Sunday, 29 January 2012

Pyrography Irons

Hi all,
A lot of people have a go at pyrography and most of them give it up as a bad job. It starts out looking like the hobby will be exciting and fun, but often turns out to be hard and frustrating.The reason is probably down to the choice of pyrography iron. If you want to turn out nice pieces of work you have to invest in the right equipment.The pyrographer has two choices; the solid tip pyrography iron or the hot wire iron. A solid tip pyrography iron is pictured on the right.
Relatively cheap
Comes with a selection of tips
Not so easy to hold
Fixed temperature
Tips are relatively thick
These disadvantages make it harder to produce good work.The tip makes fine work difficult, not just because of the size of the tips, (pictured left) but because the iron is thick and more difficult to hold.
The pyrographer's hand is also further away from the tip which make control more difficult hence a lot of people give pyrography up and move onto something else.

Now don't get me wrong, it is possible with a pyrography iron to produce some acceptable results but it is much harder. On the right you can see the picture of a pansy book marker which I produced with my first solid tip pyrography iron.
Hot Wire (Pictured left)
The temperature can be controlled
The iron is smaller, making it easy to hold. Plus, a pen like grip means the pyrographer's hand is closer to the tip.
The tip is smaller
Disadvantages The most expensive option.
Below, you can see a photo of a hot wire tip.
So, there are the choices and I guess the hot wire pyrography iron comes out on top. But, most of us hate spending money and to lash out a large sum on a piece of equipment for a hobby is not an easy thing for some people to do. They like me will be thinking back over money wasted on other hobbies that were just fads and came to nothing.

I started out with a fixed tip pyrograhy iron. It cost my wife about twenty quid and she got it me for my birthday. I used it for a couple of weeks and liked the feel of burning wood but was frustrated by the limitations of the solid tip pyrography iron. During this time I'd read a couple of books on the subject and found that the top people, who are involved in this form of art, use hot wire pyrography irons.

I struggled for a couple of days with my conscience and had a couple of sleepless nights, but eventually I prised open my wallet and spent about £100 on a really good pyrography iron.

The good news is, once I had bought the iron the cost of this hobby is almost zero if you take away the cost of the wood. Here is some more good news, hot wire pyrography irons can often be seen for sale on e-bay so it is possible to save money there. They also have lots of solid tip pyrography irons for sale, you may want to consider getting one of these first if you just want to give pyrography a try.

If you would like to see some more of my pyrography work please click here.
I sell some of my pyrography pieces, like the plaque of a common carp pictured right, at discounted prices on click here to see the shop

If you have any questions about pyrography please get in touch. Next week I will be looking at pyrography iron tips in more detail

I do a lot of my wood burning as a bit of relief from writing and indeed I have worked on many plots whilst having the pyrography iron in my hand. My sixth book The Fishing Detectives: Bun in the Oven is in the proofreading stage and should be published before the end on February. This is the second book in the Fishing Detectives series and I know that it is eagerly awaited by those who have read my other fishing books.
If you would like to find out more about me or my books please click here

Monday, 16 January 2012

Pyrography; The Begining

Hi All
I thought that in this post I'd just explain how I managed to get into pyrography. Actually, it came down to something as simple as space. My main hobby has always been fishing, but I also enjoyed various forms of art.
I like painting in watercolours, daubing in acrylics and have also enjoyed doing some pen and ink work. On the right you can see one of my early watercolours.
The trouble with these hobbies is that take up a lot of space, and that is one commodity I have been short of. I have a computer work station set up to write my books, but only a small desk on which to do any other work. Every time I want to do a painting I have to get out my paints, water pots, brushes and pallets etc. Well, we all know what happens when faced with that sort of scenario and I'm no different, more often than not I couldn't be bothered and turned to something else for entertainment. Below you can see a pen and ink study of eyes. Please click here to see more artwork Anyway, one day my wife and I were having a glorious day out in Derbyshire, we called at a cafe in Longnor for one of their delicious cream teas. I know I probably shouldn't eat such food after my heart attack, but hell, enough of my pleasures have already gone down the pan with the onset of old age. I'm sure an occasional bit of clotted cream, jam and butter on a fruit scone won't clog my stents up too quickly.

Besides being a nice cafe, the tea room in Longnor also sells crafts and the walls are adorned with pieces of pyrography artwork. I guess I was halfway through my scone when my wife suggested I had a go at doing some pyrography myself. Her thoughts were propelled by the fact that my 60th birthday was imminent and she was at a loss regarding a suitable present. I couldn't think of anything else I wanted, so it was agreed that she would get me a pyrography iron and see what I could do.
I don't know if it was because I'd already done some drawing and painting, but I took to pyrography like a mouse to a trap and was soon knocking out pieces that I was pleased with. I did the rooster on the right about three months after getting my first pyrography iron. I think that is important when taking up any sort of creative activity, judge your results by how much your efforts please you, and not what other people think.

The really good thing about pyrograhy, which I mentioned in my last post, is the fact that the equipment takes up hardly any space at all. I have the piece of wood that I am working on on my desk and, if I feel like having a go, I can switch the iron on and be burning wood in less than a minute. Even better than that, when I've had enough I just switch the pyrography iron off and that's it. I don''t have to bother with emptying water jars and cleaning pallets.

In my next post I will give you advice about pyrography irons because anybody who takes up this hobby needs to get the right one. I'll leave you with my latest creation, which I will be probably selling on shortly.
If you would like to see my pyrography website, please click here.
If you would like to see some pyrography items for sale at discounted prices on Folksy please click here.
Beyond that, if you are interested in finding out more about me or my books, please click here.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Burning Desire

Hi all,
This is my new blog which replaces "A Sassenach's View of Scotland," I couldn't do anymore of those because I've run out of material. If ever I get the chance to go on holiday ever again, Scotland will be my destination and I will give you a blow by blow account.
In the meanwhile, I hope to entertain you with information about pyrography and other forays into the world of art. On the subject of art, I saw a report on last night's news that said that people who were involved in any sort of art felt better and visited the doctor less often than those who are not interested in the subject. I can see how that could work, but given my general state of health, it must mean that if I wasn't doing a bit of art work I'd have one foot in the grave.
So what is pyrography, I hear you ask.
Well, it's nothing complicated that's for sure because if it was I wouldn't be doing it. I've had enough stress in my life to scuttle a battleship and I've got stents in my heart to prove it. For me, hobbies must be free of stress, so I guess skydiving missed its chance.
Pyrography, literally means, writing with fire, but in reality it means using something that looks similar to a soldering iron to burn pictures into wood, like the one on the right of a woodpecker.
Pyrography has got lots of advantages over other forms of art, especially when it comes down to cost. Once you have purchased a pyrography iron all you need are some bits of wood to work on. There is no need to keep spending money on paint and brushes etc. Another advantage of pyrography is that it doesn't take up much room. I've tried painting in oils, acrylics and watercolours but they take up a lot of space and time. To paint properly one needs a big space for the paints, pots of water and mixing pallets etc, whereas with pyrography all you need is the iron and the lump of wood you are working on. No time is wasted on, changing pots of water or cleaning pallets, with pyrography I just sit down and get on with it instantly.

If ever you've thought of doing something arty but you can't be bothered with getting all the kit out, pyrography might be just the thing to try.

I have only been doing pyrography as a hobby since last April, but I'm very pleased with what I've produced so far and have also sold a few items. Okay, the profits may be small, but if I can get my hobby to pay for itself then I'm happy enough with that.

In future pyrography posts I will explain where I get my wood from and how I go about my projects. For now, I'll leave you with one of my latest creations, a nice little pot that is perfect for giving a ring to a loved one on Valentines day.
If you have any questions about pyrography, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
If you would like to see more of my pyrography Please click here,
or if you would like to find out more about me and my books, click here.
If you are interested in buying any of my pyrography items at discounted prices please click here.