Saturday, 24 September 2016


Hi all,
I like doing pyrography on wood, especially now that I am turning my own items. Dark pyrography, when done on a light wood can look stunning. However, I keep having these urges (settle down I'm OAP now) to put a bit of colour into some of my work. In the past I have tried watercolour and acrylic paints and met with some success along with some failures. There is something odd about the way paint lies on the top of wood that can sometimes can be less than appealing, or in other words, it can look a bit crappy.

Anyway, after seeing what some of the wood turners on youtube are doing with wood stains, I decided to have a go with them. To that end I turned a couple of boxes from lime wood and did a pencil design on the top of each. Before I used the stain to colour the designs I introduced them to my pyrography iron and used this to create a burnt border around each part of the design. The trouble with wood stain is that it sinks into the fibres of the wood so the edges are hard to control. By burning lines into the wood I was able to create clear borders and keep each stain within its allotted boundary.

Here is my first attempt of some primroses.
I think the stain worked well, but the composition let the whole thing down. A big blob of colour in the centre does not quite do it for me. I think I will stick this one back on the lathe and skim the image off and do something else on the lid.

Taking what I have said above into account, my second item was better. I drew some harebells, which gave plenty of space around and within the image.
I think this is better and, although I think stains are better than paint, I think most of my pyrography will be left plain in the future. Which box do you prefer?

My next project involves me making an item for a wood turning competition. It will include a bit of pyrography, so if you are interested please watch this space.

Saturday, 10 September 2016


Hi all,
Summer is over and autumn's chill is in the air. I don't mind because it is the second best season of the year for me, a close second to spring. I'm not sad that summer is over, especially August, which is my least favourite month of the year. I guess I can almost hear some of you sun lovers call out in horror, but there are good reasons why I think August is grim.

Firstly, even though we are talking about England here, I do find that some days in August are too hot. When is too hot creativity goes out of the window and so does a good night's sleep.

Secondly, August is too busy with the kids off school and people on holiday.

Thirdly, I can't stand wasps and August is the peak time for the little blighters.

Lastly, I don't know why, but August seems like an angry month to me, people, insects and even the traffic seems more aggressive.

So Autumn is here and we can enjoy some of its pleasures like the colours of the trees and picking nuts from the hedgerows. Conkers and acorns are beautiful and everywhere. Talking of acorns, you may have noticed that it is the title of this post, so I'll get to the point.

In April when I bought my lathe, my wife said she would like me to turn her a bowl full of wooden fruit for her birthday in August. In April, August seemed a long way off so I thought I would be okay with meeting her request, however, I never got close to making a bowl or any fruit, so I turned her a selection of acorns with the promise of a bowl to come later.

Here are the acorns.
I turned them from various species of spindles that were 2 inches square and did some pyrography on the thick end where the wood was a light colour.
The one above is tulip wood.
This is walnut
This is sepele
This I think is beech
This one is tulip wood which I stained a dark colour and I did a different pyrography pattern on the case, which I think came out well.
Lastly, this one was turned from sepele and tulip wood. I did a spigot on one and a recess on the other and joined them together with a bit of glue.

They are nothing to get excited about but my wife liked them and it was all good practice. I will get around to make a bowl to put them in one of these days and I might even make another bowl full of them, only this time I will make them much small. In fact, I will probably make them the same size as real acorns. To do that though I will need some smaller jaws for my chuck and that will mean another trip to Axminster and spending more money.