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  • Pyrography 101 tutorials

    For those of you who are new to pyrography and interested I have some tutorials on my website and just updated some of it yesterday with more information on safety.

    If you are interested it's at: http://nedraspyrography.com
    Click on the link for "Pyrography 101" and there are several tutorials. For those of you who have already perused them, the ones I updated are "tips n tricks" and "Material and safety".

    Enjoy! Bouncing S

    Nedra

  • #2
    Re: Pyrography 101 tutorials

    Thumbs Up Good Job Nedra!
    Kathy

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Pyrography 101 tutorials

      Thanks for pointing out your help pages. There's a lot of very valuable information there. Wish I'd read through it before I started.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Pyrography 101 tutorials

        The tutorials are fairly new. I started working on them a long time ago but never had time to do anything with them until I had surgery in November. I was home for 6 weeks recouperating so once I had the ok from the doctor to be sitting up I started working on them. I think I finally got them published in sometime in December but have updated them several times since then. I extracted some of the information from my books but the books are more comprehensive.

        My goal was to hit people before they start burning so perhaps they can get off to the right start. Often times by the time they buy books they have already been burning and have become frustrated. Maybe the tutorials will help!Matrix

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        • #5
          Re: Pyrography 101 tutorials

          Hi I am still a relative newbe to pyrography but am a very quick learner so am finding these posts extremely informative especially about the use of photos and manipulating them for pyrographical use. thanks

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Pyrography 101 tutorials ~ What 2 Do First

            Originally posted by Pyrographer View Post
            For those of you who are new to pyrography and interested I have some tutorials on my website and just updated some of it yesterday with more information on safety.

            If you are interested it's at: Gourd, Pyrography and Woodcarving Art and Supplies
            Click on the link for "Pyrography 101" and there are several tutorials. For those of you who have already perused them, the ones I updated are "tips n tricks" and "Material and safety".

            Enjoy! Bouncing S

            Nedra

            Hi Nedra ( Newbie Here )

            Got some questions please.

            What is the best way to do this as far as painting my carving(s)

            Should I paint first and burn over my paint wash

            Or should I burn first and then paint and then paint my carving(s)

            When I burn first and then paint over the burn the burn looses its sharpness.
            But when I paint first and then burn I get my pen of clog-up with the water color paint.

            Nedra how woooood you handle painting a carving and burning

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            • #7
              Re: Pyrography 101 tutorials ~ What 2 Do First

              Originally posted by schooner View Post
              Hi Nedra ( Newbie Here )

              Got some questions please.

              What is the best way to do this as far as painting my carving(s)

              Should I paint first and burn over my paint wash

              Or should I burn first and then paint and then paint my carving(s)

              When I burn first and then paint over the burn the burn looses its sharpness.
              But when I paint first and then burn I get my pen of clog-up with the water color paint.

              Nedra how woooood you handle painting a carving and burning
              Schooner, as I state in my tutorials NEVER burn over anything but raw unfinished, unstained and unpainted surfaces. I don't usually paint my burnings (except gourds) but if I am painting I do not paint over burned areas. As you are seeing you can ruin your pens, not to mention get sick from burning through paint....maybe not now but down the road.

              I continue to get calls from people thanking me for taking such a strong stand on material safety when burning on my tutorials. Most recent from someone who suffered permanent brain damage over 30 years later after exposure. He isn't a customer or anything just someone who was surfing for a hobby and found my site and the tutorials. We talked for a very long time and I have to admit that I was quite touched by his call and listening to his story.

              Nedra

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              • #8
                Re: Pyrography 101 tutorials ~ What 2 Do First

                Originally posted by schooner View Post
                Hi Nedra ( Newbie Here )

                When I burn first and then paint over the burn the burn looses its sharpness.
                But when I paint first and then burn I get my pen of clog-up with the water color paint.
                Schooner ... I agree totally with Nedra in not burnig over any paint, wood stain or finishing product. Do your burning directly to the wood then add any coloring and finishing to the project.

                If you are using watercolors over your burnings and you are losing the crisp tones of the burning you most likely are using your watercolors to thick or you are using craft quality paints instead of artist quality paints.

                Craft quality paints, acrylics and colored pencils often have 'cheap' additives in them that keep the cost of manufacturing down. Those same additives also tend to cause your colors to have a semi-opaque or cloudy look to them.

                As an example the color pencil sets that you buy at the office supply store or drug store have chalk in them where artist quality pencils are wax based. The wax is more expensive but also transparent so when applied to your wood burnings you get clean transparent colors instead of chalky build-up.

                Artist acrylics in the primary colors - cadium red medium, ultramarine blue and cadmium yellow - are pure color tones that are extremely transparent. In craft colors the colors that come in the same name have a white-gray color base to them. They are much more opaque. Even when you add water to craft quality paints they have a clouding effect ... that's because you are only thinning down the white-gray base not removing it. Think of thinning milk with water ... even thinned it still is 'milky"!

                With artist quality watercolors you can really thin the color down. I usually do a simple test ... I thin my colors with water in a small watercolor tray which has a series of small divided pans. Then I load my brush and paint several strokes over a sheet of newspaper. I can tell how transparent the color has become by how well I can read the newsprint. If the print becomes cloudy from the color I need to add more water to my mix.

                Several extremely thin coats of artist quality watercolors will develop a rich color tone with no clouding or milky look.

                Artist quality colors do cost more ... but what have you lost in cost by ruining even one good woodburning by using the cheaper craft paints?

                Susan
                Lora

                Art Designs Studio: https://www.artdesignsstudio.com/
                LSIrish.com: https://www.lsirish.com/
                CarvingPatterns.com: https://www.carvingpatterns.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Pyrography 101 tutorials

                  Susan is right on. Personally I don't use water color paint. I used to paint with oils (on canvas not wood) but developed an allergy to linseed oil. I switched to acrylics and many years ago discovered Jo Sonja. I love the product and use it now on my gourds although I did use some of it on one of my maple burl burnings this year and loved the effect. I actually used just a base color and mixed in Generation Green Colorant to create my own color and thinned it so it was transparent. The beautiful swirling of the burl showed through creating the pattern on the bandana's.

                  Nedra

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                  • #10
                    Re: Pyrography 101 tutorials

                    Greetings, I am another newbie and am hoping for some advice on tools. I have a Black and Decker 2 temp (900 degrees max) burner with the standard solid tips. I am wondering if I need the wire tip style burner instead?
                    And (forgive my ignorance) what is the difference between a "fixed" tip burner and the other type??

                    Thanks for any help you can give!
                    Michele

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Pyrography 101 tutorials

                      Hey Michelle, welcome!

                      Many of us started with a one temp tool and you can do wonderful burnings with them. With one temp tools you do not get the range of sepia tones that you can from a variable temp set up so let's look at a few quick ideas to give your burnings the most depth of color.

                      1. Keep your tool tips very clean - a clean tip makes a clean burned line. You can use emory cloth (extremely fine sand paper), foam padded fine grit nail files, steel wool or a leather strop and rouge.

                      2. Do your palest burns just as the tool begins to heat. This way you can take advantage of the lower temperature to create the soft mid-tone colors. I will unplug my one temp and let it cool down so that I can continue working at the low temp of the tool heating up.

                      3. As the tool reaches full heat move to your darker areas.

                      4. How quickly you move your tool across the wood can determine the darkness of your lines. Quick, smooth movements do not give the tool time to burn the wood to the dark tones. Slower movements allow the burn to deepen in tone.

                      5. Try a texture for pale and mid-tone areas as cross hatching. The fine lines of cross hatching capture unburned areas between the lines. The farther apart the lines are the more white from the wood shows and so the area appears paler in color.

                      6. Avoid holding your tool against the wood to burn the black areas. This can cause haloing where the wood surrounding the tool tip gets scorched and appears a darker tone that the unburned wood. Instead touch-and-lift the tool tip to create tightly packed small dots.

                      That should get you started with the tool that you have. Then in a very quick time you will know if you are as addicted to wood burning as the rest of us. That's when you go for a variable temp set up.

                      Now ... Big Grin ... when you do invest in your variable temp don't throw that one temp tool away. I still am surprised at how often the one temp tool gets used around the studio!

                      Fixed tipped tools refer to tools where the wire tips and handle are one solid piece. This is what you want for those tips that you know that you will be using over and over again as they give a strong constant heat.

                      Interchangeable tip tools come in several styles depending on the company. I prefer Colwood interchangeable tips system as they have an easy to use male/female plug system that just snaps into place. Interchangeables have the wire tip and handle separate so that different tips can be used in one handle.

                      Interchangeables, in my opinion, are an excellent option for trying out new wire tips that you either have not used or may not use that often. The cost tends to be lower so it means you can have a large variety of tips without the high cost.

                      Susan
                      Lora

                      Art Designs Studio: https://www.artdesignsstudio.com/
                      LSIrish.com: https://www.lsirish.com/
                      CarvingPatterns.com: https://www.carvingpatterns.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Pyrography 101 tutorials

                        Hi Michele, again Susan is correct. I still have my original 25 watt Walnut Hollow (when it was still made in the USA by Wall Lenk) and I have a 30 watt Wall Lenk. Both do well in certain circumstances. I mostly use it for large areas where I don't need detail but want to cover dark areas quickly.

                        For detail work I use a detail burner with fixed-tip pens. Fixed tip merely means that the tip is fixed into a handle as one piece. The interchangeable/replaceable tips are tips that you can replace on a handpiece. Of the interchangeable I agree that Colwood's is the best but I just don't like interchangeable for a variety of reasons. I do agree it's a nice feature if you are trying out new tips and you don't know if you like them but some dealers will let you try them out and if you don't like them you can return them (conditions usually apply but worth it if you are unsure).

                        When I started burning over 10 years ago I started with a Colwood interchangeable and I just did not like it. I have used Razertip's interchangeable and REALLY didn't like it (new version with screws). I still much prefer fixed-tip pens and that is primarily what I use.

                        Should you decide to get a detail burner (such as Colwood, Razertip, Optima, Nibsburner, etc) be sure you get polished tips (it is an option with Colwood but most others come polished). I also like the vented handles that come with some (Nibsburner and Razertip come with vents and I believe Detailmaster also now offers that as an option). Also, you don't need a fancy or expensive one. A single output should serve most burners needs. I use a dual but it's really not necessary especially since most burners don't change their pens very often. The majority of my burning is done with my bent spear shader and I've used it for 95% of my work for years and don't change pens very often and many other burners do the same thing so a dual output merely is a convenience, not a necessity.

                        Almost forgot, one thing you can do to bleed off some heat quickly from the craft style burners is to blow on it or swipe it across a practice board before putting it on your project.

                        Have fun and Happy Burning!
                        Nedra

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