Here are a few of the items that I have decorated with pyrography. Beyond the images you will find some general information and tips regarding pyrography, I hope you find it helpful.

Pyrography literally means writing with fire. It is quite an old art form that was very popular in the Victorian era. Ladies of leisure would pass their hours by putting pokers into the fire to warm up and then use them to burn pictures into a piece of wood. At the time, this form of art was known as poker work.

However, times have changed and so have the tools. Artists who fancy having a go at pyrography, now have a range of options to choose from.

Most people, including myself, go for the cheapest option first. There is nothing wrong with being cautious, so we choose the fixed tip iron that retails for about £20.
There is nothing wrong with this type of iron if you are not going to do any detailed work. It comes complete with a set of changeable tips that allows the pyrographer to create a number of effects
Above you can see the tip on a fixed tip pyrography iron. One of the main draw backs of this type of iron is the fact that the temperature can't be controlled. This isn't a big issue when drawing lines, but it makes shading difficult. The other drawback is the holding position. It is on the cumbersome side for doing detailed work when compared with a hot wire pyrography pen.

Below is a photo of a Peter Child's pyrography station.
This is the type of pyrography iron that I now use and find that it can do just about anything. It cost what I consider to be a lot of money to start off with (around £100) but it is over engineered, so it will probably last me a life time.

If you look at the front of the station you will see that it has a temperature control dial which is really useful when shading. It also helps to control the burn when working with different types of wood. Pine, maple and beech, for instance, burn at lower temperatures than ash.

Tips are also cheap and can be either made from wire or you can purchase some spoon tips. I use spoon tips for 95% of my work and they can be purchased for very little money.
If you compare the tip of the hot wire iron pictured above with the fixed tip pyrography iron, you can understand why the former is more suitable for delicate work.

If you want to spend even more money you will find a pyrography iron available that is called a razor tip. It is similar to the Peter Child's machine and has a vast range of tips available for it.

If you have any questions about pyrography, please let me know.

Pyrography Tips
Here is my list of tips that will either set you off in the right direction or help improve your results. They are in no particular order and I will add to them on a regular basis.

1 If you are aiming for decent pyrography images, buy the right iron. I started out with a cheap fixed tip, but soon realised that it couldn't compete with a hot wire pyrography pen. The latter will set you back at least £100 but it will be money well spent because you will find that pyrography will probably get into your soul.

2 Always put your pyrography iron tip down onto the wood where you want you darkest mark to be.

3 Draw your design onto paper first. This makes sure you have got a copy should you want to repeat the design.

4 Drawing your design onto paper first allows you to try out shading. If you do this with your pyrography iron straight onto the wood you will not be able to reverse it.

5 Use tracedown paper to transfer your images from paper to the wood.

6 Use masking tape to hold your design in place while you transfer it to the wood.

7 Learn how to manipulate your drawings on a computer. It will save you time and ensure you make the most of your drawings.

8 You will find that loads of tips are available for hot wire pyrography pens, each providing a different effect like artists brushes. However, I have found that the same results can often be achieved by using a spoon tip which is very versatile.


  1. I am neophyte to pyrography and just purchased a Weller WSB25 WB Woodburning Kit. It comes with a tip already attached to the soldering iron barrel. It also comes with a variety of tips but there are no instructions in the accompanying pamphlet on how to removing the tip already installed. I do not want to damage, how do I go about changing the tip and what tool is suitable to reduce potential damages?

  2. Hi Issy, I am not sure about the model you are talking about, but I started out with a Weller iron that had other tips and they were changed by unscrewing the tip.
    Perhpas doing a search on google would help. Good luck.