Saturday, 11 August 2012

Pyrography Chestnut Leaves

In my last post I said I'd show you the chestnut leaves that I was burning onto a shallow dish. Below you will find a photo of the dish after the pyrography piece was completed.

I was very pleased with the results, but thought that it could still be improved. I'd taken care when shading the leaves to follow the growth pattern and concentrated the dark tones towards the centre of the leaves where they would be the thickest. I have also tried to make sure that where leaves overlap that I have positioned dark against light.

When doing a piece like this, I find it useful to do all of the line work first. When I'm happy with that, then I will start the shading process. I do the shading on just one leaf to begin with and only when I'm happy with that will do the rest.

When burning, decide where your darkest mark is going to be and put your pyrography iron down on that spot. If you don't want a dark mark where you are putting the iron down, there is a simple solution. Just blow on the tip as you lower it onto the wood; this will cool the tip down just enough to avoid a dark mark. When blowing, keep your lips well away from the hot tip. Kissing a pyrography iron is not a good thing.

Anyway, I decided that although I'd done a good job with the pyrography iron, this image needed a little extra. With this in mind, I decided to paint the leaves with a single coat of light oak varnish just to give them a little boost. I didn't want to overdo the effect because I think that once pyrography starts to get towards the gaudy end of good taste, its charm vanishes. Once the coat of oak varnish was dry, I gave the whole thing three further coats of clear varnish just to give it, what I call, that luxurious look.The bottom of the dish was then covered in a layer of brown felt which really does finish the job off.

I know some people don't like any colour in their  pyrography , so I would be interested in knowing which dish you prefer.

I mentioned in an earlier post that safety is an issue when doing pyrography because of the smoke that comes off the wood during the burning process. I have been trying out a solution for a couple of weeks and think I've found the answer to the problem without throwing a shed load of cash at it. In my next post I will reveal all.

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