Wood burning is an ancient craft using heat to burn lines into pieces of wood to create designs and shading. This art form, also known as pyrography, takes artistic ability and a steady hand to master. The wood burning craft requires special woodworking and art tools.
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Wood Burning Pen
A wood burning pen is the main tool used for wood burning crafts. This electric-powered handheld device has an angled tip that heats when powered. Artists use the brass tip of this pen in a manner similar to a paintbrush or calligraphy pen to burn lines into the surface of the wood. The pressure the artist uses determines the depth of the lines and the duration of time that he holds it in one location determines the darkness of the burn mark. Professional woodburning pens typically have graduated heat settings and/or attachments that can allow the artist to achieve different effects.
Depending on the intention of the piece, woodburning artists may sand a piece of wood to create a smooth canvas to work on. A handheld sander or sheet of sandpaper are common tools used to achieve a flat, smooth surface. The artist may use different grades of sandpaper, generally starting with a rough grade and ending with fine grade for finishing. Sanders can also create subtle curves for edges of wood blocks.
Burning a design directly into wood is challenging, even for highly skilled wood burning artists. Graphite paper is a common tool of the trade for transferring illustrated images to wood. An artist draws his sketch on traditional drawing paper with graphite paper sandwiched between the drawing paper and wood surface. The image transfers to the wood when graphite in the paper responds to the pressure of the artist's pencil by depositing graphite on the wood surface. In addition to transferring original sketches, graphite paper can transfer existing images. The artist places the graphite paper between the image and the wood and gently traces an outline of the image to copy it to the wood surface.
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