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Thread: Pyrography

  1. #1
    Radiant Being emmadilemma's Avatar
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    Pyrography

    Am thinking of giving this a go and i know a few on here do it. Was wondering if there's a good beginners kit/pen that people can recommend?

    What is the best kind of wood and where's the best place to get it from? Also do you need to be very artistic to do anything decent? Have read that you can use stencils..

    Have been looking at day courses but cause of work i can't get to one for a while. Thanks
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  2. #2
    Heavenly Creature realnutter's Avatar
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    I don't know much about it, but you should talk to Yazz... she's been trying it out recently...

    One thing I can say, is don't buy one of these:


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    She has one, and it literally fell apart within a few hours... If you're not off grid, there's plenty of electric ones available...
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  3. #3
    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    The most reliable pyrography set most artists use is a Peter Childs...theyre not cheap but will last longer than most 20 sets....theres also a Polish set thats very good but i forget the name offhand.Ive got a Peter Childs model though.

    You can use most wood -but best on hardwoods- and you can buy pre- cut shaped blanks on ebay cheap enough if thats the kind of thing you want to do.Or go scavenging round timber merchants.
    Personally all my wood is what i find when im wandering round the countryside thats suitable for cleaning up and using.
    You can of course use the set on leather too and you can buy offcuts off ebay cheap.
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...
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  4. #4
    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    I cant edit the previous post but was going to add its not essential to spend 100+ on a Peter Childs set when you just want to have a go first.Antex make a reasonable cheapish set and there are similar priced decent pyro pens about.Its one of those crafts where you can start off cheap and if youre good at it invest more money on better equipment.
    The difference is usually in the pen tool and how light and small they are to use which is important for fine detail.I found the cheaper pens unwealdy but i originally started with a basic soldering pen about 35+ years ago to just have a go.
    You can also get what are often called gourd pyro pens which are similar to the Peter Childs pens and used in Asia a lot for pyrography on -would you believe gourds - theyre cheaper by half but you usually have to buy from China or HongKong and pay import duty.
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...

  5. #5
    Afloat ... or adrift? marshlander's Avatar
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    I was going to suggest you send a PM to French Whale Fan, since he doesn't often look in here, but NomadicRT seems to have it covered.

  6. #6
    Transcending
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    I have taught myself, just practice on different types of wood, save yourself some money, it's easier than you may think. But as nutter said, I'm off grid so have to use gas but there are lots of good price electric pens on the market.
    Hope you have fun. 😀


  7. #7
    I love Pyrography i tried the cheaper pens and I found you don't get as much variation in shading and burn strokes.
    If you think you are going to stick at it it might be worth investing in a Peter Childs pen with the wire tip so you can do detail. It really made a difference to my projects with the Child pen. Also it has variable heat setting dial on it which allows you depth of burn for lighter darker strokes.

    If you are into lots of different crafts and don't think you will use it a lot then a cheaper pen might be a good start

    Cant wait to see some of your work posted in "what have you been making lately" EM
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    Oh and here the link to peter childs

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    I do most of my own stunts because the stunt guys show me how.

  8. #8
    Oh and GOOD NEWS :
    if you decide to go into the cottage industry of making small crafts to sell on Facebook or Etsy.
    Personalised crafts and items are trending for 2017.

    P.S. Etsy is becoming the go to place for ideas but Facebook is probably where you will sell more.
    I do most of my own stunts because the stunt guys show me how.
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  9. #9
    Dirty Uncle Bertie... julianthegypsy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by NomadicRT
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    I cant edit the previous post but was going to add its not essential to spend 100+ on a Peter Childs set when you just want to have a go first.Antex make a reasonable cheapish set and there are similar priced decent pyro pens about.Its one of those crafts where you can start off cheap and if youre good at it invest more money on better equipment.
    The difference is usually in the pen tool and how light and small they are to use which is important for fine detail.I found the cheaper pens unwealdy but i originally started with a basic soldering pen about 35+ years ago to just have a go.
    You can also get what are often called gourd pyro pens which are similar to the Peter Childs pens and used in Asia a lot for pyrography on -would you believe gourds - theyre cheaper by half but you usually have to buy from China or HongKong and pay import duty.
    You don't generally get hit with import charges off ebay from hong kong, i've bought loads of stuff and never had a problem, I just hit buy it now, pay, and it arrives a week or two later.
    Yawn I'm so tired with this big bag of coal on my head...
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  10. #10
    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by julianthegypsy
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    You don't generally get hit with import charges off ebay from hong kong, i've bought loads of stuff and never had a problem, I just hit buy it now, pay, and it arrives a week or two later.
    You bin lucky then because last 3 items i bought from there via fleabay i got clobbered duty and postal handling charge ....but the stuff does arrive promptly.
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...

  11. #11
    kitty mother! akasha's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by julianthegypsy
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    You don't generally get hit with import charges off ebay from hong kong, i've bought loads of stuff and never had a problem, I just hit buy it now, pay, and it arrives a week or two later.
    I HAVE had duty or tax added but only when I've bought like 10 'tops' in the one parcel.

  12. #12
    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    Last bits from ebay i got from hong kong were sent in small seperate parcels. Maybe they only charge above a certain size hence the reason the seller did this?

  13. #13
    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Duty is payable on items over 30 including the shipping cost......Sime of the smaller sellers will lie and put gift on the customs ticket.Now i only buy from china or HK if the price is massively below UK price even after adding import duty.
    Last item i bought from HK was 90 but the seller had been economical with the facts on the airfreight ticket.
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...

  14. #14
    Radiant Being emmadilemma's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice everyone
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    Think I might go for one of those Peter Childs ones will have to wait till pay day though..

    Would be nice if someone bought them Treestump but can't see it ha. Who knows maybe i'll be a pyrogerapheryer genius
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  15. #15
    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Once you got the machine you can get the spare bits cheap...as Treestump said theres a good outlet for it on etsy.
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...

  16. #16
    Transcending Red Dragon's Avatar
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    Having had to to pay HMRC a few times, here's what I have discovered.

    If you are bringing stuff in by post from non-EU foreign parts -
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    - so at least you will know what you might have to cough up if HMRC decide to assess your import for duty and VAT. For me, when things have had to be paid for, the fixed surcharge by Royal Mail of 8 for "handling and clearance" has been the most expensive bit.

    Hope that helps.
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  17. #17
    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Yes its the 8 hsndling chsrge by royalfail that i often have issue with but most of tge things i buy abroad are over 100 so i know they will attract VAT if theyre spotted...which they usually are....
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...

  18. #18
    Heavenly Creature Chillicamper's Avatar
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    Only just seen this thread. been MIA quite a bit lately!

    Agree with what everyone has said about the Peter Childs burner. Had one for years and it's great. Very variable heat and you can swap over the wire nibs for different types of shading etc. You can even get a spitter for the nib pens so you can run 2 pens at once if you need to swap between 2 types on shading nib a lot.

    Light woods with straight grain is best. Hardwoods such as maple/sycamore and birch work well. Oak has awkwark medullary rays in the grain, which can overpower a picture or be difficult to shade evenly. Beech is usable, but the little flecks in the grain can also affect shading.

    For practicing get some small birch ply hearts from somewhere like this
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    That will give you perfectly smooth little projects to practice with. I use them for mini wood doodles when I'm not wood turning (see the wooden things thread).

    Soft woods are burnable, but the shading can be uneven and some parts of the grain are softer than others. You also get more burn sap residue on the nib. Speaking of which, I always keep a copper coin - usually a penny with to rub the burning nib on every now and then to clear any sooty burnt on residue off the nib for cleaner edges.

    I started off doing simple letters/words to get an idea of writing smoothly and some control of the nib. I'm not a brilliant freehand artist, so tend to copy outlines of pictures - either photos I've taken or from the web. Then I experiment with the shading.

    You can print of simple pictures to start, then if you need to, use the old school trick of holding the paper up to the light, use a pencil to draw round the main lines of the picture, then turn over the paper. place on the wood and rub with the pencil to leave the outline transfered on the wood. Any pencil lines left showing after burning can be rubbed out.

    I've loved learning pyrography and it's now my go to craft when I need to chill - it's almost meditation!
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