more practice runs we'll all be going 'oooh and ahhhh'.

Jim Burr
02-07-2011, 9:33 PM
Ya know...if you weren't and MD your hands wouldn't be that good...look at mine!! Just upgrade and get it over with...your a natural!!

Steve Vaughan
02-07-2011, 9:59 PM
David, those are great works there and someone will be very lucky to have 'em. Good work on both of them!

Wally Dickerman
02-07-2011, 10:09 PM
That's your first attempt at burning? Terrific!. A few thoughts....you can get by with 2 or 3 pens but you'll get more. To avoid over-burning spots when using the skew, use the pen like an airplane landing and taking off. Razertip makes some great ball tipped pens for texturing. Different pens will use a different amount of heat so be aware of that. The pen gets hot so I use a golf glove when burning. Helps a little. I have 2 each of my most used pens so I can switch off. I have perhaps a dozen pens but seldom use most of them...sort of like turning tools. I have at least 50 and most gather dust.

There are some good books out on pyrography. I found that it helped to get at least one.

Pyrography is fun. You're obviously an artistic guy so you'll do well. Makes a lot of smoke as you've found out, so use a fan to take it away.


David E Keller
02-07-2011, 10:41 PM
Thanks to all for the kind words of encouragement.

Wally, you have to know that your work is a major inspiration for this kind of embellishment... In fact, the backside of the 'tire swing' doodle has an area of where I tried to mimic your signature giraffe pattern. My result was less than stellar, and that's a pretty kind assessment. Thanks for the tip on the skew. Any particular book that you feel would be appropriate for a pyro newbie?

charlie knighton
02-07-2011, 10:51 PM
very nice, thanks for sharing

Baxter Smith
02-07-2011, 11:02 PM
That is impressive! The vase looks great.

Bernie Weishapl
02-07-2011, 11:03 PM
That is really nice David. Looks like you got the bug like I did.

Richard Madden
02-08-2011, 12:05 AM
I wish you guys would cut this out. Now I've got to go down the basement and find that cheap burner and practice.

Ron Stadler
02-08-2011, 12:57 AM
What everybody else David, They both look so nice.

Mark Hubl
02-08-2011, 1:17 AM
Nice David. It looks like your are the latest one to join the playing with fire club.

Steve Schlumpf
02-08-2011, 1:29 AM
Really like the vase and how you arranged the design around the opening! The design works well with the shape of the vase and they enhance each other! Looking forward to seeing where this leads you!

Tim Thiebaut
02-08-2011, 1:35 AM
Very nice, you certainly have a talent for this kind of work! I am not even going to think about getting into anything like this "yet"...I have enough to learn as it is and need to try and contain my focus a little here...

Harvey M. Taylor
02-08-2011, 2:50 AM
I think you got your money's worth out of that 20.00 burning setup. might try it for myself sometime. Max

Ray Bell
02-08-2011, 3:55 AM
Beautiful design, and execution. Nice work David.

Michelle Rich
02-08-2011, 8:14 AM
First time? You sure? you wouldn't be trying to fool us" wood" ya??? :-) Amazing first!

Tim Rinehart
02-08-2011, 9:00 AM
Geez man...the hits just keep on coming!! I like what you did on all those, you should start scoping out ebay for a nice used system, razertip or others. I got a nice deal on one...but haven't used it much except getting nieces/nephews to burn custom designs into ornaments this past Christmas ..now I'm inspired.